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Not Living a Balanced Life? What’s Stopping You? (Part 2)

Each petal grows in balance with all the others. Why can’t I do that?

I Think It’s A Lack of Trust

Nature grows things effortlessly.

But I engage in all kinds of efforts. I don’t trust nature to deliver. I want it faster, further, sooner. And I end up pushing myself here and there to get things done. And that’s how I lose my balance.

I sometimes wonder if I’m successful because of my efforts or in spite of my efforts! And when, I think, “I want more balance in my life,” do I choose it?

Not always.

Let me Identify Some of the Thoughts that Stop me from Being Balanced

Some general thoughts that keep me pushing when I want to slow down are:

1. I need more money (survival).

2. I need to keep up (competition and comparison).

3. I need to save face (reputation) – slowing down means I’m a wimp.

4. I want to keep distracted (pretending).

5. I need to be someone better than I am (dissatisfaction).

6. If I stop now, I’ll never start again (all or nothing).

7. I don’t want to limit my options (indecision).

And when I look at it, it seems that it all comes down to my thinking. I imagine I’m in this difficult game, and that I have to work hard to survive.

But is it true? Am I really in a difficult game at all? Is it the game that is difficult, or has my thinking rigidly locked me into constraints that make it hard?

Let’s Get Practical

The beliefs I listed above are general. And general beliefs are hard to hold. They get so abstract that I’m not even quite sure I know what I mean by them.

But things change if I take a specific situation. For example, right now. I’ve got 90 minutes left in my day. And I’ve got two newsletters to finish (90 min), a phone call to make (15 min), and I need to spend time moderating the Inquiry Circle forum (45 min).

That means, if I do everything, I will be one hour late finishing work. That feels like stress.

So What Stops me from Staying Balanced?

The thoughts that come are:

I don’t want to let them down.

I don’t want them to be disappointed in me.

And this applies to each task: the newsletter, the phone call, and the Inquiry Circle. Each one could be a different Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet.

First JYNW, Line 1: I’m worried of disappointing my newsletter readers because they expect me to be consistent.

Second JYNW, Line 1: I’m stressed about the person I need to call because she expects me to keep my commitment.

Third JYNW, Line 1: I am anxious about the Inquiry Circle participants because they expect me to read what they wrote.

Now my work is cut out for me. I have the beginnings of three meaningful worksheets that get right to the core of why I don’t choose balance in this situation. Basically, I believe others are expecting things. And I don’t want to disappoint them. No pressure!!

I really look forward to working these worksheets.

I invite you this week to find a specific situation where you resist choosing balance, and see if you can identify what’s stopping you. Write down the thoughts and question them.

Have a great weekend,

“So my wife has an expectation or wish about what she should get from me, and she expresses that, and I want her to love and appreciate me, so I fulfill her expectation.” Excerpt From: Byron Katie & Michael Katz. I Need Your Love – Is That True?

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Todd Smith has been doing The Work of Byron Katie on an almost daily basis since 2007. He is just as excited about this simple process of self-inquiry today as he was when he first came across it. He also enjoys writing about The Work, and training others in the subtleties of this meditative process. Join Todd for The Work 101 online course, private sessions, virtual retreats, and his ongoing Inquiry Circle group.