Have you ever felt off-balanced or out of sorts? Most people have. What does balance look like and how does one define balance? Balance is a state of equilibrium, where one is in a place of contentment. One can think of balance as being in a place where it is neither hot nor cold. It is warm and comfortable; it is purple, orange or green; it is maybe; it is something in between the extremes. Balance is about being in the middle. Visualize a circus performer balancing on a tight-rope and walking slowly and deliberately. That is one way of looking at balance.

How can balance be applied to one's life or how can one get balance in his or her life? Awareness is the first step to achieving balance. Stop, look and reflect and see what might be causing the imbalance. An unexpected event can cause imbalance in one's life, such as, a car accident or losing one's job. How does one cope with life-altering events? Change your focus from the life-altering situation and look at the big picture. How?

The best way to change your focus and get back into balance is to ask a few questions: What is the lesson in all of this? What is the positive side in this situation? Where is the opportunity in this situation? How can I bless it and move back to a place of equilibrium? And, what can I laugh about this situation in my life? Andy Dooley has a fabulous You Tube video that addresses how to feel good. Feeling good can equate to feeling balanced as long as one is feeling good when he or she is back in his or her routine and balanced again.

Seeing a negative situation from different perspectives can help one achieve balance. Talk to yourself as if you were looking at yourself as another person, in other words, try to be objective. Balance can be achieved when people address themselves with their given names. Self-dialogue could look something like this: (The person's name is Joe or Mary.) "Hey, Joe/Mary, yes life is less than perfect right now, but look at the blessings in the situation... it is a blessing to meet talented people in a different field of expertise, it is a chance to learn something new, it is a blessing to see things differently; yes, it hurts right now, but now different choices and decisions can be made about the future..."

One can also achieve balance by sitting in quiet, which means taking time to sit alone in silence and simply breathe slowly. Focus on the breathing. If one needs more centering and focus, then one can pray or meditate. A person can pray for balance or simply state over and over in his or her mind: "I am in balance" or " I have balance" or "I am balance." Ambient music or sounds of nature in the background may help to create an environment conducive to prayer and meditation. Using aromatherapy is also a great way to create a tranquil environment.

When one is in a state of overwhelm there are three things he or she can do to get balance again. First of all, one can make small movements toward the source of the overwhelm like needing to lose 50 pounds or putting together a major business proposal.  A person can take little steps; this movement, albeit small, will ultimately get a person to his or her big goal. These mini-goals could be like letting go of one to two pounds a week or tackling the business proposal in chunks (such as researching it or writing it in fifteen minute bites).

The second thing one can do is not get hung up on perfectly moving toward his or her major goal. It is still a movement toward his or her goal. When one is moving toward a weight loss goal, he or she need not get caught up in the minutia of having to follow a weight loss plan perfectly. If one had a lapse of judgment for a snack or meal, this does not have to sabotage the efforts one has already put into his or her weight loss progress. An individual can simply take ownership of that one mishap and make the next decision a better one. In creating a business proposal, writing something is better than writing nothing at all. One can always edit his or her work after the proposal is completed.

The third thing one can do is to create a support system or delegate some of the responsibility of that overwhelming goal. With a business proposal, a person can seek others to do the research so he or she can focus on the writing. With weight loss goals, a person can seek a support system with others who also wish to lose weight. They can hold each other accountable, they can dialogue about the challenges they have had, and they can celebrate the small and large victories.

One of the best things an individual can do to get from a place of imbalance to balance is to do something totally different. If one is traditionally very independent and almost never communicates his or her challenges to others, then, perhaps it is due time for this person to seek guidance from an expert or counselor. If one continues to do what he or she have always done, then he or she will continue to get what he or she have always gotten (a quote adopted from Anthony Robbins and edited by Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko). Here is an amusing thought that Albert Einstein shared, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Does this quote suggest many people are insane? Perhaps. 

Consider this, how can people shift their thoughts and emotions toward balance? How does it feel?

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