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Balance Brings Comfort

Balance Brings Comfort

    Comfort is associated with balance. We feel most comfortable when our lives are in balance. Looking at our world today and the chaotic busy lives we lead, you might think that we are most comfortable with busyness. But, few of us would say we’re comfortable with the pace of our lives. I suspect we have lost sight of balance and don’t know how to get it back.

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    One way to consciously commit to a life of balance and the comfort it brings is to strive for balance in the energies of our homes and offices. What the heck does that mean?  Feng shui teaches that what we have in our living and working spaces anchors energies that affect what happens in our lives. So, if we want more balance in our lives, let’s create more balance in our environments.

    We know what being out of balance looks like in our personal lives. We have too much work and too little play, too much work and too little family time, too much rushing around and too little relaxation.

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    Let’s see what being out of balance in your environment looks like. If we look at being out of balance as having too much of something that is not desirable and too little of something that is desirable and apply it to our living spaces, what we find are spaces with too much stuff and too little storage, too much darkness and not enough light, too much clutter and not enough order. What immediately comes to mind for me is closets packed to the gills, attics full of stuff that is rarely touched, piles of paper and other clutter, more things than storage room. Other ways it shows up is having too much furniture for the size of a room, rooms that have white walls, and rooms that have very little color in them.

    Balance, by the way, is relative. Balance for one person may not be balance for another. For example, a few years ago I visited a friend who had taken great pains to create a lovely, comfortable, clutter-free home.  Everything in the space was carefully chosen to be in the space. There was plenty of storage space for all of her belongings even in her small house. I was so impressed. And yet, her house seemed stark to me. It may have been perfect for her, but I needed more in my space to soften it up and make it feel cozy.

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    Seeing her space, however, and feeling the pleasure that comes from a space with fewer items talking to me (the energy of things actually communicates with us), I realized that I did want more of that. I came home motivated to go through parts of my house and clear out things I no longer wanted or used. By looking at her house, which to me seemed a little stark, I could see that mine, though attractive and generally comfortable, was still out of balance in terms of the ratio of stuff to space.

    Do you have balance in your life and in your home? The question to ask is “how comfortable am I?” How comfortable am I with the pace of my life? And, how comfortable am I in my home? You are the only one who can improve the balance. Take at least one step today to bring your life into better balance!

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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