self care

Land of Balancing

In my 30's, when I was in a Bachelor degree program, I wrote a 40-page paper on Balance. I loved the idea of it, dreamed of it, really believed that if I could find the land of Balance, I would be calm, productive, and forever happy.

Pop! That's the sound of the balance illusion exploding. At some point I realized that there's no such thing as balance. It's the unicorn of self-improvement. There's only the land of Balancing. That's where I'm writing to you from now.

I am balancing once again after traveling while working for eleven days recently. During that time, I drove 1,221 miles, coached clients, observed a leadership course in which I will be a facilitator soon, was a student in a course on Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and facilitated a Stress Management Seminar for a corporation. I arrived home to my husband and a wonderful couple from Spain, whom we met in Ecuador during our motorcycle travels in 2016, and had invited to stay with us during their motorcycle travels.

I loved everything I did and everyone I was with and...I tipped too far out-of-balance. I felt emotionally and physically exhausted, fuzzy-headed, and knew I needed time to recharge. Giving myself what I needed felt kind and loving, and it worked.

The key is to notice when we're too far from our balancing point and move gently back toward it with oodles of self-compassion. Like Tree Pose in yoga, balancing on one foot with constant micro-movements to continually find the center balancing point for a moment.

What do you notice in your thoughts, body, or emotions when you're out of balance?

And then, how do you move back toward the land of Balancing?

In the spirit of knowing ourselves,

Jalene

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Giving Yourself a Break

How do you know when time away is the best way forward?

Many of us believe that getting on top of our To Do List means working harder on it, and working longer at it, even though our brains are fried, even though we’re mentally and physically exhausted. I’m practicing a new way of working, with surprising results.

Here’s the sparkling jewel I’ve discovered. When I take better care of myself, my work quality and production improves. What a revelation! Working harder and longer is not the answer. Here’s what it looks like for me these days, with it's little imperfections, of course.

Every day I write in my journal, get enough sleep, take breaks during the day for lunch and snacks, and eat well. Weekly (5-6 times) I do yoga or walk, and meditate. Every two months I get a massage. And here’s something new I just played with last week. I was in a funk. I wanted to get away from everything I was working on for a while so…I did. I gave myself a break, a mini retreat if you will, for a whole afternoon.

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My time away evolved into a 45-minute drive to Yachats where for $25 I could enjoy all the amenities of the Overleaf Spa & Resort for the day — hot tubs overlooking the ocean, dry & wet saunas, and luxuriously scented lotions. After I was a clean, wet noodle, I had a hankering for a treat from one of my favorite restaurants. A dessert called Boccone Dolce called to me. The air-light meringue dissolved on my tongue, while the tang of fresh berries and the richness of whipped cream and chocolate brought an audible “Mmmmm” from my joy-filled mouth. Nestled into a booth with sun pouring through the window, I sipped a decaf cappuccino and wrote in my trusty journal. Ahhhh…

Energy level raised, anxiety level lowered, I felt centered, nourished, and excited to dive back into my work.

How will you take care of yourself & give yourself a break?

In the spirit of knowing ourselves,

Jalene

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Psst...have I told you about my business?

I help individuals and small businesses clarify their vision, build stronger connections with themselves and others, reach the results they want, and find more joy and satisfaction along the way. 

 

Executive & Personal CoachingProfessional Development • Personal Workshops

Travel Tools

When we left  home just over a year ago, I did my best to pack everything I thought I'd need for two years of motorcycle travel. Some things I got right. Some things I shipped home, tossed, or gave away. And some things, I didn't realize how much I needed until I tried to live without them for several months. Strangely enough, roadside stretching, in the photo, is connected to one of those things. 

 

In this video, I talk about the tools I've discovered that make travel way more fun. Surprisingly, they're more similar than different to life at home.

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

Travel Learning: Lesson 1 of 10

Sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to get her early morning coffee fix. Piping hot drinkable (not great) coffee is in the cover pot on the lower right.

I knew I was going to see new places, meet new people, eat new food, ride my motorcycle for thousands of miles, and learn, learn, learn. Here’s what traveling has taught me, so far.

Lesson 1 of 10: Ask for what I need.

At home, it was way easier to give myself what I needed, when I wanted it. When I needed alone time, I went out into my studio, aka Escape Pod, in our backyard. Hungry? Eat. Tired? Nap or go to bed early. Ready for coffee in the morning? Make it.

On the road, all these needs have to be done in relation to another person, my husband Keith, and the environment. It's tricky business. 

I have to consider how my need affects Keith and whether, or not, it works with where we are. A common scenario is journaling with coffee early in the morning - my favorite time of day. 

When we're in a hotel room and I'm awake at 5 or 6 am, I don't want to turn on the light and wake up Keith, plus there's hardly ever any coffee around until 8:30. Many times, journaling may get put on hold for the day. 

That’s where patience and flexibility come in. I need to eventually find a way to fit coffee and journaling into my day but, it may not be exactly when and where I wanted it to be. I'm learning to roll with it rather than be frustrated by it.

The key – for both of us – is to ask for what we need before we melt down into a whiney puddle of goo. To do that, I have to discern what I need and what I just really, really want right now. Perhaps, this is a 2 for 1 lesson. I’m learning patience and flexibility as I wait for my morning coffee, and I’m more aware of what I need to take care of myself and how to speak up and get it.

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene