Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A Week of Balance: Annabel Fitzsimmons

By Annabel Fitzsimmons

I like to be busy, but I love my quiet time. I thrive on being involved in collaborative projects, but I am equally driven in solo ventures. I like running with a run club, but enjoy running marathons alone. I am energized by social activities, but am lost without my meditative, silent hours. My life oscillates between busy, highly productive days and days that I spend recharging and revelling in doing nothing. As long as I can remember, I have walked a fine line in finding the balance of these two extremes in my life.

When Jamie asked me to blog about what balance means to me, I was struck by the fact that my journey to discover personal balance has informed my career, my family life, and everything in between.

What I have learned is that balance is a shifting concept. It is formless, its nature is constantly changing. Your balance one day may not be your balance the next. Or next month, or next year. I try to re-evaluate – and, if necessary, redefine – my balance on a daily basis. And balance is also extremely subjective.

In my work as a fitness and wellness professional, I have witnessed many clients striving to fulfill a prescribed idea of balance – as if there is a specific formula to follow. After all, who doesn’t want to live the most balanced life? But in my experience, following someone else’s idea of balance is a surefire way to make it more elusive.

Today, balance for me meant taking 20 minutes to journal at the end of the day and grabbing a cuddle with my husband after taking care of a sick newborn and toddler on three hours sleep. But tomorrow balance might be going out for a 5km run, pitching an article, writing a press release, teaching a couple of classes and returning all my outstanding phone calls.

Whatever the circumstances of each day, I make sure to put aside 20 minutes of time for me, to clear space for an activity that makes me happy. This allows me a bit of perspective and I can maintain an equilibirium between the things I want to do, I need to do and that I should do.

Balance. Isn’t it a great thing to explore?

Annabel Fitzsimmons is a writer, a yoga and Pilates teacher, and is the founder, the premiere online resource for “living your balance”. She started the ClearSpace initiative to encourage people to put aside 20 minutes a day for themselves to do something mindful, physical or soulful.


Danette said...

Yes, it's true how balance means something new for each of us, and something different each day.

Remembering that is really important for me.

Thank you for the reminder, and for the insightful post.

tinkerbell the bipolar faery said...

Insightful, indeed. It makes think of the concept of equilibrium, or homeostasis ~ both scientific concepts that denote a formless, shifting state.

Holly said...

Thank you for reminding me that balance is a fluid state, not a static one. It reminds me that when I do my exercises and hold my breath, my movement doesn't flow. When I try to keep my life stuck in one state, it doesn't flow, either.

sema said...

Jamie, thanks for giving such powerful and insightful guest posts.They have given a new perspective to my thinking and also inspired me to make a card for my post today.
blessings for abundance,

Márcia said...

Wonderful perspective of balance. Its not a static concept, it is, as life, always changing and what we need to balance our emotions in a day may not be what we need in another.
Fantastic text. Thanks for sharing it.

Peaceole said...

What a great post thank you so much for sharing it!

Tori said...

This post was a good reminder. I often forget that each day is different, and calls for a different kind of balance. Thank you!

Pearl Maple said...

Am enjoying all the balance posts, such a great theme. Our world is all too busy with little time for us to sit and reflect on what we really should be doing.