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A Year of Mindful Living August - Balance

How well do you maintain balance? If you’re anything like me there are days when you feel like you really have your life figured out and running smoothly……. and other days turn out to be pure chaos with no sign of things settling down!

What I’ve discovered over many many years of back and forth, is when life becomes a roller coaster of tasks and events, I’m either shifting into people pleasing mode, trying to do everything perfectly along with putting my needs and desires last on the list convincing myself I can wait!

I then become frustrated, crabby and resentful. Can you relate??? One of the most important lessons I’ve learned working with horses is their innate ability to tend to their own needs first. They do this without judging themselves, without a long internal battle of should I or shouldn’t I stop and scratch or worry about what others will think. They meet their own needs then shift to the present moment with whomever they are in relationship with and move one! So, this month we're focusing on Balance. If trying to maintain balance in your life makes you feel like walking a tightrope, you’re not alone. Most of us have so many demands on our time and energy, life can feel like a three-ring circus. So, I offer you this little quiz to see how well you are meeting responsibilities, while also recognizing and fulfilling your personal needs and desires.

True False T F 1. The only way I can successfully manage my life is to take care of myself physically and emotionally. T F 2. Nurturing myself enlarges my capacity to help others. T F 3. I eat healthfully and exercise regularly. T F 4. I get check-ups, go to the dentist, and take preventative precautions. T F 5. I set aside personal, quiet time for myself, whether I’m meditating or simply letting my thoughts drift. T F 6. I experience the gifts of each season: ice skating, sledding, bundled-up beach walks; gardening, hiking, more time outside; camping, swimming, barbecues; harvesting the bounty, gathering wood, spending more time inside. T F 7. Creativity nurtures me, too. I do what I love, whether that’s cooking, drawing, painting, writing, dancing, singing or another creative pursuit. T F 8. Reaching out to others enriches my life. I spend quality time with family and friends. T F 9. Contributing to the world provides connection and purpose, so I give my time, energy and experience where it is most useful. T F 10. I notice and heed the emotional signals that tell me I’m out of balance: irritability, overwhelm, resentment. T F 11. If I feel that I’m catching a cold, I realize I may have stressed my immune system with overactivity, so I stop and take care of myself. T F 12. When I need or want to, I say no to requests for my time. T F 13. I listen to and honor the requests my body makes for such things as a nap, a walk, green vegetables, hot soup. T F 14. If I have something planned for myself, I don’t just toss that aside when someone makes a request of me. T F 15. I’m busy, but I find time to do the things I want to do. T F 16. I’m happy. I regularly experience well-being, contentment, even joy. If you answered false more often than true, you may want to take a look at the questions to which you answered false and see if you can incorporate something of its message into your life. I have more true than false answers now, but I practice balance so much better since becoming a student of my equine teachers. Please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like to explore this issue further. I have some wonderful equine teachers that are experts at balance, boundaries and presence. In Gratitude , Pam

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