How many hours did you work this week? I can’t even remember the last time I counted. Sunday funday turns sour quickly when you realize Monday begins in five hours. You hit the ground running at 6am Monday, which slurs at snail speeds into Tuesday. Wednesday is hump day at happy hour. Almost home free. Hope is in the air. Thursday drags on with endless meetings, but is definitively the new Friday, so the thought of beer swinging and pub songs entice you into the evening hours. Friday morning rolls around finally and the light of the weekend grows brighter. Living for the weekend is an understatement.
So perhaps pub songs aren’t the only thing that get you through the week, but have you checked your live/work balance lately? Invariably, at least once a month, I emerge from a few weeks of heavy grinding like a drowning swamp rat to find a utopia of life above water. Who knew life outside work was so beautiful? Like a typical American I have the remarkable talent of piling on too much work for my frame to carry. My ability to squeeze the tiniest to-do in the 30 second walk to the bathroom is enough to quote Stewart from Mad TV, “Look what I can do!” I really should pinch myself every morning. That or have a neon sign on the ceiling above my bed that screams, “Just be. Enjoy every second.”
Below I offer an ideal live/work balance and steps to get you there…
First Step: Discover your passions.
Dig into your past memories and current fun times to reveal what makes you tick. What gets you up in the morning? Is it the empty art gallery next door begging for your prints to grace it’s walls, or the four year old learning to read beside you in bed? When are you the most excited about life? Take that enthusiasm and start brainstorming. What can you provide others that incorporates that passion? Everyone has one, two or in my case hundreds!
Don’t be afraid to play with ideas, bounce them off people, and give one a go. If you never try to follow something, you’ll never know if it could have panned out. Pride and fear are the only thing standing in one’s way. Far too often we hold ourselves back unknowingly. What are you doing right now that is holding you back from following your passions? What is keeping you from starting now? Invisible barriers you create in your head most likely. These are just some of the things the ladies from Only In A Woman’s World battle with in the webisodes.
Second Step: Do what you love so that work doesn’t feel like work.
Throw yourself off a cliff into the unknown. I can vouch that there is no better feeling! Breath your passions and soon the line between work and play blur. You’ll wonder how you ever wasted so many years trudging through serving, data entry and other random odd jobs. Imagine if everyone lived through their passions? How much happier and peaceful the world would become. It’s about time people took self responsibility for their own head space. When you are happy, it rubs off and triple folds on others.
Third Step: Figure out how to make enough money. Enough is what value you place on moolah.
Don’t even get me started on money. Unfortunately these worn green pieces of paper rule our world and happiness. Why do we let it? It’s like the little brother that tags along in every moment of life, accept it has the ability to cause world wars and mass destruction of the planet. As much as you’d like it to be your friend, it invariably won’t be. I wouldn’t doubt if the vast majority of stress occurring around the globe is in reference to money. Let’s take back the control people! Awaken to the fact that yes money is needed to survive, but the degree that you let it rule your psyche is up to you. When you don’t need a brand new car, TV, etc, every year suddenly money (or your lack of it) isn’t so much of an issue.
Fourth Step: Work as much as you want.
This is something I have been battling with recently. When your passion is considered work, how much of it should you be doing? Arguably, if my work is something I love I would have no problem doing it all day. Definitely not the case all the time. Some mornings the thought of writing one more post, editing another video, or teaching one more mat class makes me want to escape to an island paradise and live off coconuts for the rest of my days. And I could do that, but undoubtedly would return after a week bored to tears and eager to get back to teaching, dancing, and creating! So I’ve fine tuned my self listening skills. Awareness and present living is my steadfast mindset. Your body and being will always tell you where to go. We just have to learn to listen. Do what feels right at the moment and you’ll never be wrong. Well you might be, but at least you’ll probably be happy!
Fifth Step: Enjoy and accept every moment of life.
Yes this is possible. You can be happy right now in what ever circumstances you find yourself. It’s important to have goals, passion and drive, but what’s most humbling is realizing that you can be extremely happy no matter external circumstances. As Gandhi, Eckhart Tolle and countless others unearthed over the years, it’s all about your perception of reality. What’s going on inside you. Harnessing the power of our minds, consciousness and being is the next leap in human evolution. Get ahead of the game by trying a few mindfulness exercises here. If happiness can’t be cultivated than acceptance of what is follows. Whatever situation you find yourself in, accept it and decide to make change if you are unhappy.
Sometimes we don’t even know we are unhappy until we tap into the present and true being. We have no idea what bliss is available to us now. What is preventing you from being happy? Your brain will come up with millions of reasons. It’s just not true. Your thoughts are the only thing standing in your way. By learning to quiet them we regain our sanity. Because what’s most insane is letting thoughts and emotions rule our existence.
You are not your thoughts.
This post was brought to you by Only In A Woman’s World.