The Power of the Plate: How to Live a Well-Balanced Life
- Have some silent time when you can simply witness whatever may be going on.
It removes the shakiness. You then detach from the mind what it's feeding you as the worst-case scenario; you tune back into your breath. When the breath is easy, the mind is calm. If you can't find 20 minutes a day to be totally quiet, something is wrong with your day. Period. Schedule it in, like any other appointment.
- Strengthen your relationship with your Higher Self, your Creator—whatever you may call that in your words and in whatever way suits you best.
Prayer, meditation, simply focusing on being loving to everything and everyone no matter what (the real definition of living spiritually—in my humble opinion), going to church and places of worship, retreats, fasting, reading books of higher wisdom, giving back or simply being in nature.
- Be gentle with yourself and others.
Stop the inner dialog that's all about disapproval and telling you what's wrong with you. Catch it—it will speak up dozens of times a day. Bring it out of your blind spot. The disapproval program that's always running creates that incessant shakiness on the plate. Be gentle with others: the waiter, cab driver, person at the airport or operator. Be gentle in the way you email people, in how you leave voicemails. Any form of harshness makes you feel far away from your real essence—what is your glue, what holds all this life together. When you don't act with kindness and gentleness, you don't feel good about yourself and your life, and you may not even know why. Care. Care about something other than your plate, your goals or ambitions. Your essence is to stay in connection and harmony with others, to give back, to see how you can serve. That's when you always feel your best.
Remember that at the core, everyone is the same. Everyone gets a plate. That gift is your birthright. Somehow your programming and education may mislead you into thinking life is about putting things on it, having more on the plate than others have on theirs. It's a giant comparison game. It's a feeling of being separate from others. Instead, you should be happy simply to take care of your plate, who and what you really are. It will give you perspective on appreciating everything that eventually gets on there and anything that may be taken away during times of change and transition.
Ariane de Bonvoisin is the CEO and founder of First30Days, a New York City-based media company focused on guiding people through all types of changes, both personal and professional and social or global. She has a monthly column in Redbook magazine and AdAge, is MSN's life change expert, a contributing editor to BusinessWeek.com, and a life balance expert for Health magazine and has appeared on dozens of TV and radio shows, including NBC's Today, the CBS Early Show, CNN Radio and ABC News Now. She is a Huffington Post contributor and has written articles for media outlets including Yahoo!, Town & Country, Advertising Age, the New York Daily News, Reader's Digest, MSN and Mediabistro, among others. Her latest book is The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier (HarperCollins). For more information about de Bonvoisin, visit www.first30days.com.
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