When I think about nature, a word that quickly comes to me is balance. The sun rises, the sun sets. There is ebb and flow in the sea. Flowers bloom and die. Animals in the wild live in balance with their environment. And so on.
It seems to me that many of us human beings have forgotten how to live our lives in balance, especially us in the Western world. Everyone talks about work-life-balance but do you know anyone who is actually living in balance? And is there really such a thing as work-life balance to begin with, because isn’t everything life?
I for sure, to put it frankly, royally suck at living in balance. I have a tendency to go all-in while disregarding my boundaries and listening to my body’s reactions that I’m pushing myself too hard. And I believe I’m not alone.
As you know if you have read this blog before, a couple of years ago I felt that I had been pushing myself too hard, for too long. My balance was totally off and I felt my whole being needed a huge shift to the exact opposite side. So I quit my job and moved to Spain where I did absolutely nothing for 7 months. I read books, I slept and I ate. That’s pretty much it. For seven freakin’ months!? It’s a testament to how off-balance I felt.
But then I moved back home to Sweden, started my own company, dove right into a pretty demanding consultancy assignment and off I went again. During this time I also finished my holistic counseling-education, launched my website and opened up a space for clients. Fast forward 14 months and here I am. Not quite as exhausted, but still I feel the need to create more balance in my life (again). Which is why I am writing today from a resort in Marrakesh, Marocco. I have not been doing anything here now for almost a week, except for reading books, eating and drinking (and taking care of my poor family members who unfortunately got food-poisoning and have been feeling miserable). It is my intention to come home in a couple of days and not dive directly into something extremely demanding again, but rather take it a bit slower so I can really listen to my body and my soul. What is a good next step for me at this point? I feel privileged to have the means and time to explore this further in my own pace.
I recently learned a new word that immediately spoke to the core of my being. The word is titration. It is a method used in chemistry to find exactly how much of a substance there is in a solution by gradually adding measured amounts of another substance that reacts to it in a known way (for example by causing a colour change). But the chemistry-context of the word is not what spoke to me. I learned about titration in a training I recently started, called Somatic ExperiencingⓇ (SE). For the upcoming three years I will learn about this method of working with people and trauma. It’s a subject that highly interests me and I feel very privileged to be part of a group consisting of doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and different forms of body workers and therapists, all of us being taught by a world-renowned SE-teacher from the States.
In the context of SE as I have understood it, titration is all about going slow. So what does that mean? It means that the therapist fully respects the pace and the space of her/his client. Never pushing a person to do or say anything that she/he doesn’t feel ready for. Never forcing anything. Just very gently and subtly work with a person and her/his trauma in a very particular way with a lot of focus on the person’s autonomic nervous system.
Gradually adding measured amounts… The more I contemplate this, the more I feel that the concept of titration applies not only to chemistry or working with trauma, but also to living a life in balance. It means not ‘shocking’ my system with stimuli it isn’t ready for while at the same time not falling down into lethargy either. But rather gradually adding measured amounts of whatever it is that I want or need in my life at that specific moment. It can be that I add a workout or something fun one day, or that I add relaxation and doing-nothing the next day. But it’s also about choosing to take a proper lunch-break instead of eating in front of my computer for example. It really can be the smallest things but it’s all about constantly looking to create balance within myself and make sure that my being doesn’t get ‘stuck on on’ or ‘stuck on off’. This requires a lot of awareness!
I can instinctively feel when I’m grounded and centered inside myself and it’s really the most powerful feeling. From that balanced space I find my power, creativity, joy and lots of energy that just flows without any efforting. It’s the way I believe we are intended to live: in balance. Within ourselves, with each other and with nature. I believe I will never stop inquiring into balance and what it means to me in how I am living my life, day to day. Writing this blog is a huge help for me in this inquiry, which is why I choose to continue to write.
If you read this and feel that you are off-balance, the following quote I recently found (by someone unknown) is my sincere wish for you:
Keep taking time for yourself
Until you are you again
With love ♥
Photo: Martin Sanchez – unsplash.com
-Do you feel stressed, tired, burned out, numb, have difficulty to focus or feel joy?
-Is the voice of your mind running your life?
-Do your past experiences affect your daily life?
-Do you wonder if there is more to life than sleep-work-entertainment-sleep?
As of august 2019 I offer holistic counseling sessions in Swedish, English and Dutch, in person and via Skype. A holistic counseling session with me gives you space to take a break from this hectic world and be present with what is.
Interested? Read more at:
poolside.se (in Swedish)
poolside.se/en (in English)
poolside.se/nl (in Dutch)