Finding Balance: How to Take Yourself Less Seriously & Embrace Life As It Is by Stephanie Cannoe
Recently, I was injured. And if you know me, you’d say that my state of being is "living an active and healthy lifestyle." So at first this injury was a major adjustment and set back, especially since I am hobbling around on crutches and to boot – I have to wear the BOOT! I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t revert back to a child kicking and screaming, as most of us do when we aren’t ready to accept a situation.
I certainly did navigate the stages of grief, including all my imagined losses that were increasing as the days passed and as my emotional pain threshold reared its ugly head, I watched the wheel go ‘round and 'round a few times. However, wisdom was there too, and, as I let go and allowed it to unfold, the wheel kept spinning, but I was no longer holding on as tightly and this new energy was able to move through me.
Smiling, I knew that this was the piece I had forgotten and I exhaled. You know that moment, we’ve all had it, the aha moment or the moment you stop arguing and laugh out loud thinking what am I arguing for, or when you stop pretending and accept how you feel and have that ugly cry. Suddenly you wake up to what is real and right in front of your eyes, in your heart and from your soul. And all the pieces come together as you simply LET GO, as you let it pass through you and a new picture begins to form.
As I became clear, I understood more about the importance and necessary balance between doing and simply being, and to be well in any circumstance is to embrace life as it is unfolding. Below I wanted to share some of the highlights, which helped me to find a new balance:
- See humor all around you. This certainly helped in itself, but especially to remind me that my situation is temporary and isn’t the end of the world! Watch a funny movie, visit a comedy club, host a game night with friends and make time for fun activities!
- Encourage playfulness. Whether it is listening to music, being silly with your kids, cuddling with a pet – however you enjoy expressing your childlike wonder and connecting with life!
- Surround yourself with fun or supportive people. Those special gems who can laugh with you and not by minimizing your suffering, but people who can completely relate!
- Embrace your suffering. This may seem counter-intuitive, but I’ve learned and as I’ve described above, that by embracing my pain with loving awareness a new found ability to relate to my pain is the result and the blessing.
- Redirect the resistive energy to get the wheel spinning in the direction you want to go instead. I am goal-oriented, so once I accepted the limitations of my situation, I decided to have fun and relax with some new goals. For example, I found a way to carry my coffee mug to my desk, which made me very happy and it shifted the focus from what I could not do – to what I still can!
- Finally, give yourself a break! When you are tired, rest, when you need a break, give yourself one. Far too often we push through and beyond where we are really at, so instead the best lesson I learned is to take it at my own pace and unexpectedly this new energy shifted in every other area, too. I started to take life less seriously.
My advice to you is to make it a point to seek out opportunities to laugh and purposely add in some fun and playfulness to your daily routines. Let go of the pursuit of perfection. Let go of the plans and goals you’ve been pursuing. Get messy and color outside the lines! Bring your attention to life. Acknowledge it! Love it! Enjoy it! Eventually the initial efforts fall away and you are living in the moment with ease.