Guest Blogger: Amy Wood, Psy.D.
Life Balance is an idea that most of us – even seasoned coaches — throw around without a solid grasp of its meaning. Popular misconceptions are that life balance is about juggling multiple responsibilities or having personal and professional lives equally weighted like a yin-yang symbol. The truth is that life balance is an ancient definition of success that is reached when a resonant outer life nurtures a vital inner life.
Most Americans don’t experience true life balance because our outer environments are distracting and noisy and pull us away from — rather than enrich — our inner world. We are so swept away by external directives – Respond to this signal! Read that text message! – that we feel downright depleted internally. (And that, of course, is why coaching is a booming profession.)
When you have true life balance, you feel grounded, imaginative, curious, creative, connected, confident in your inner wisdom, and fully alive. You can more wholly experience that exquisite centeredness by practicing the spirit of these suggestions:
- Wake up your senses with fresh flowers on your desk, exotic foods cooking in your kitchen, compelling art on your walls, or stirring music in the background.
- Provoke original thoughts by reading poetry and classical literature or enjoying a movie that you wouldn’t ordinarily choose.
- Get better acquainted with your intuition by walking alone in nature, or tossing your calendar for a day and letting your gut navigate.
- Give your brain a break by regularly shutting down all your gadgets and bathing your heart, soul, and mind in rejuvenating silence.
We coaches are charged with showing others the way to true life balance, and so we must be consistently balanced ourselves. If we make it a top priority to create external circumstances that provide internal nourishment, we will always be up for that challenge.
Amy Wood, Psy.D. is a psychologist, coach, co-founder of the speakers bureau Speak Performance, and author of the award-winning book Life Your Way: Refresh Your Approach to Success and Breathe Easier in a Fast-paced World. She specializes in helping coaches, therapists and other personal and professional development leaders to more effectively guide others. She is a National Speakers Association member, and is often called on for her expert opinion by media ranging from local newspapers to Parade Magazine. Dr. Wood earned her doctorate from the Adler School of Professional Psychology, is certified by the College of Executive Coaching, and is based in Portland, Maine. To learn more, visit www.amywoodpsyd.com or www.speakperformance.net.