by Phindile Dhlamini-Motshegwa
If you consider it realistically, falling out of balance doesn’t really matter. In fact, I’ll argue that it’s inevitable, bearing in mind the different phases of life we find ourselves in. What I think is more important is how we choose to find our way back to centre – moment-by-moment, day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month.
‘Tis the season to be clearing
As we approach the tail-end of Autumn in the southern hemisphere and move closer towards the halfway mark of the calendar year, now is as good a time as any to reflect on the state of your life as you know it. Autumn is a season of transition where we can find a new perspective by letting go of all that we have come to know and expect of our lives. This time has been known to be one of transformation; that we can see mirrored in nature through the temperature that begins to drop, as well as the colours of grass and leaves on the trees around us that also change. This beginning of the coming colder days and longer nights signals a time for us to prepare ourselves for winter’s dark hibernation.
Autumn is meant to inspire us to make time to look inwards to contemplate the state of our life in preparation of letting go of what no longer serves us. This can relate to people, projects, prospects, dreams or any other desires you may be carrying around that might be now outdated. We are required to intentionally clear out anything that no longer fits into our lives and refocus on what matters most to us. This is a magical time that can also represent new beginnings.
“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.” – Heather Schuck
I remember a time in my life when I was working all the time; obsessed about my business and moving it to the next level. Sleep was an inconvenience to tell you the truth – the three hours I took to rest felt as though I was stealing time away from my work. It sounds ridiculous now that I think about it, but it was really intense at the time. The reality is that I didn’t allow the space for much else in my life during this period. And I was bearing the brunt of this very apparent imbalance.
The Wheel of Life
The Wheel of Life is a perceptive tool that helps you create balance by graphically identifying life aspects that are important to you – giving you a ‘bird’s-eye view’ perspective. The visual snap-shot shares insights that help you better understand where you stand in relation to the quality of life you desire to live. If you find yourself in a space where you feel burnt out or generally unsatisfied with your life, this dynamic tool affords you the opportunity to intentionally work on focusing on those parts and activities that will transform your life to be one with greater fulfilment. Everyone’s wheel is unique and made up by different spokes, including some or all of the following areas:
Professional / Business career
Family and friends
Fun and recreation
Contribution to society
You can take stock by rating each area from 1 (being the lowest) to 10 (being the highest), and create your ideal balance with the same metric. This will give you a good sense of how you will need to apply yourself in working towards bridging the gap between where you are now and your ultimate future self. There are many publicly available versions online – you can google a template that would work best for you so you can create a framework that sets out your desired future way of being.
“There is no such thing as work-life balance – it is all life. The balance has to be within you.” – Sadhguru
I invite you to spend one hour using the Wheel of Life to reflect on where you are, and take it one step further by creating a clear image of where you would prefer to be. Bear in mind your current life stage (i.e. early career, early entrepreneur, newlywed, pre-retirement etc.) as this should allow you to set attainable goals in line with your everyday reality.
The key to the approach is realising that balance is about managing your boundaries better so that you are able to create the space to be fully present and effective in each setting you’re in. As Jana Kingsford put it, “Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create”. So come on, take the first step in creating your ‘Best Life’! I promise you won’t regret it.
Phindile Dhlamini-Motshegwa is a dynamic, multi-dimensional, enterprising woman with experience in government and corporate South Africa for six years; and has spent eight years navigating the business environment as a full-time entrepreneur and business owner. She’s experienced burnout twice – the first time in 2010 working dutifully and diligently in the financial industry. And the second in 2017 as a painstakingly determined and passionate entrepreneur, burning the candle on both ends in the pursuit of fulfilling a vision. She’s lived through the consequences of a series of unhealthy choices that prioritised her career ahead of all other areas in her life. She is enthusiastic about continuing to grow her knowledge of holistic health and wellness; while sharing lessons learnt through coaching and mentorship, working with those wishing to develop and transform personal and/or professional areas of their lives.
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