Two nights ago I picked up The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown again, my own copy purchased with Christmas money. Yes, it’s worth buying! As I read I felt my soul climbing out of the slump it’s been in lately. Feeling the lift in my spirit reminded me that to thrive I need to be learning and growing. I’m going to make sure I’m reading a learning book every day.
That night I was reading Guidepost #6 Cultivating Creativity, Letting go of Comparison. Looking back now nothing really stands out as being what inspired me so much. I think it was more the thoughts I was having as I was reading that were really inspiring me. Does that happen to you? I had already been thinking lately about how I want to encourage my children to have balance in their lives.
I recently bought The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey, recommended by another blogger, to read with my son. The seven habits are simplified for children, but important for us all. I wish my husband and I had been taught things like this when we were children.
Habit 7 is Sharpen the Saw: Balance Feels Best. Sophie Squirrel spends all her time reading (using her mind) and becomes really tired. Her mother tells her it is important to also use her heart, body and soul. “You use your heart when you play with your friends. You use your body when you exercise. You use your soul when you find something quiet to do that makes you feel fresh inside. You need to do all those things to get balance in your life.”
I love that advice. Don’t we all need to ‘feel fresh inside’? I believe that including creativity in our lives is an important part of balance.
“The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity. If we want to make meaning, we need to make art. Cook, write, draw, doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing – it doesn’t matter. As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning.” p 96, The Gifts of Imperfection
I want to model balance for my children. Children are naturally creative – I want to support mine in the creative outlets they express interest in. I also want to show them what creativity looks like for me as an adult. Taking pictures and writing are the activities I’m most interested in these days. And walking out in nature (exercise!) with my camera is an activity that makes me feel fresh inside.
During a conversation with my Dad yesterday I realized that another part of the imbalance I’ve been feeling (the feeling like I’m under a cloud) has been that due to my illness I’ve not been keeping in touch with friends. Connecting with friends is vital to my sense of well-being.
In summary, I have realized that the following things are necessary for me to feel balanced, happy and at peace:
- Reading inspiring books = learning and growing
- Making time to connect with friends
- Exercising/walking in nature
- Being creative – with words and photography
It’s amazing the difference a few days can make to one’s outlook on life. I’m feeling so much more positive and at peace with where I’m at.
How about you? What ingredients are important for your sense of balance and peace?