We live in a world that often expects us to function much like computers: always on, always at maximum capacity, always at optimal levels of performance. And as humans, and especially for those of us who are sensitive to the “too muchness” of things, we know this is simply unsustainable. This always on, always going pressure eventually ends up depleting us, much like a lush, green plant that goes too long without water. The roots starve and it begins to wither away slowly, from within.
But what if life – and your approach to life – didn’t have to follow the “always on” rule? What if there were a way to keep your roots nourished while at the same time running at levels that were optimal for you? The following four steps can help you develop a plan that:
• keeps your roots nourished and strong
• allows you to create a life that’s balanced and healthy
• allows you to feel and perform your best
Step 1 – Assess Your Roots
The following are the six roots that form the basis of your life:
Spending time connecting with others is critical to building strong relationships and a healthy support network. It provides you time to experience the full spectrum of human emotions and learn more about yourself in the process. In addition, some of the most important conversations you have are with yourself. What you tell yourself about you – your story – goes a long way in how you relate to others and the world at large.
Having a sense of clarity helps calm and focus your mind which leads to less stress, an enhanced feeling of fulfillment, and the sense that you have influence over your life. Getting in the habit of cultivating curiosity or inquisitiveness can also allow you to learn new things and keep you mentally sharp as you age.
Emotions are the life blood of human experiences. Feeling a variety of emotions, not just one overpowering emotion, whether good or bad, is a good indicator of your emotional health. Having a sense that you can both honor and express your emotions appropriately (even the not so pleasant ones) gives you a sense of influence which allows you to build resiliency when faced with challenges.
Your vitality – in other words, how you feel about yourself physically and how your body feels – goes a long way toward how you experience life. Having the ability to balance periods of exertion and rest feeds that vitality and is critical to keeping your body running at optimum levels. That sense of endurance, not necessarily the ability to run a long race or exert yourself for long periods of time, but the ability to get up each day knowing you have energy, will help you lead a longer and happier life.
Your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors around money can be one of the most important yet sometimes challenging areas of your life. Developing an awareness around your habits and beliefs about money is key to establishing a healthy relationship with it. Having financial targets to shoot for, whether large or small, can help focus and motivate you to develop better discipline, more positive beliefs and a new sense of peace with money.
Look at each root and figure out which one is starving the most; which one needs the most care and attention? You’ll probably have more than one root that’s in need of help, and that’s fine. Notice how you feel about each root and try not to overthink it.
Step 2 – Understand How Roots are Interconnected
Because your roots are interconnected, it’s important to understand how caring for one will impact the others. Think about the roots you said were starving; can you list out your roots in order of most neglected to most healthy? What are the top three roots that need the most help? How will working on your number one most neglected root help the other two of your top three? Take some time to brainstorm ideas that you can immediately act on that can help you start feeding and caring for those top three most neglected roots.
Step 3 – Choose a root to focus on
Now that you understand interconnections and have come up with some ideas on how you can start to tend and care for your roots, choose one root to focus on. Again, don’t overthink this, just go with your gut; what root are you really drawn toward and why? Which root, if properly fed, would help you feel stronger, live with more energy, get back in balance, and also benefit your other roots as well? Remember there is no right or wrong answer here, there’s just your answer and how you feel about what would help you the most.
Step 4 – Make a plan and take a step
In order to start caring for your chosen root, choose one of the activities you brainstormed in Step 2 and start on that brainstorm item within the next 24 hours. The wonderful part about making your plan is that it is your plan; you get to decide what you want to do and whether that’s starting small (such as changing something in your schedule, rearranging a room to make it more comfortable, taking 5 minutes here and there to de-stress) or jumping in with both feet (such as having a boundary conversation with someone, starting a new habit, quitting something cold turkey). Regardless of what you do, congratulate yourself for taking a step and monitor how you feel as you go; remember that bringing wilted roots back to life takes time and perseverance.
Growing and maintaining strong roots is an ongoing process but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal. By staying curious and in touch with how you feel, you’ll be able to sense when any of your roots are starting to suffer and you can use these four steps to get them back into a balance that is unique to only you. Healthy roots equal a healthy life so don’t neglect your roots any longer.
If you’d like to learn more about how to your bring your roots back into balance and have some fun along the way, please click here to learn about Balancing for Bliss.