What was, or perhaps still is, your favorite piece of playground equipment?
My favorite structure was the seesaw. I weighed more than most of my friends at the time, which wasn’t ideal given the way teeter-totters work, so I designed my own method of engagement with it to enhance my delight. On the way down I would bounce my feet off of the ground to give myself the extra momentum needed to rise.
Much like our responsibilities in life, our differences in weight made it challenging to achieve balance. The imbalance created by what is known as the pivot point at the center of the seesaw was actually what made it so much fun. How fun would it be if both of us were suspended in the middle with the plank perfectly balanced? The joy of the experience was in the rising and the falling, not in a perfectly equal distribution of weight.
When we hear the term balance, we automatically assume that it means all things getting equal weight, time, or energy. That is not the only definition, and it’s not always the most realistic way to structure our lives. What if we shifted from feeling like we have to give work, life, family, and other interests equal attention, to focus on the definition of balance that looks at what’s leftover.
Think about your bank account. After you’ve done your bill pay and other spending, there is a balance left over. Hopefully, the balance is positive, otherwise, you’ll get an overdraft fee, and thus having less will cost you more. But when there is a surplus, it gains interest.
What if we reimagined balance as the surplus of care that we make available to ourselves?
Just like bills and expenses, different things in our life need different amounts of spending. We must set a budget that includes an overflow so we can have something left for ourselves. Constantly giving out to everyone and everything else is like spending our balance down to a deficit and ultimately to our detriment.
The true secret to finding balance is at the intersection of the science of the seesaw and the boundaries of banking. At the center of the seesaw is the pivot point. It’s what makes the movement of the seesaw, and the joy that ensues possible. Pivot means to turn. Here are a few powerful pivot strategies to employ when you find yourself feeling out of balance.
Low Balance Alert. When my bank account balance gets too low, the system automatically sends me an email to let me know that my balance has dropped below a certain amount. When this happens, I know it’s time for me to transfer or deposit more funds into that account. What can act as a low balance alert in your life? For me, it’s when I feel my inspiration or motivation waning. When this happens, I transfer funds by increasing sleep, taking more breaks, and participating in activities like art, fitness, or reading which I know will replenish my emotional bank account.
Minimum Balance. Some accounts require that you maintain a minimum balance, or offer incentives like waiving fees if you keep your balance high. Beyond these formal structures, I have my own amount in mind that I don’t want my balance to drop below. When I am nearing that amount, I look at it as an indicator for me to slow down on spending until the next wave of income flows in. What is your mental or physical minimum balance? I liken this to my sleep schedule. I know that I need a minimum of seven and a half hours of sleep for optimal performance. When I find myself in a week where I’m not quite meeting that goal, I know it’s time to revisit and adjust my schedule accordingly.
High Interest. One of my savings accounts has almost $12,000.00 in it, and when I looked at the interest accrued on my bank statement, the total was $0.06. As a result, I decided to start moving more of my money into my stock market investment accounts, because even with all of the market volatility, I still maintain a steady average of a 10% to 20% gain on that money. How might you move into spaces, places, and relationships where you get more back? I am intentional about spending more time with people who have common interests, such as business, financial literacy, and reading, because I get a higher return on investment of my time in those spaces.
This week I challenge you to increase your balance by paying closer attention to your physical, social, and emotional cash flow. Spend time and energy in spaces where the interest is high and pay attention to the alerts that let you know when your balance is low. Balance is not about equal distribution, but what is left for you in your overflow.
I am protecting access to my energy.
I am slowing down to grow my overflow.
I am spending time in spaces where the interest is high for maximum return on my energy investment.
Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide