How do I find balance? Tie a blanket

photo-1Can you tell what this is?

It's the beginning of a pink and white checked tied fleece blanket!

I spent a couple of hours tonight making a tied fleece blanket and catching up on recorded episodes of The Voice.  It was a bit of a stressful day simply because of the amount of work I needed to get done and the clients that I needed to spend time with (all clients are not created equal). By about 7:30, I was longing for something to bring some balance back into my life. For me, it involved two pieces of fabric, a pair of scissors, some very large safety pins and my hands. By 9:00 p.m. I had this ...

photo-2a wonderfully, cozy blanket that I can donate to a fund raising event this weekend

and

I was destressed!

Most people I know - CORRECTION - All people I know deal with stress. Remembering that stress can come from both positives and negatives in our lives, it doesn't really make any difference how great one's life is, there will be stress.  I have always enjoyed crafty kinds of things - sewing, needlework, scrapbooking, making cards, quilts - but it wasn't until about 10 years ago that I realized that those crafting hobbies were bringing balance into my life.  My career is one that finds me working with many different organizations and individuals. I never get to start with anyone at the beginning of a project or issue or problem; my phone typically rings when they are well into the new adventure and things aren't going as they hoped.  As a consultant or coach, I also do not have any authority to make things happen; my ability to make things happen is reduced to my ability to influence others.  The people I work with are not usually people that I have chosen either; I take who I am given to work with.  One more thing - the client often runs out of money before the project or initiative (or goal in the case of a coaching client) is complete. In a sense that means that I am always in the middle!

I have a strong personal desire to be in charge and to make decisions and to get stuff done - to see something through from start to finish. As you can see from the description above, my career doesn't exactly line up with my strong personal desires. However, I LOVE my career and I'm GOOD at it and have no desire to do anything different. What I do need is a way to bring balance into my life, so that I am getting all the things that I need to make me feel satisfied.

This is where the blanket comes in for me. Making this tied fleece blanket is a perfect balance for me.  I got to pick the fabric - the color and how much of it. I got to decide when I wanted to make it. I got to decide who I wanted to give it to.  And, within about 30 hours of purchasing the fabric, I had a completed project.  I made every decision along the way and I got to do it all from start to finish with no input from anyone and no loose ends (pun intended)!   This is something that I know brings balance to the time I spend every day in a place that does not feed those personal desires for control and completion.

I am wondering what aspects of your life need something else to balance it. I am also curious if you are paying any attention to the part of you that is feeling cheated or isn't very happy. You will be better off if you can figure out what is missing in your life and find a way to honor that need you have. When we are in balance, we not only feel less stress, but we are better able to handle it when it is there. I would love to hear what you do to bring balance to your life (or what you want to be doing)  ... no explanation or context necessary, just post a word or phrase and tell us what you do ... I can't wait to see the list!

PLEASE- forward this post to someone you care about. Get them to think about what is missing in their life and how they might do something to put it back in balance!