Welcome to fall, my favorite season!
On September 22, the terminator, the line which divides daylight hours from nighttime hours, ran vertical to the equator. When the terminator is in this position, we experience an equal amount of day as we do night. In the Northern Hemisphere, we call this day the Fall Equinox.
On the equinoxes (we have one in March too), I make time, not only to welcome the new season, but also to review where I experience balance, or not, in my life. I consider this activity a wellness check and give myself permission to evaluate how I am spending my time, on whom I am spending my energy, and where I am experiencing meaning and fulfillment.
Below is a practice to support finding balance in your life. Use the prompts to get clarity and to support a lifestyle that promotes health and wellbeing.
Equinox Review Prompts
- Get out your calendar and notice how you spend your time. Just don’t think about it: really look at your calendar. Tally up the numbers. How many hours are spent in each activity? How much sleep do you get? How much time do you spend in front of a screen? How much time is spent on creative endeavors? By yourself? The more precise you are, the more accurate the total picture. If you don’t have a system for keeping track of your time, then try keeping a log for one week. Seeing the results in print makes it more difficult to ignore or to minimize the truth.
- Make a list of the people on whom you expend energy. Keep in mind you expend energy on folks even when they are not interacting with you. When you make someone a meal, write an email on their behalf, or think about them when they are not there, you are expending energy. Notice how much energy you spend on each individual. Then notice if this expenditure of energy feels uplifting or depleting.
- Pay attention to the experiences that are meaningful to you or which cause you to feel fulfilled. Physical sensations may offer you clues. For example, you may notice a heightened sense of aliveness – like an electric charge is going through your body. Another indication that you may find an experience rewarding is you feel peaceful while engaged in the activity. Make note of what makes you happy, even if initially you may feel challenged. Quite often the experiences which seem difficult at first end up being the most rewarding. (Delayed gratification can be super sweet.)
After spending some time with these prompts, review your answers and ask yourself if these choices bring balance to your life. Do your choices reflect your values, support your dreams, and sustain your life force? If the answer is no, then get curious. Try removing an activity or spending less time with someone or even trying a new endeavor and notice how the change feels. Experiment until you find a schedule that is a good fit for you.
I have a friend who was an EXTREME night owl and often stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning. In a radical experiment, she decided to switch her schedule around to see if going to bed early (8 or 8:30 pm) and waking up early (6 or 6:30 am) made a difference in her overall energy and health.
Over the course of several months, my friend trained her body to go to bed earlier and was pleasantly surprised by the results. She discovered that her body thrived on the new schedule and reported feeling better and having more energy. My friend realized that her previous habit of staying up late was just that – a habit she developed over the years. Staying up late was not a fixed outcome: she had choice.
One caveat: don’t confuse balance with delegating equal amounts of time or other resources to the people and activities in your life. Balance is recognizing that you have different needs and abilities depending on where you are in your life, in your week, or in your day. Honoring yourself and respecting your limits are part of finding your balance. Asking for help and seeking understanding are part of finding balance too.
Wishing everyone a beautiful and meaningful fall!
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Five years later, Kim is still in the flow of supporting and building a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.
Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.