In 2011 I took a couple of months off from my work and studies to travel the world.
My travels ended with an unforeseen break up in fall 2011.
To be honest I felt very puzzled because all my future plans and goals were suddenly gone.
I felt that I needed answers before returning home, therefore I decided to spend 1 month in Bali just to practice self-care by trying out various yoga and meditation techniques, doing palm readings, tarot cards, chakra balancing, and even asked Ketut Liyer for advice.
If you don’t know who Ketut Liyer is, he is the medicine man and healer from Eat Pray Love where Elizabeth Gilbert (in the movie played by Julia Roberts) went to receive advice after her breakup.
Eat, Pray, Love has a lot of parallels to my life and I just love the book and movie!
If you haven´t read or seen it yet I can highly recommend it, especially when you are single right now.
It’ll definitely give you some hope that good times are coming!
Anyways it was awesome to meet Ketut and to receive advice from him.
Besides Ketut Liyer I also decided to take a traditional batik class from a man called Nyoman, who was my neighbor in Bali.
I enjoyed his batik class and loved talking to him.
He told me that he was getting an offer to teach in the city for a quite huge amount of money and that he turned it down and decided to stay in the village instead and to stick with less money there.
The reason for his choice was balance.
If you have been to Bali you know what I mean when I say that the traditional Balinese are balanced.
If you haven’t been there yet I briefly explain what I mean by it.
The majority of Balinese people are Hindus.
They start their days by giving offerings to their gods for example in the form of flowers & rice placed in a self-made little basket made out of palm leaves.
They light an incent stick every morning and go into their temple.
Bali smells so great! ( I love incent sticks! ) Each house has its own little temple in the backyard.
They are thankful for their lives and for the new day, every day.
They are giving thanks also in the evening for the day that just is about to end.
In between, they work and spend time with their family as well as time with themselves.
Nyoman decided to stick to his balanced way of life instead of giving it up for money.
If he would choose the new job in the city, he would need to leave the house very early in the morning, wouldn’t be able to make the offerings, spend time with his family, and have alone time.
It would be just about waking up early, driving a few hours to work, and coming home in the evening.
This would be very imbalanced in his eyes and the reason why he turned it down.
This made me realize how imbalanced we live in the western world and made me think about what we could do to bring more balance into our lives.
I came up with 5 strategies I want to share with you that you can implement into your daily life for more balance, no matter where you live.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Create a morning routine
- Schedule in downtimes
- Get enough sleep
- Silence your mind
- Plan ahead
1. CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE
We don´t have so strong traditional rituals in the western world like the Balinese have in Bali, but we can create our own routines.
Why not light a candle or incent stick every morning and start the day by being grateful for what you have in life?
Establishing a morning routine means consciously creating time every morning just for yourself right after waking up.
Hal Elrod has a great formula in his book called The Miracle Morning where he suggests implementing the SAVERS method into the morning routine.
SAVERS stands for:
Silence helps to reconnect with your soul.
Therefore you can use any meditation technique.
If you haven’t meditated before or want inspiration read my quick intro post on how to meditate for beginners.
Our minds are by nature more focused on the negative rather than on the positive.
This helped our ancestors in the stone age to react to dangerous situations more quickly.
This helped to protect their lives.
We don’t live in the stone age anymore, but parts of our brains haven’t evolved that much since then.
Therefore parts of our brains are still wired in a way that they focus more on the negative rather than on the positive.
This natural behavior of our brains can not only protect us from dangerous situations but can also hold us back to live our full potential.
Our negative thoughts are fueled by the experiences we see and hear in the news and in our surroundings.
The news on the tv, newspaper, and radio is most often negative.
It’s not that nothing positive happens in the world.
It’s just that we are more receptive by nature to negative news compared to the positive.
Most of the negative thoughts and fears we have today are without any reason.
We fear the unknown and stand in our own way by thinking negative thoughts.
Using affirmations helps our brains to focus on the positive.
Louise Hay was the queen of positive affirmations.
She created a variety of products (books, audiobooks, card deck, affirmation coloring book)
dedicated to positive affirmations.
Power Thoughts 365 Daily Affirmations by Louise Hay
Everyday Positive Thinking by Louise Hay
101 Power Thoughts by Louise Hay
The 3rd part of a successful morning routine according to Hal Elrod is using visualizations.
This means visualizing your most desired dream in a way as if you’ve already achieved it.
Imagine as if it would be already your reality.
A vision board is a very helpful tool when you are taking consciously time to visualize your future.
Choose your favorite exercise and implement it into your daily routine.
May it be yoga, dancing, some stretching, pilates, running, or something else.
The main thing here is to get your body moving.
Wake up your body with your favorite exercising routine and let your energy flow for at least 30 minutes every day.
I personally love Yoga and even if I don’t feel like exercising at all, at least a few sun salutations I try to do every morning.
The last of the 6 pillars is reading.
Choose an uplifting, inspiring book and read a couple of pages every morning before you start working.
If you are too sleepy in the morning to read a book- no excuses!
Go for the audiobook version! This is actually what I like to do.
Now you have all 6 steps and resources to dive in deeper to create an awesome morning routine.
Using these 6 pillars every morning will naturally help you to reconnect with your body, mind, and soul.
Starting the day by dedicating time to nurturing your mind, body and soul will have a long-lasting energizing effect on your entire day.
2. SCHEDULE IN DOWNTIMES
Scheduling in downtimes into your daily life is crucial for a healthy work-life balance.
A rule of thumb for scheduling in downtime is “The more stress you have the more downtime you should schedule in for self-care”.
It might sound counterproductive at first.
However the more you feel stress and overwhelm, the more your body and mind will thank you that you are appreciating yourself.
Once a Buddhist monk told me:
“The less time you have for meditation, the more you should meditate”
In your case, it doesn’t have to necessarily be meditation.
It can be anything that makes you feel connected and relaxed.
It may be a massage, manicure, pedicure, an appointment at a hairdresser, or going out with your girlfriends or just sitting on the couch and sipping tea and reading a book or watching an inspiring movie with your significant other.
Schedule in time regularly for self-care!
3. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Make sure to get enough rest and high-quality sleep.
Sometimes it’s just not worth watching tv just for the sake of tuning out.
In this case, oftentimes it’s more effective to get some good high-quality sleep instead.
Better just go to bed with a great inspirational book and get some rest.
4. SILENCE YOUR MIND
Silence your mind by avoiding unnecessary, negative information from the outside.
Rather look/check-in with yourself and find out what you truly desire and want right now.
Enjoy a cup of tea or go for a walk in nature and simply unplug after your workday.
Meditate or go to a yoga class after work to relax and leave the stress behind.
Meditation has truly changed my life for the better and I can’t recommend it enough.
In case you aren’t meditating yet, this is your sign to get started with it NOW!
The best way you can clear your head, meaning to become more aware of your thoughts and mindful about your actions is through meditation.
If you are considering giving meditation a try I’d recommend starting with the easy yet effective 5-week Meditation For Beginners course lead by the experienced meditation teacher Giovanni Dienstmann.
Get access to this powerful online course here!
5. PLAN AHEAD
Don’t let destiny decide what’s going to happen with you in the future.
Take responsibility for your life, plan it, and go for your dreams.
Start with your vision then turn it into achievable goals and finally into daily mini-goals you can accomplish.
Use the templates from the printable Go For Your Dreams Planner to plan ahead. It will walk you through the entire process of defining your greater vision and breaking it down into small action steps.
Download the free Go For Your Dreams Guide and learn about the steps you have to take to achieve your goals.
Use the templates from the printable Go For Your Dreams Planner and turn your dream into an actionable plan.