mindfulness and balance

As I start a new calendar year and a new semester, I, like so many Americans, am making resolutions. Establishing my resolve. Reminding myself of what I value. Making choices about how I live.

In my personal life, I’ve resolved to meditate daily, exercise regularly, eat better, and sleep more. Those are all self-care activities that will lead to better health, more energy for the things I love and value, and, in a very concrete objective, lower blood pressure.

In my professional life, I’ve resolved to be mindful about my choices, and to balance my desires against my resources. I dream big — in fact, my birthday present from my mom includes a MantraBand that reminds me to Dream Bigger — but I also have a MantraBand coming that says Persevere, which is what I have tattooed on the small of my back. And I remind myself to persevere in large part because I dream bigger. Big dreams are harder to realize. They require more work. And often, they’re worth it.

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But not always. And not always right now. Sometimes you have to look at right now and acknowledge that you don’t have the resources to dream any bigger than you already did. That right now is as good as it’s going to get for a little while, and that right now is okay. That balance doesn’t come easily to me, but we all have limits. The goal to which I am fixing my resolve for 2015 is to balance my dreams against my resources, and to dream just big enough that I’ve stretched my wings but also left myself room to breathe.

One small tactic to get me there is the sign I just made and printed for my monitor.

The things we see regularly imprint in our consciousness. I put it where I can’t miss it, and it reminds me to do things I value with the time I am given. If you’d like to do the same, here’s my template. It’s just a Word template, and you could easily make your own if this format doesn’t speak to you.

May we all find our balance in 2015!

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