I bang on about finding balance a lot… mostly because I have directly experienced the benefits for myself by slowly finding my still point amongst the spinning world.
I truly believe that part of achieving balance is in the art of selfishness. Now, of course I don’t mean the pointless, nasty kind. I simply mean putting yourself first in order to keep the little pieces of yourself together.
Recently I posted up 17 ways to find balance after a recent talk I gave on balance. I tried to make it clear that balance isn’t something you can just sign-up for and hey-presto, there it is. I also tried to clarify that it is a) simple – you just need to tune into who you really are and b) it is forever changing – be prepared to stop, reassess and reevaluate what ‘balance’ means to you at different life stages.
Today, however I’m offering up 6 ways to get selfish. I get asked a lot how I became calmer, more focused and centred – mostly by the people that didn’t know what I used to be like!  So in answer to that question below is a list of really simple ways to help you on the road to a little more ‘me-ness’ in your life, which will ultimately lead to balance.
They may seem very obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many things on this list we don’t do regularly. And that is the key – regularity, consistency. Just like you shower and brush your teeth daily (hopefully!) we, as human beings, need routine and regime for change to occur.

Get cherry-picking from this list, or find other ways that resonate with you. Inject them into your life one by one and do so with awareness. Pay attention to how they make you feel, the changes you experience and try to connect with the experience.
  1. Don’t be a martyr… if you are sick, take a day off work. If you are super-strung out, take a mental health day. No one needs you to be a hero! Really it just shows that you don’t love yourself enough. No one else is going to hold back when they need a day-off, leaving you to pick up the slack. So if it’s legit, please, just realise that your body (and your mind!) is singing out loud and clear, so listen up and just press pause. 
  2. Journal – if not daily then weekly. Brain dump – get all the junk out of your head and onto paper. I mean, really, truly say all the angry, annoyed, horrible things that even surprise you to hear/think and make peace with the realisation that those thoughts aren’t you! Once that is done, slowly allow your creative brain to start ticking over – you’ll be surprised by the things that come out. Often you’ll find clarity on issues you are facing, or you’ll be enlightened by a new idea. Mostly you’ll just spend time with yourself – your internal self – and start to understand yourself better – you’ll start to make more sense to yourself and realise what you want, or don’t want in your life.
  3. Schedule ‘me’ time. Once a week do something in that is totally about you – get your nails done, have a massage, go shopping, do a yoga workshop, read in the park, have an afternoon nap … do it without rhyme or reason and try not to rationalise it or analyse it. React to how you are feeling in the moment and then do exactly what pops into your mind, what you desire. Be free with the experience – everything we do it so controlled and planned, so try and be spontaneous! Just do something simply because you can and you want to – guilt free.
  4. Cull. Weed out the people in your life who don’t nourish who you are or where you want to go. A friend of mind refers to them as energy vampires because they suck the life-force out of you. Start to reassess the people you surround yourself with and question if they will encourage your lifestyle changes or impede them. And ask – what do I get out of this relationship?   
  5. Say no. Yes, I know you’ve all heard this one before. But, do you practice it? I give a lot of myself to my friends, family and clients. But I know that I need to say No in order to keep giving with love sans bitterness. If you don’t want to do it, or you haven’t enough time, or your body is saying rest, or even if you just need to practice saying no – just say no. Do so with kindness but realise you are in charge of yourself, your life, your actions. It is always a choice. Like this post, I wrote this sitting in the sun in the park by the harbour. I had a choice to do something that didn’t excite me, nor was it a good use of my time. Instead I kindly passed on the offer and enjoyed some alone time studying, reading and writing. It felt so good and no one is any worse off because of it!
  6. Disconnect. Turn your phone on silent or leave it at home! The world won’t combust. You can enjoy a short amount of time without distractions and forced conversation. And simply, just to learn how to be you without you + iPhone, iPod, Twitter, Facebook … blah, blah, blah!
There are hundreds more ways to bring balance into your life. But we all need to start somewhere … being selfish is a great place to start.
I’d love to hear how you get selfish? 
Signing off with an exhale.
Pause. Listen. Live


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