Once upon a time, I thought that balance referred to the number of balls I could keep in the air without having them all come crashing down on me. I was proud of my super single mom multi-tasking abilities. I thought I was living a balanced life because I
was involved in my own spiritual, social, and
intellectual pursuits while still managing to
devote quality time to my daughters.
My body, however, didn't agree. It gave me the
first in a series of wake up calls during my
midlife transition. This turned out to be a gift
in disguise and helped me find my way back home.
But, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I found
out I was home all along. I had been making my
decisions from an entire list of "shoulds"
without even knowing it. I needed to connect
with my inner Divinity, listen to my heart, and
understand the language of my soul.
The funny thing was that I
thought I already knew how to do that. I had
been a spiritual and personal growth junkie for
decades! It was only when I was willing to throw
out all my assumptions about what I knew or
didn't know, take the time for
introspection, and rediscover what was important
and valuable to me, that my body and my outer
life began to reflect my inner life. Only then
could I develop an inner compass by which to
make big and small decisions such as what kind
of work I wanted to do, or how I wanted to spend
A balanced life is a high
quality life and we are the sole judges of what
that is. For example, when I finish
writing this I am going to spend tonight with my
granddaughters, the loves of my life, instead of
going out with friends. This choice is based on
my personal desire to spend time with family
because of the way they light up my life. I've
also spent a lot of time identifying the
qualities I want in my friends and use this list
to help decide who I encourage to come into my
Achieving balance in
midlife begins by excavating your authentic
wisdom -- the wisdom you have gained from living
all of these years and by discovering what is
important to you and why. There is no
paint-by-number kit for creating a balanced life
that fulfills each of our particular desires and
makes room for what is missing. It has to come
from within you. This is hard for many women, as
we have been "givers" for most of our lives and
being giving is where we feel comfortable. For
years many areas of our lives have reflected
someone else's priorities. Allow yourself the
time to excavate your authentic wisdom.
It takes a lot of courage
for most of us to turn inward to discover our
own enchantments (those things that nourish,
delight, awe, energize, inspire, and soothe
us). Enchantment is the language of the soul.
It is the path, like the yellow brick road, that
leads us back home to a mind, body, and soul
connection. It is your soul's intention for you.
There is no wizard, no great and powerful Oz, to
show us the way to our enchantments. But we can
become our own fairy godmothers in midlife and
grant ourselves permission to design a balanced,
high quality life—to enchant ourselves.
I invite and challenge
you to take time out of your busy life and go on
a quest for some midlife magic. Reflect,
reassess, rediscover, redesign, realign,
regroup, renew, and re-enchant yourself. It will
be the gift that keeps on giving. Here are
some tips to get you started.
Six Secrets for
Designing a Balanced Life
1) Develop serenity skills.
What methods have you explored or would you like
to explore that help you tune out the world and
tune in to your inner self? Begin to recognize
when you have tapped in to your inner Divinity
and allow yourself to bask in the bliss, the
peace, and the connection to the Divine Feminine
that lives within you.
2) Set aside an hour a week
to reassess what is important, meaningful, and
valuable to you. Look at one area of your life
each week: work, play, relationships,
finances, spirituality, social time, time for
yourself, mental stimulation, physical activity,
etc. What enchants, nourishes, inspires,
delights, soothes, stimulates, and enhances your
life in each of these areas? Be very specific
about how and why. How does it make you feel? Where do you feel that sensation in your body?
What associations do you have with it? Get
to know your enchantments intimately. Make a
huge list under each category. More information
will come to you in your dreams and from many
other places during the week. Record these
dreams and occurrences in the same place you are
writing your responses to the exercise. It is
not because we don't know the right answers that
we get stuck in life, but because we don't ask
the right questions.
3) After you feel finished
with each category, ask yourself if your
responses are coming from your authentic soul or
whether you are responding to something you feel
you should want, do, or feel. Getting in to the
habit of questioning our own assumptions is one
of the best habits we can develop to guide
ourselves back to our authentic souls. Be
willing to be radically honest with yourself. If
there is any part of your life that reflects
someone else's priorities, write down the
changes you need to make so that your
beautifully balanced life fully expresses your
4) Do some Imagineering.
The mind is a powerful instrument (thoughts are
things). We are always involved in creating our
own reality. We can use our minds to help us
design our lives in many ways. Using the mind in
new and stimulating ways will also keep it
sharp forever. Many adults have to learn how to
dream in new realities for themselves.
This is why I suggest creating a vision board.
Cut pictures and words out of magazines and glue
them onto a piece of cardboard. Hang it up by
your bed. Look at it before you go to sleep and
as you wake up in the morning. Connect with the
feelings it gives you. Bring your awareness to
those sensations. Such Imagineering will help
your reality change.
5) Ask yourself what an
authentically balanced, high-quality life would
feel and look like during a day, a week, a
month, and a year so that you can create the
feeling place of the rhythm of an ideal life. If
you notice any judgments or criticisms coming
from your inner critic just let it know that you
are doing an experiment right now. You pose no
threat to it and are just playing a game of What
If and Let's Pretend like you did when you were
a child. You are exercising your Imagineering
muscles once again.
6) Start thinking of your
life as a creation in progress and play with
this process while you begin to implement what
you find little by little into your life. Keep
modifying, molding, designing like you would a
sculpture, garden, picture, home, etc.
Midlife is not the
beginning of loss and decline. On the contrary,
if we choose to make it so, it is the beginning
of an enchanted adventure into self discovery,
renewal, and re-enchantment. It's your call.
Often, it's not until midlife that we have the
data to extract the wisdom that will give us a
If it's true that our outer
life reflects our inner life, your entire life,
right down to the cells of your body, will begin
to mirror the perspective you choose.
© Copyright Daina Puodziunas. All rights