Posts in Life balance
First world problems, or are they?

Today I was listening in the car to my local radio station and had a laugh. The lighter topic of the morning was about ‘first world problems’.  Now if you have not heard of this concept before here’s a quick snapshot.  Such problems are those that can occur in developed societies, cultures and countries with high standards of living.  First world societies can afford non essentials, luxuries, conveniences. When looked at objectively in the bigger context of including the problems of those in both second and third world societies, a ‘first world problem’ can then appear trivial and not worth complaining about. In other words the phrase is used to give someone a bit of perspective.

Examples abound. The one being shared on the radio to start the conversation was about how an ill fitted cup lid affected the radio hosts ability to drink her coffee.  Others followed.  I liked the one about an app not downloading fast enough on one’s smartphone.  

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A plea for mother Earth

This post is another one that I recorded in audio first. The following is a transcription of my verbal sharing.  I wrote this after waking this morning from a restless sleep thinking and feeling for what is happening in the world at the moment. I am sure you are too. So I hope that you can relate to this sharing. You also may wonder why I am writing about such a topic. I do because I am passionate about people being true to self. Being a person who supports people in transition I also believe that as a collective whole we all need to support a lot of people in transition right now.

I write this from my heart and when I say that I really mean that I am feeling what I am saying to you. I have continually listened to and paid attention to the happenings in the world of late.  And what strikes me is that almost every day we get touched by a natural disaster or a change in the way the Earth is experiencing living with us humans. 

I am not an expert nor anyone who can even comment on the fragile relationship we have as man and Earth. What I can say though is as an observer, as a person who feels deeply, is that we are not paying attention. And the only way that the earth can actually say anything to us seems to be to yell and scream like a child having a tantrum. Only Earth isn't a child. Earth is our mother. Earth is akin to a mother. Earth protects us nurtures us and looks after us.  Earth turns a blind eye when we abuse it when we crank up the terrible things we do to hurt it and says no matter what I'm still there just like a mother would do to a child.

© Jenn ShallveyI feel this so strongly because every day I walk around in nature. And as a person who enjoys nature and at the same time also uses things that probably hurt nature, I remember there's a balance.  So I'm not saying I'm perfect. I'm not saying that I actually am an example or role model for you.  What I am saying though is my conscious awareness is so full on right now about what is happening around us that I can't sit by and do nothing.

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Act in balance
How often do you talk about something, get all fired up and passionate and then do nothing?  I bet if you are like most, your chatter meter is up high. In our intellectual and communication driven world it is easy to get caught up in the talk so much that we lose time taking the action.  In fact some of you might even say reading this blog post is a distraction from action. Well, it will be if you are someone already taking action. I presume since you are reading you are still on the fence and mustering up motivation.

I know because I am like you. I talk a lot. I confess, with all intentions of being fully open and authentic, that I talk a lot.  Some would say I rant, others might say I waffle.  Then there are people who say I inspire, motivate and encourage. So upon reflection my talk sometimes does work and other times does not. Perhaps the first is my own inner critic and ego in battle with my higher self. Luckily that wiser more knowing part of me usually wins out.

The key here is to know when your talk is just that, all talk, hot air and leading to nowhere.

I write this post in the context of great changes happening around the world. Whether climatic, social or political the world is experiencing a shift. For many of us we have to go to history books to read about events of such life altering significance.  I am not here to comment on these events. I will leave such dialogue to those on the ground, in the midst and fully briefed on such events. Instead I would like to comment on how we as a community respond to and handle our reactions.

So back to the fence.

© Jenn Shallvey
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Being in your funk so you can get out of it

Do you ever just have one of those days?  You know, the ones where you can’t seem to get out of your funk.  I say funk because I can think of no other word that encapsulates the feelings of apathy, frustration, anger, boredom, sadness, distraction, impatience, woe.  Well there are more I am sure, but I am not here to be a Thesaurus. What I am here to be is real.

So I decided that I would post when in a funk. Risky you might say. Some would say this will come back to bite me. Others may say don’t share your funk with me, it might be catching.  You are right.  On one level if I focus too much on my funk then I stay in it. On another level if I hang with you and let this foul smelling energy waft your way you will eventually feel it to. It is not my wish to stay in nor to share it.

IMG_0930Instead I want to highlight a few points that may help you:

A: feel OK when you happen to fall into one yourself, and

B: are around a person you care about who also is in one.

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Take the break you need or you will break

Many times I chat with people their busy lives becomes a topic of conversation. Each day is filled with activity, doing something, taking care of this or that. It almost seems like each waking moment is taken up without a spare chance to reflect, pause and relax.

I noticed that today I was equally as busy. My day had planned activity from 6:30am - yes on a Sunday - through to 9:00 tonight. Every minute was commited.

This type of day is typical if you are in a network of people who value you or need you. In my case today was both.

What I question is how much we lose out in the negotiation of our time we give to people who value us and need us. When is it ever enough? For some we can always keep trying as the pain of the guilt is far worse. For others it simply is a matter of feeling good about helping and making others happy so we put their needs first.

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Take the break you need or you will break

Many times I chat with people their busy lives becomes a topic of conversation. Each day is filled with activity, doing something, taking care of this or that. It almost seems like each waking moment is taken up without a spare chance to reflect, pause and relax.

I noticed that today I was equally as busy. My day had planned activity from 6:30am - yes on a Sunday - through to 9:00 tonight. Every minute was commited.

This type of day is typical if you are in a network of people who value you or need you. In my case today was both.

What I question is how much we lose out in the negotiation of our time we give to people who value us and need us. When is it ever enough? For some we can always keep trying as the pain of the guilt is far worse.

Commitment equals choice

Well today I realised that each commitment is a choice. We have a choice in whether we commit to ourself or someone else. On the surface this may seem selfish to some. However I think that deep down the choice we make to look after ourself is ultimately to the benefit of those who value us or need us.

So for example not getting time for regular exercise will put some out of sorts. For others it is lack of sleep. And for others it is simply the lack of 'down time'.

Warning signs

To me there are a few warning signs that you need to put in some me time to balance out the equation. Do you:

1. say out loud to others that you need a break
2. feel pangs of jealousy when someone takes a holiday without guilt
3. wonder how others do it when they fit in a lunch time run or exercise before work.
4. get cranky over little things that get in the way of your plan or schedule
5. resort to dictatorial orders to get others to follow your requests
6. look arond nervously when you take 5 minutes to read a book or magazine
7. accrue annual and sick leave even though you know you should take it
8. always say yes when people ask you to to do something
9. fill your diary with appointments related to other people's needs
10. take forever to organise basic self care - eg doctor, dentist, hair, beauty

These are just a few of a possible many indicators. Consider your response to these comments. Then consider your feelings. If you start to resonate with the above then maybe it is time for you to take a break.

Responding to the challenge

Depending on the scale of your reaction you may need to respond accordingly. For example if you scored quite heavily on all 10 comments then a solid period of time allocated just for you is in need - eg weekend away, holiday, mental health day.

If only a few are pushing your buttons then perhaps an adjustment of your priorities and schedule will help.

If nothing resonates then fantastic. If this is the case I applaud you for setting the example for others. Please choose to give back now and mentor someone else who could benefit. Clearly you will balance this decision with the right amount of time to recharge your own batteries.

Enjoy getting back in balance.

Let's go there...

Jenn

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