A Balancing Act
These past four weeks have been a whirlwind. My youngest daughter came back from a seven-month volunteer assignment in Indonesia and just returned to New Zealand via a week in Hawaii where her new Facebook picture let me in on her newest skydiving adventure. There were many comments about her bravery and one that said: “Don’t tell mom!”
The day after Sara left, I headed for New York to babysit my three grandchildren in Long Island. I returned last Tuesday night, just in time to be able to make my baby-rocking hour at the LB Assistance League’s Early Intervention Program. Wednesday night I facilitated my Unleash the Power of Your Intuition group and Thursday I remembered that the Laguna Beach Community Clinic was hosting their open house to familiarize locals with their full-service clinic.
The past month was all about high-level involvement. Though it was great fun, my routines went south. I ate, drank, passed on exercise opportunities, missed many phone calls, and in general flaked out on a much higher level than usual. I am still in the process of picking up my routines and trying to breathe life into them once again.
I believe it is important to make commitments and keep them and also to wholeheartedly get involved in the game of life rather than staying as a passive observer disengaged and sitting on the sidelines. Sometimes, keeping up with both skills is easier said than done.
Some have a natural leaning towards commitment while others find involvement easier. Doing life well requires both skills.
If commitment is your strong suit, you score high on reliability. You do what you say you will do. You are on time for appointments. Task focus rules. You plan your work and work your plan.
If involvement is easy for you, you probably have a good dose of curiosity about people and are open to and accepting of new experiences. You bring energy and enthusiasm to what you do. You value relationships and use openness as a tool to include others. You like cooperation and will adjust your plans to create harmony.
You can get lost in the moment and become unaware of time. You are sensitive to the moods of others and sometimes the time line gets lost in your quest for harmonious relationships.
If you can identify yourself as predominately either a commitment person or an involvement person, the following could be very useful information to help you when your life leans too heavy in one direction or the other.
When life isn’t working for commitment people, it is natural to get heavy-handed with yourself. You push. You prod. You command and demand and things bog down even more.
When involvement people get stuck, you put out more feeling energy. You become a whirlwind of anxiety and emotional energy and life becomes over-dramatic and more problematic.
It is natural to go to our strong suit when things aren’t working smoothly. The way out is to check the other side of the coin. If you are a commitment person, rather than making more to-do lists, give your mind a rest. Take a walk. Spend some time with someone who delights you. Let go of your vice-like grip on reality. Switch to involvement by letting nature give you some of its energy. Tap into the tenderness you feel for those you care about.
Involvement people, instead of staying stuck in overwhelming feelings, go to paper. Write down events as you see them. Look for those places where you may be over-reacting. Identify a few simple steps you can take and do them. Make a plan and stick to it. Ask for help. Delegate. Engage your objective, reasoning ability to break your tasks down into easy steps that will get you back on track. Give your feelings a rest.
When we embrace life with commitment and involvement we invite both clear-minded determination and wholehearted enthusiasm into our lives.