Breakthrough + Balance: Self-Care
Welcome to part one of a mini-series I’m calling “Breakthrough + Balance”! As a yoga lover, I’ve learned that a lot of lessons you learn on the mat translate into the rest of our world. One of the lessons that I learned in a yoga class and found super insightful is this truth: Breakthrough comes not when you learn what to tighten but when you learn what to relax. To that concept, I’ll add the idea of balance because learning what to relax both on the mat and in the world have brought both breakthrough AND balance in each realm.
Before getting too deep in this discussion, I want to briefly define what I’m talking about.
Breakthrough: I’d like to talk about breakthrough as overcoming an obstacle but with an internal approach. So if you’re looking for financial breakthrough, my definition wouldn’t necessarily mean you suddenly inherit a ton of money or even get a pay raise at work. Financial breakthrough to me might look like the absence of stress when you consider your financial condition or finding joy and satisfaction in the way you make money. In yoga terms, for analogy, breakthrough has been when I no longer dread what was previously a super challenging posture. Often, this is a result of gaining new methods that make the posture easier or looking forward to trying a new approach to enhance my yoga practice.
Balance: When I use the word balance, think “alignment” because the two go hand in hand. When I've learned to relax the right muscle in a difficult posture, I've seen my alignment magically correct itself, making balance more effortless. Continuing with the financial analogy, balance in the context of this post would look like your spending habits being brought under control due to simply making internal adjustments about material aspirations or aligning your finances with your priorities.
Tighten: Tightening in this context refers to increasing tension or stress. It's focusing your effort and energy on a problem and muscling through it.
Relax: When I say "relax," I'm referring to backing off that tension referred to above. It's making a conscious decision to release tension or control.
Well that introduction took longer than I planned! I decided to write this post because this week has been STRESSFUL, which usually I can handle without any deep introspection. But I saw a lot of others posting on IG about self-care or (the flip side) exhaustion this week. Another reason I decided to write this post is because my #1 habit I need to "relax" has been harder to come by than usual. I'm talking about SLEEP people!
When I sleep well, I can take on the world. When I don't sleep well, I feel it and I'm 100% sure Kolby feels the pain too. When I'm able to take the time to relax, the rest of "me" is stronger. The breakthrough happens when I get home from work and still have the energy and positivity to work out or tackle projects at home. When I get solid sleep, I make better decisions about what I eat throughout the day because I'm internally balanced and not trying to adjust my mood with junk food. I'm a better me.
What is your self-care need? While mine is sleep, others need alone time. Other people read or write or create art. Whatever your relaxation technique is, I'm sure you know how it feels when it's a part of your week and you definitely how it feels when you're lacking it. Every metaphorical muscle in you cannot be tense at all times! When you learn to relax the right ones, a funny thing happens. Other muscles can get stronger. The struggle gets easier. The weight you carry gets lighter. You experience breakthrough and stop dreading whatever challenges you have to face. And you find balance internally, keeping you from swinging from one mood to another uncontrollably.
I'd love to know your thoughts on this topic! Self-care is something we all need, so let's talk about it!
BREAKTHROUGH + BALANCE POST #2 WILL BE ON RELATIONSHIPS. FOLLOW ME ON IG FOR UPDATES!