What does balance mean to you and how do you strive for it?

I always used to say “where there is a will, there is always a way.” If something or someone is important to us or a priority, we make time for t hat special something and someone. When something is not, we simply do not. As I wholeheartedly believed this, I would go at any length to achieve this, ironically lacking balance and sacrificing my health, fitness and wellness, and ultimately, sacrificing me! Sometimes passion sparks an obsession which can cause that ardent flame to burn out. And I was a prime example of “burning the candle at both ends.” As I literally sit here and stare at my favorite candle, that song, “will you like my candle” comes to mind, ha! Yes, I think in song, mainly musicals and old movie musical classics. It’s fun!

As I come back to candles and ardent flames, I literally light a candle daily, whether it be a favorite candle I have in my room (vanilla), or my own personal candle, this flame keeps me thriving. At this juncture in my life I wasn’t fully grasping the concept of balance. I was, however, instead of lighting my favorite candle, or being a source of my own light, I was letting my own personal wick burn at both ends. I was the candle! I was burning; I wasn’t living! I did this so often, that I feared there would be no wick left to burn and flame to light, and my fading passion might not be able to sustain my spark for life. Lacking such balance practices, I wasn’t able to enjoy life to the fullest because I didn’t have the energy or the awareness to see with clarity the reality of what I was doing. Then one day, trying to keep my dim light lit, it dawned on me- the most important person and thing in my life was me! I needed to make me a priority. I needed to be “selfish” with myself. Being “selfish” in life is frowned upon by many, yet to survive and thrive, it is a necessity! However foreign this concept, for survival, sustainability and longevity, I needed to find the time for me. So, to achieve such balance, sustainability and longevity, I started to look internally.

I asked myself what it meant to put myself as a priority and to have balance in life. When I started to look internally, subjects such as health, fitness and wellness came into my awareness, and the most unknown and untapped subject, wellness, held my focus.

I have never been one to focus on wellness, perhaps because I didn’t fully understand it. I didn’t “know” wellness and we certainly didn’t have a relationship, yet I understood that it was highly important. My profession focuses primarily on health and fitness, yet the more I learn about health and fitness, the more important I find that wellness has become my focus. From my personal experience as an athlete and fitness professional, I wasn’t “well.” I was committed for practicing and embodying “healthy and fit” life habits and with balance. However, something was missing, and everywhere I turned, wellness was brought to my attention and wouldn’t leave.

And with open arms and an open heart, I welcomed the idea of wellness into my life and our relationship began and continues to blossom. Yet, what is wellness? What does it mean to have it? Like all things, to each of us “wellness” means different things. For me, wellness means to feel good, internally, and mainly emotionally and spiritually, while maintaining sustainable practices with longevity. To be well and feel well is to be in alignment with the self.

When I am in alignment with my true self, my true purpose and higher being, I am well. And I feel well! As Louise Hays says, “all is well!” And I agree; yes, I say, “all is well, all the time.” To feel well is a choice, to choose our perspective about life. We can choose to be well, we can choose to live in distress, we can choose how to be our best and higher, pure self or we can live in a reality amongst the unhappy and unhealthy rest. That choice is an opportunity to live in the best reality. It is a choice to live in balance with wellness. Choice is a beautiful gift, and we can choose to whatever we please; and I choose to be healthy, happy, well, sustainable and free. Simply stated, I choose to feel good and to feel good whiles I live in balance with all things health, fitness and wellness!

How do you do this? Let’s go back to the objective: to feel good with sustainability and longevity. Thus, when making a decision regarding the self, we can ask ourselves if the choice or decision is in alignment with the objective–to feel good. OR simple ask, “does this make me feel good for eternity?” When the answer is yes, then you are in alignment with the self, the true self, and in utmost wellness you will live, thrive and be. When we are in alignment and feeling good, our life and are in balance with our selves and beings. And that alone, is a beautiful thing and certainly an even more beautiful, inspiring and empowering feeling.

Thus, I encourage you to sit with yourself and practice feeling good. Practice the art of wellness, and start by creating time for you!

Start small and with small steps because small is better than no steps at all! So, creating time can be a little but still significant as a couple minutes to an hour in the morning or before bed. Sit somewhere quiet and sit with you, only you. During that “me-time,” be still, simplify your thoughts and mind and know that “all is well, all the time.” Perhaps repeat that phrase to yourself or a phrase that creates resonance of peace and joy within you. Those words will invoke and inspire emotions that encourage peace, health, happiness and wellness to thrive. With each phrase, note how you’re feeling. Learn your body’s response to those words and the emotions they invoke. Which words and phrases make you happier and feel better, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually? Those that make you feel better are the keys to embodying wellness. With each phrase you are getting to know you and all parts of you! The more you “know thyself,” the more you can love thyself! Each thought and emotion is unique and beautifully made for you and only you.

This, for me, is an inspiring, soothing and certainly empowering! I feel secure knowing that all is well and that all is well with me! I start my day with the choice to feel good even before I leave my bed. Now, I carry those choices with me as I walk throughout my day. When I lose sight of the feeling, I stop and refocus my thoughts and emotions onto a joyous and positive one. I am still a novice, yet with each step however big or small, I am moving forward and closer to my definition of wellness, my objective of longevity, sustainability and always with the focus being on feeling good!

Feel good, and feel good all the time. This is the essence of wellness. It is the awareness that feeling good is always available and is a choice uniquely designed for you! So, I say it again, choose to feel good, feel good all the time!

And I’m, like Nina Simone, “feeling good!”