Unbalanced & Running On Empty

Yesterday I woke up with a “balance issue”. I got out of bed and I had to hold on to the wall because, otherwise, I would have fallen. Every time I moved my head I had this dizzy feeling, which led to nausea. It wasn’t like the room was spinning; it felt like my brain was spinning. As the day went on, feeling nauseated actually outweighed the vertigo.

This happened to me once before (about a year ago), so I wasn’t as worried as I was the first time, but it obviously changed my day. I didn’t leave the house. I wouldn’t have been able to drive even if it was an emergency. I couldn’t really even read to fill the time, because moving my eyes made it worse. I had to bow out on a commitment I had for yesterday morning, I wasn’t able to go to my grandson’s soccer games, and I canceled a client for this morning.

Today I’m a bit better, but certainly not back to myself, running “full steam ahead”. I’m resting a lot (being horizontal seems to help) and I’m certainly not powering through the day, as I normally would be.

I don’t know if there’s anything I could have done to prevent this. When I spoke to a physician last year, he explained about fluids in the ear and a myriad of other things that cause imbalance disorders but, in my case, I pretty much had to “take it easy and let it run its course”. He also said that like many maladies “stress and anxiety may be a cause”. I don’t know too many people who don’t have “stress and anxiety” at least once in a while, and I sure don’t like being told to “take it easy”. 

Being physically “unbalanced” REALLY messes things up!

I’ve often let my life become “unbalanced” as well. Like most of us, I haven’t always taken care of body, mind and spirit. In fact, I suspect that most of my life I haven’t spent nearly as much time honoring and caring for the core of me as I have spent dealing with matters of the body and/or mind. Balance is a state of equilibrium-stability, composure, calm, harmony, serenity. In the lives of many of us, it isn’t usually there.

Professional jugglers know the importance of balance in their craft. They work at it; practice it; perfect it. We probably juggle a whole lot more “stuff” than the folks who do it for a living. The difference is we haven’t figured out how to always keep it all in the air and, sometimes, what falls to the ground is us.

In 1988, Robert Fulghum, a philosopher and minister,  wrote “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. This book is a very simple read, but filled with little tidbits of wisdom. One of my favorite lines is this:

 “Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”

Body, mind and spirit together!

In addition to not always maintaining balance, I have the bad habit of letting my car’s gas tank hit almost empty before I fill it. I’m so darned busy “doing” and “running” and “accomplishing” that I wait until my car is screaming at me “EMPTY”.

What are you putting in YOUR tank? ©2014 PeaceFullHome.com

What are you putting in YOUR tank? ©2014 PeaceFullHome.com

I’ve often let my personal tank run on empty too. I’ve not always taken the time to “fill up” before tackling the next project, hour, day, week or month, Heck, there have been times when I haven’t “filled up” for a year. How do you fill up your tanks- your mental, physical, emotional and perhaps most importantly, spiritual tank? Do you use your mind to only think one way? Do you fill your body with junk or never give it the proper rest that it needs? Do you ignore YOUR emotions by allow people to dump on you or treat you as “less than”? Do you totally neglect your spirituality; the core of your being?

You can’t be everything to everyone, and not be exhausted and burned out. Recognize where and with whom, you should spend your energy. Don’t forget that YOU need to be on the top of your list because you can’t “be there” for others if you’re falling apart yourself.

Sometimes we’re running on empty because we are RUNNING! We’re running as fast as we can from all the things that are bringing us down, messing up our plans or causing difficulties in our life. The problem is they often don’t go away. We just keep running from them. The challenge is to meet those things (or people) head on and attempt to solve the problem or extricate ourselves from the situation.

Many of us believe that if we just try hard enough we can handle EVERYTHING. I’ve been guilty of that too many times. I’ve felt like I was supposed to be Wonder Woman juggling everything thrown at me, solving all problems pitched my way, ignoring negative emotions like fear or sadness or hurt, never feeling exhausted or defeated or “empty”.

Then when my tank finally yelled “EMPTY” in big, red, obnoxious letters, I’d beat myself up for not being able to “handle what I should be able to handle”, for not being “strong enough” or “resilient enough”, or for “making the same mistake AGAIN” (and sometimes again and again).

My perfectionist tendencies still trip me up, but I understand how much my experiences have shaped who I am today; how they’ve groomed me for “not taking the easy way out”. When I look back, I realize how much I’ve learned from my mistakes. I still run my tank empty too often, and I still get out of balance and have to step back to step forward, but I’m not as hard on myself when I do.

I’m trying to honor my belief that living life joyfully, fully and peacefully is more important than making things happen perfectly.

I’m working on knowing when I have to stop for a fill up too!

©2014 Peace Full Home


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