Sonia Choquette

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Achieving balance is more attainable than we thought.

In a world of over stimulation, endless meetings and non-stop schedules, it’s no wonder finding balance is so elusive. But it’s attainable with a little effort, according to this popular author, storyteller and six sensory teacher.

How do you define balance?
It’s your ability to respond from a grounded, clear space.

How do you achieve it?
The most important component to achieving balance is to take a moment to reflect and review your values and priorities. What matters to you? What do you value and hold sacred in your life? Get real clear about that; maybe there are two, three or four things. Part of the reason we lose balance is because we lost what was important to us. The first step toward achieving balance is a little bit of quiet time with just yourself, where the world’s demands and perspectives aren’t overly stimulating you. Giving yourself 15-20 minutes to sit and take time to do something good for yourself is the foundation of balance.

We’re being pulled in so many different directions. How do we find the time?
One illusion is there’s no time for balance. But making choices that don’t comfort you waste an enormous amount of time and cause stress. We’re a greedy society. We keep chasing after things we think we need – more stuff, more activities, more stimulation…more, more, more. With balance, less is more. Rather than shopping, take a walk. It doesn’t take time. It’s a shift in focus of priority. You spend less money, energy, effort, time and it gives you inner space that brings balance. It’s a huge reset button. The more inner space you can create, the more balanced you feel.

True joy. It can be elusive.
The first thing that brings joy is getting back into your physical body; get out of your head. Do something physical – yoga, walk, stretch – that isn’t necessarily orientated to sculpting your waistline. Joy can’t be experienced in your head. It can only be experienced through your body.

Is something like reading a good book joy?
That doesn’t give you joy; it gives you inspiration. It gives you things to think about. Joy is very much an embodied experience. Joy is painting because it’s physical. It uses the left side of the brain and the right. People are so out of balance because we get out of our bodies, and all of our energy is run through our intellect alone. Remember to play.

How do you avoid the feeling of letting others down?
It’s important to be honest. You won’t have balance if you’re not truthful. I’ve given a lot of talks to women in corporate America and they have a very false belief that they can’t take the risk of being real because that means they’ll be vulnerable, attacked and dismissed. But being real is empowering. Be direct and authentic; say what you mean and mean what you say. Listen to people with respect and respect yourself when you speak. Don’t throw yourself out of integrity by speaking in way that dishonors you and disrespects other people.

But won’t we miss out on something?
Recognize you can’t do it all. Be comforted that you can do a little, and give it your all. We have a fear of missing out; I call it ‘FOMO.’ Relax and know you won’t miss anything important if you just settle down. You’ll find you do have time for the things that are important. It’s anxiety that robs you from them.

And when all else fails?
Breathe. When you start to feel stressed and out of balance, just stop and breathe.

To discover more ways to find balance, read Ms. Choquette’s book True Balance or take her True Balance online course at www.soniachoquette.net.

Rebecca_Michuda

About Rebecca Michuda

Rebecca Michuda is TCW's former associate editor. She contributed to a variety of feature articles, as well as monthly style and beauty sections, and coordinated TCW 's fashion spreads.