Balance. It’s something we all strive for in our daily life. I’ve struggled with it immensely this year. Between family, writing and social media, I felt as if I was taking two steps back for every one step forward, and so something had to change. Many writers, like me, have been busting their butts trying to build their platform, but at what cost?
Since summer began my focus has shifted. I’ve returned to what I find to be a healthier approach to my daily grind. It was so gratifying and validating to read Anne R. Allen’s 7 Ways Authors Waste Time “Building Platform” on Social Media. Your struggle may be with different elements than mine (work, friends, and/or any other number of other commitments), but what you find here should help you, regardless.
~Pause and Slow Down~
Since school let out, the kids and I have been on the fast track. It’s been go, go, go every day. I think they’re trying, to fit all of summer into the first few days. All the closeness, without the separation school allows is not always a good thing. Fighting is an everyday occurrence. To combat the ever-growing irritation and aggravation, we have introduced a few minutes of relaxation and meditation into our daily routine.
Whether it’s calming argumentative kids, looking for artful inspiration, or just getting your day underway, this is an ideal way to start. Slow and deep steady breaths with a warm cup of tea, enjoyed somewhere calm and quiet is one way to do this (no television or internet surfing allowed). Clear your mind of all projects and problems and focus on something that is representative of your soul’s a peaceful center.
The kids and I forgo the tea and sit in a comfortable circle on the floor, arms open. I can then enjoy my calming tea later in the evening. It’s important not to rush or close yourself off to the process. If you have trouble achieving a quiet meditative state in the beginning, you might want to use mood music, such a nature sounds, and burn incense to help relax your mind. It might surprise you how much of a difference ten or fifteen minutes a day makes.
~Get Up and Move~
Finding time for a full workout everyday isn’t always easy, but keeping active is important. As writers, it is easy to find we have spent the entire day sitting on our butt in front of the computer without even realizing it. In 2011 I committed myself to eating right and exercising. The result―I obtained my ideal weight, and I felt great! Shortly after that I began blogging. With little time for both, my routine fell apart and so did my eating habits and weight. It doesn’t need to be that way. I’m exercising again, blogging and tweeting less, and I’m feeling healthier once more. Everyone’s schedule is different. Find what works for you. I do a mix of Beach Body’s P90x, Insanity, and 10-Minute Trainer.
Working out energizes the body and leaves you craving more. It makes you want to eat healthier foods and keep to a more appropriate sleep schedule.
Do you simply need motivation to step away from your desk and move every hour? Kristy K. James has the Facebook group for you. You’ll find support in the 5 For Fitness. Jump on board. If you’re looking for a blog stop, Ginger Calem’s Chaos is the New Calm is a great place to start.
It really is about 80% what you eat. Make sure you’re eating the right foods and that you’re consuming the right amount of calories for your body type and activity level. Too much or too little and you are undermining your efforts. Yes, too little works against you, as well. The body will hold on to the fat rather than burn it, if you aren’t eating enough on a regular basis.
I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time getting my kids to eat healthy meals. Last night was a huge success when I made Mongolian Beef. Depending on your portion size, this meal should serve up at approximately 243 calories. Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes.
2 tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp dry sherry
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sambal oelek (chile paste)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
You’ll need the following ingredients to continue:
1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced
16 medium green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp peeled and minced ginger
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and steak…sauté for two to three minutes, or until meat looks cooked. Add onions and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Add soy sauce, cook for one minute, stirring continuously.
This serves nicely over rice or rice noodles.
~Immortal Monday: Pandora’s Box~
In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on Earth. She was given many gifts by the gods. The box was actually a jar—a large jar she was never meant to open. As the story goes, when Prometheus stole fire from the heavens, Zeus repaid him by presenting Pandora to Prometheus’ brother, Epimetheus. She was then given the jar with the instructions to never open it. Of course, her curiosity got the better of her. When she opened the jar she released all the evil of the world.
Catch up on Thor’s latest mayhem:
Ted Strutz at TedBook … The Departure (Part 6)
Ted Strutz at TedBook … The Mausoleum (Part 5)
Ted Strutz at TedBook… Paradise Found (Part 4)
Ted Strutz at TedBook … Day Trip to the Magic Island (Part 3)
Ted Strutz at TedBook … Adjusting to New Surroundings (Part 2)
Ted Strutz at TedBook … The Arrival (Part 1)
What will Thor do next? Where will he show up? There is still time to get your name on the list. Just leave a comment on the blog and let me know you want to participate and we’ll get you on the list.
Moving forward, this blog will post once a week on Mondays. A comprehensive Immortal Monday will be scheduled for the first Monday of the month with smaller, informative tags, like the one above, to be included on the Mondays in-between.
Look for your Thor Tour updates within regular Monday posts. Individual tour updates will be delivered when appropriate.
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Update: Are you a fan of audio books? You can now purchase Open Doors Fractured Fairy Tales by Wayman Publishing in audio format on iTunes and Amazon. Isn’t that great news? In fact, a large stock of Wayman books are now available in audio book format. It’s worth a look if you like to listen to you books while driving or doing chores.
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Do you have a process that works for you, as far as balance and scheduling is concerned? Maybe something that works especially well for the fun-filled days of summer. Do you include any form of meditation in your daily routine?
Next Monday we will have a regular Immortal Monday post, then return to a format similar to this one.