Balance of Give and Take

“Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth,
every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.”
                                                                                    -Arthur Schopenhauer

As a health care provider, it is important for me to make time to rest and rejuvenate. One of the reasons for burnout is a lack of rest and putting too much importance on others and pleasing others. There is something called “a balance of give and take”. Another phrase for this, which I have recently learned in Kabbalah teaching, is called bread of shame. When we are out of balance, within ourselves, in our work, in nature, it is easy to get ill, feel overwhelmed, have writers block, and feel fatigued.

As I explore the meaning of the phrase bread of shame, I am learning to appreciate its deeper meaning and guidance for my life. How many of us feel shame from time to time (or even a lot of the time)? Have we ever stopped to really look at and shed light on where this feeling of shame comes from?

Think, for a minute, of how we feel when we over-give to someone; our children, our partner, our sibling, our friend? It doesn’t really feel good, does it? Now, think of how we feel when it is the other way, and we have received too much and not given enough? To me, that makes me feel shameful. Balance is everything. Part of being and feeling balanced is allowing ourselves to follow the external seasons as well as our internal ones.

In September, the days are getting noticeably shorter, the growing season is coming to an end for the year, the leaves are beginning to turn color, and the squirrels are busy gathering for the coming cold. Farmers are gathering their crops and getting their fields ready for a fallow season. Things are slowing down and unwinding.

I have learned over the years to notice how everything is connected and how Nature mirrors our seasons, or we mirror Nature’s seasons. Without a season for reflection and rest we become out of balance within ourselves and our lives.

When we over work our boundaries and our balance, when we cross our line, it can take a long time to gain our health or our energy and our sense of vitality. When we can follow the natural pattern of life and Nature, and notice and tune into our flow and our needs, this pattern of a rest and fallow time is merely a natural rhythm of life.

Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results

Get a piece of paper and pen or pencil. Write out what makes you feel out of balance with yourself; have you over done, over given, taken care of others and forgotten yourself, etc.?  Also ask yourself if there is a time of year, a time of day, a person you tend to have difficulty with?

Once you have written out all that comes to you, then on another piece of paper write out what you would like to do if you could let yourself. What do you need to do for yourself to bring yourself into balance?

Do you need to rest more? Do you need to allow yourself more time to process? Is there something missing in your life, or something you feel incomplete with?

Once you have written this out, read these two papers over every day for 2 weeks. It will only take a few minutes. At the end of the two weeks, after you read the papers again, take out a third paper and write out free flow all that comes to you with no censorship.

Recommended Resources:

Rest and fallow are much underrated. This harvest time and harvest moon are great times to reflect on our lives; on those things that need to die, need to be pruned back, need replanting, and nurturing into their fullest potential.

At the end of this month is a workshop I am facilitating on Success in Business and in Life. It is in San Antonio and in the workshop I will cover many other topics related to creating the life and career of our dreams.

Go to my website, Click on Events and scroll down to the workshop to get the details. 

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