8 week Series: Finding Balance and Alignment in Your Business and Within
Over the course of the next 8 weeks, I will publish a weekly blog focused on finding the balance within ourselves in order to align our business with who we are and what we have to offer.
I will be using the four elements (earth, fire, air and water) as the framework for these posts.
Each element has excessive and deficient qualities that reflect in our lives and in the way we approach our business. At one time or another, each of us enters these unbalanced phases, and I will give you tools to bring yourself back to balance. Sometimes these phases last many months and other times, they can be short in duration (like even just a morning).
I am sure when you read through these, you will recognize yourself in some of the qualities. My wish is that by shifting your mindset, taking a step back and moving in a new way- you can start to release yourself from old habits and old patterns and bring yourself back to balance.
Today's focus is on the element of Earth, specifically the deficient characteristics. When running a business, we must have first built our foundation or we will have nothing to stand on. The foundation- which are your values, ideas, focus, dedication, commitment, motivation and drive- belong here.
In order to have a strong, clear and focused business we must first be GROUNDED within our own selves. What often happens when we run a business is that we take on a lot, overwork ourselves, stress ourselves out about it, worry about money and if our business will succeed, etc.- which leads us to working even more and the cycle repeats. Eventually we are tapped out, our energy and passion is gone and we are no longer happy and light.
Qualities of deficient (aka "not grounded") Earth energy: unable to focus on one task and finish it to completion, trouble making decisions- often bouncing back and forth, worried about things, many ideas but lack focus to put them into a clear structure, not trusting yourself, anxiety, short of breath, feeling pulled in many directions, financial fears, not believing you are good enough or worth it, doubting yourself, feeling small, doing things quickly without awareness, excessive multitasking, scattered in your mind
Qualities of balanced Earth energy: Stable, able to make well thought out and intuitive decisions, strong connection to intuition, clear, focused, easily follows through with ideas, deep trust in the unknown and the self, financial stability, takes time to complete tasks, aware of what is happening in and around you, confident, feeling of peace and calm, centered
So how do we get from deficient to balanced? By grounding.
Here is my task for you, and one that really helps me with centering, grounding and coming into a clear space before I begin work. I am often running from one thing to the next and before I start any kind of work- I do this exercise to put me into a focused mindset.
Stand up. Take off your shoes and socks. Place your feet on the earth (it's best to do this outside- if you are resisting this and thinking you don't have time OR it's strange- then you need to do it even more :)). Spread your toes and connect to the ground with the outer edges of your feet, rolling up towards your toes and gently rolling your toes from the pinky toe towards the big toe inward so that you can feel all of your toes and both feet, in their entirety, on the ground. Bend your knees slightly and close your eyes.
Take a very deep breath in through your nose and as you exhale through the nose, imagine the breath (and your energy- if that's not too far of a stretch for you), going downwards towards your feet. Take an inhale and draw the breath and energy up from the earth into your lungs. Repeat with the exhale. Bend your knees slightly with each exhale and lift your pelvis, chest and back up with each inhale. You can also turn the palms of hands up with each inhale and lift your arms up and turn them down and bring your arms down with each exhale. Find your own rhythm with your breath and the slow pulsations of your body. Relax your jaw, mouth, eyes and shoulders.
I'm not going to give you a time limit to do this as I want to you to feel when the switch within you is happening. The "switch" is when you start to feel calmer, more relaxed, more present, more connected to your body and yourself and less scattered.
Depending on where you are in your day/life- you may need to do this for a longer or shorter time.
When you are ready to stop, open your eyes and stay there for a few more deep breaths in and out through the nose. Staying in and with your center.
In yoga, these energies (upward and downward flow- have a name)- Udana-Vayu is the upward flow in our bodies and Apana-Vayu is the downward flow. These are important energies to lift us up and ground us down so that we can find balance.
I hope that this exercise, and taking the time to do it, helps you to center yourself and begin work from a calm and collected space.