Balance and Love – The Secret to Happiness

Balance and Love - The Secret to Happiness
By Allison Goldberg

There is so much in our lives that we can control. There is so much in our lives that we can not.   I am fortunate enough to be able to help people every day, live lives that are balanced and with moment to moment intention and love.  

It all starts with mindfulness. Lets take a moment and think about something we do everyday that no one has to tell us to do. What is that thing for you? What is something you do everyday that you do with great intention and love?

For me, it is being outdoors. No matter what happens in my day, unless it is unsafe because of weather conditions, I will spend as much time as I have outdoors.   The outdoors does something to my soul that gives me a sense of peace, quiet and comfort.   Fresh air, the sky, the clouds, the sun, the trees, the birds and the sounds. All of these things, are part of nature and cost nothing.   Something simple like being in nature, is one of many things that I would do without having to be asked to do it.

The idea behind balance and love is that you create a life that prioritizes BALANCE. Once this happens, you have created a life of both balance and love. Why love? When we create balance, we feel more love in our lives. Not just from others, but from ourselves because when you love what you are doing, you are happier and can experience self love.   Think about this for a moment. Consider these categories in your life.   Family, Social, Hobbies, Work/School, Health/Exercise and Spiritual Growth.

Start by having a very honest dialogue with yourself and make lists of what currently exists in each those areas, If the category is empy, that is the first challenge. Then ask yourself is it something you love? What if that area is just so/so in your eyes? That is when you ask yourself and dig deep to put something in place in that answers the question, would you this without being told to. Stretch and make sure every area of your life has something that you love in it.

Imagine a life where you consciously had meaningful relationships with family and friends, imagine if you spent your social time doing things that you enjoy and love, what if you had a career that you loved and enjoyed going to everyday? What if you ate healthy foods that you purposefully chose to put into your body and exercised in a way that felt joyful to you, not just exercise for the sake of exercise? You get to choose what you do to stay active and healthy. What if you choose your spiritual path and not only what was chosen for you? What if you only put clothes on that you love and not just because they are in your closet? Even if it is a ripped t-shirt that you love, the idea is that is is worn with love. That, my friends, is a lot of love going on in your life.

These are all real possibilities, but you have to intend and prioritize balance, and with that amount of love, you are giving to each category, you will be filled with love and exude it. This model of self care is one that is a life long lifestyle. This method will ease the burden all of the unpleasant things in life. The very things we can not control will seem bearable and not seem insurmountable.

Start today, each minute, each hour, ask yourself this. First, is this something that I can control? If your answer is YES, ask yourself is it part of creating balance in my life?, If your answer is YES, ask yourself, do I love it? If the answer is no, stop there. Balance and love, those 2 words are the secret to HAPPINESS.


About the Author: Allison Goldberg
Allison’s Personal Story:

I was driving my car and listening to one of my many mentors through my blue tooth and when he was speaking, I had an epiphany.

I have been in the coaching industry for 17 years and when asked by both individuals and companies about myself, my logical brain went to the place of what I call “credential security” which was my college degree, many of the certification and training programs, my field experience and the many reputable companies and individuals that I have been fortunate enough to work with over the years. I have all of that data in a file ready to email to any person that wants to know.

Here is where my epiphany came in…. When I listen to my mentors, each of them has a real, raw story that defines them and that is what has fueled their passion and commitment to the field they are in. I too, have a story that gives me the passion and drive to help others live life to their full potential. It is a story that I have understood very clearly for my entire life, but sharing it, has not been something I would readily do.

I am now at the point where I think I have done myself and my clients a disservice by not sharing the story that has been the very thing that brought me to my passion. Which is the Life Coaching partnership with people who are looking for their reason, passion and goals for their own lives.

So, from this point on, when people ask me what is “my story”, this is what I will say.

I had a very traumatic entry into this word. I was born into a circumstance that is unusual and hard to hear for most people. I am the youngest of 3 children.   6 Months before I was born, my biological father went missing. Yes, missing, as in, he didn’t come home from work that day.   He continued to be missing until 2 weeks before I was born. So, even as an unborn child, my mom was carrying a baby with a major mental burden of taking care of 2 other kids while being pregnant and the emotional agony of not knowing where her husband was. This time must have been extremely difficult and very taxing both physically and emotionally. Two weeks before I was born my biological father was found and he had been brutally murdered. Are you uncomfortable yet?  

That was my start to coming into this world so as you can see that when a child is born, there welcome may be very different than mine. My start was rough. For the next few years of my life my mom was trying to deal with the death of her husband, being a widow and raising three children. You can imagine the priority that I felt as my place in this family. My mom would say that I was the very thing that kept her on her feet and getting out of bed each day because I was a baby who needed her. She actually thanks me for being responsible for her not going into the depths of depression. With that, my life would never be the same. Most other kids growing up have the typical challenges that come with being a child, a toddler ,a teenager and young adult. I feel like my trauma and ability to survive and succeed in life is very much due to the fact that I had to grow up very fast and live an “adult” life at such a young age.

I learned very quickly that doing it MYSELF and doing it with a PLAN was the only option that would help me feel safe and in control. I took on the roles to be like a mom, dad, teacher, housekeeper among many other things. But acting like a child or having a “fun, carefree childhood”…. I did not.

So, when people, be it friends or family or later on, clients would ask me why I seem to “have it all together”, it was not by choice, it was just my way of surviving my childhood. So by the time I was an adult, it came very naturally to me. Make a GOAL make a PLAN , DO IT , and if it doesn’t work, make another plan and keep going until you get your needs met as well as your goals accomplished.  

That is how I was led into this field. So, in my opinion, my major in Communication, minor in sociology and my Life Coach certification course pales in comparison to the 46 years of living a goal driven life.

I would like to help you do the same.

And her professional one:

Allison Goldberg has been in human services since she graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Communication in 1990 with a minor in Sociology.  She graduated in 3 years because she wanted to get out into the work force and begin helping people.

Allison has spent the last 12 years focusing on her life coaching business venture, Personal Dynamics.  Personal Dynamics is the name of her Life Coaching company and a spin off of her position as a corporate trainer and coach with Image Dynamics.  Personal Dynamics life coaching is about creating an opportunity for Certified Life Coach, Allison to partner with her clients and develop a program and process to reach their personal goals. As a life coach, the idea is to bridge the gap between the clients personal goals and current daily life results.  Life Coaching includes clarifying the client’s personal vision and purpose, addressing behaviors that create barriers to success, problem solving, and handling challenges as they occur.

You can find Allison at Personal Dynamics and on Facebook.

One Comment

Mahima S

Hi, I really find it helpful for myself. today my age is 27 but I don’t find myself happy with the things I do. Recently, the love of my life has told me to do things “I love” and from that time I wasn’t able to find my happiness where it lies. But now I just had made a note of things which I love on the basis of the category you defined… hoping to practice it soon. I realized for me it’s difficult to choose the options where my happiness lies maybe because I compromised enough that it stops sensing in me.
Pleasure reading your article.

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Anxiety is a sign that the brain has registered threat and is mobilising the body to get to safety. One of the ways it does this is by organising the body for movement - to fight the danger or flee the danger. 

If there is no need or no opportunity for movement, that fight or flight fuel will still be looking for expression. This can come out as wriggly, fidgety, hyperactive behaviour. This is why any of us might pace or struggle to sit still when we’re anxious. 

If kids or teens are bouncing around, wriggling in their chairs, or having trouble sitting still, it could be anxiety. Remember with anxiety, it’s not about what is actually safe but about what the brain perceives. New or challenging work, doing something unfamiliar, too much going on, a tired or hungry body, anything that comes with any chance of judgement, failure, humiliation can all throw the brain into fight or flight.

When this happens, the body might feel busy, activated, restless. This in itself can drive even more anxiety in kids or teens. Any of us can struggle when we don’t feel comfortable in our own bodies. 

Anxiety is energy with nowhere to go. To move through anxiety, give the energy somewhere to go - a fast walk, a run, a whole-body shake, hula hooping, kicking a ball - any movement that spends the energy will help bring the brain and body back to calm.♥️
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#parenting #anxietyinkids #childanxiety #parenting #parent
This is not bad behaviour. It’s big behaviour a from a brain that has registered threat and is working hard to feel safe again. 

‘Threat’ isn’t about what is actually safe or not, but about what the brain perceives. The brain can perceive threat when there is any chance missing out on or messing up something important, anything that feels unfamiliar, hard, or challenging, feeling misunderstood, thinking you might be angry or disappointed with them, being separated from you, being hungry or tired, anything that pushes against their sensory needs - so many things. 

During anxiety, the amygdala in the brain is switched to high volume, so other big feelings will be too. This might look like tears, sadness, or anger. 

Big feelings have a good reason for being there. The amygdala has the very important job of keeping us safe, and it does this beautifully, but not always with grace. One of the ways the amygdala keeps us safe is by calling on big feelings to recruit social support. When big feelings happen, people notice. They might not always notice the way we want to be noticed, but we are noticed. This increases our chances of safety. 

Of course, kids and teens still need our guidance and leadership and the conversations that grow them, but not during the emotional storm. They just won’t hear you anyway because their brain is too busy trying to get back to safety. In that moment, they don’t want to be fixed or ‘grown’. They want to feel seen, safe and heard. 

During the storm, preserve your connection with them as much as you can. You might not always be able to do this, and that’s okay. None of this is about perfection. If you have a rupture, repair it as soon as you can. Then, when their brains and bodies come back to calm, this is the time for the conversations that will grow them. 

Rather than, ‘What consequences do they need to do better?’, shift to, ‘What support do they need to do better?’ The greatest support will come from you in a way they can receive: ‘What happened?’ ‘What can you do differently next time?’ ‘You’re the most wonderful kid and I know you didn’t want this to happen. How can you put things right? Do you need my help with that?’♥️
Big behaviour is a sign of a nervous system in distress. Before anything, that vulnerable nervous system needs to be brought back home to felt safety. 

This will happen most powerfully with relationship and connection. Breathe and be with. Let them know you get it. This can happen with words or nonverbals. It’s about feeling what they feel, but staying regulated.

If they want space, give them space but stay in emotional proximity, ‘Ok I’m just going to stay over here. I’m right here if you need.’

If they’re using spicy words to make sure there is no confusion about how they feel about you right now, flag the behaviour, then make your intent clear, ‘I know how upset you are and I want to understand more about what’s happening for you. I’m not going to do this while you’re speaking to me like this. You can still be mad, but you need to be respectful. I’m here for you.’

Think of how you would respond if a friend was telling you about something that upset her. You wouldn’t tell her to calm down, or try to fix her (she’s not broken), or talk to her about her behaviour. You would just be there. You would ‘drop an anchor’ and steady those rough seas around her until she feels okay enough again. Along the way you would be doing things that let her know your intent to support her. You’d do this with you facial expressions, your voice, your body, your posture. You’d feel her feels, and she’d feel you ‘getting her’. It’s about letting her know that you understand what she’s feeling, even if you don’t understand why (or agree with why). 

It’s the same for our children. As their important big people, they also need leadership. The time for this is after the storm has passed, when their brains and bodies feel safe and calm. Because of your relationship, connection and their felt sense of safety, you will have access to their ‘thinking brain’. This is the time for those meaningful conversations: 
- ‘What happened?’
- ‘What did I do that helped/ didn’t help?’
- ‘What can you do differently next time?’
- ‘You’re a great kid and I know you didn’t want this to happen, but here we are. What can you do to put things right? Do you need my help with that?’♥️
As children grow, and especially by adolescence, we have the illusion of control but whether or not we have any real influence will be up to them. The temptation to control our children will always come from a place of love. Fear will likely have a heavy hand in there too. When they fall, we’ll feel it. Sometimes it will feel like an ache in our core. Sometimes it will feel like failure or guilt, or anger. We might wish we could have stopped them, pushed a little harder, warned a little bigger, stood a little closer. We’re parents and we’re human and it’s what this parenting thing does. It makes fear and anxiety billow around us like lost smoke, too easily.

Remember, they want you to be proud of them, and they want to do the right thing. When they feel your curiosity over judgement, and the safety of you over shame, it will be easier for them to open up to you. Nobody will guide them better than you because nobody will care more about where they land. They know this, but the magic happens when they also know that you are safe and that you will hold them, their needs, their opinions and feelings with strong, gentle, loving hands, no matter what.♥️
Anger is the ‘fight’ part of the fight or flight response. It has important work to do. Anger never exists on its own. It exists to hold other more vulnerable emotions in a way that feels safer. It’s sometimes feels easier, safer, more acceptable, stronger to feel the ‘big’ that comes with anger, than the vulnerability that comes with anxiety, sadness, loneliness. This isn’t deliberate. It’s just another way our bodies and brains try to keep us safe. 

The problem isn’t the anger. The problem is the behaviour that can come with the anger. Let there be no limits on thoughts and feelings, only behaviour. When children are angry, as long as they are safe and others are safe, we don’t need to fix their anger. They aren’t broken. Instead, drop the anchor: as much as you can - and this won’t always be easy - be a calm, steadying, loving presence to help bring their nervous systems back home to calm. 

Then, when they are truly calm, and with love and leadership, have the conversations that will grow them - 
- What happened? 
- What can you do differently next time?
- You’re a really great kid. I know you didn’t want this to happen but here we are. How can you make things right. Would you like some ideas? Do you need some help with that?
- What did I do that helped? What did I do that didn’t help? Is there something that might feel more helpful next time?

When their behaviour falls short of ‘adorable’, rather than asking ‘What consequences they need to do better?’ let the question be, ‘What support do they need to do better.’ Often, the biggest support will be a conversation with you, and that will be enough.♥️
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#parenting #positiveparenting #mindfulparenting #anxietyinkids

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