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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Behaviour is never from ‘bad’. It’s from ‘big’. Big hungry, big tired, big disconnection, big missing, big ‘too much right now’. The reason our responses might not work can often be because we’ve misread the story, or we’ve missed an important piece of it. Their story might be about now, today, yesterday, or any of the yesterdays before now. 

Our job isn’t to fix them. They aren’t broken. Our job is to understand them. Only then can we steer our response in the right direction. Otherwise we’re throwing darts at the wrong target - behaviour, instead of the need behind the behaviour. 

Watch, listen, breathe and be with. Feel what they feel. This will help them feel you with them. We all feel safer and calmer when we feel our people beside us - not judging or hurrying or questioning. What don’t you know, that they need you to know?♥️
We all have first up needs. The difference between adults and children is that we can delay the meeting of these needs for a bit longer than children - but we still need them met. 

The first most important question the brain needs answered is, ‘Is my body safe?’ - Am I free from threat, hunger, exhaustion, pain? This is usually an easier one to take care of or to recognise when it might need some attention. 

The next most important question is, ‘Is my heart safe?’ - Am I loved, noticed, valued, claimed, wanted, welcome? This can be an easy one to overlook, especially in the chaos of the morning. Of course we love them and want them - and sometimes we’ll get distracted, annoyed, frustrated, irritated. None of this changes how much we love and want them - not even for a second. We can feel two things at once - madly in love with them and annoyed/ distracted/ frustrated. Sometimes though, this can leave their ‘Is my heart safe?’ needs a little hungry. They have less capacity than us to delay the meeting of these needs. When these needs are hungry, we’ll be more likely to see big feelings or big behaviour. 

The more you can fill their love tanks at the start of the day, the more they’ll be able to handle the bumps. This doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be enough. It might look like having a cuddle, reading a story, having a chat, sitting with them while they have breakfast or while they pat the dog, touching their back when they walk past, telling them you love them.

All brains need to feel loved and wanted, and as though they aren’t a nuisance, but sometimes they’ll need to feel it more. The more their felt sense of relational safety is met, the more they’ll be able to then focus on ‘thinking brain’ things, such as planning, making good decisions, co-operating, behaving. 

(And if this today was a bumpy one, that’s okay. Those days are going to happen. If most of the time their love tanks are full, they’ll handle when it drops a little. Just top it up when you can. And don’t forget to top yours up too. Be kind to yourself. You deserve it as much as they do.)♥️
Things will always go wrong - a bad decision, a good decision with a bad outcome, a dilemma, wanting something that comes with risk. 

Often, the ‘right thing’ lives somewhere in the very blurry bounds of the grey. Sometimes it will be about what’s right for them. Sometimes what’s right for others. Sometimes it will be about taking a risk, and sometimes the ‘right’ thing just feels wrong right now, or wrong for them. Even as adults, we will often get things wrong. This isn’t because we’re bad, or because we don’t know the right thing from the wrong thing, but because few things are black and white. 

The problem with punishment and harsh consequences is that we remove ourselves as an option for them to turn to next time things end messy, or as a guide before the mess happens. 

Feeling safe in our important relationships is a primary need for all of us humans. That means making sure our relationships are free from judgement, humiliation, shame, separation. If our response to their ‘wrong things’ is to bring all of these things to the table we share with them with them, of course they’ll do anything to avoid it. This isn’t about lying or secrecy. It’s about maintaining relational ‘safety’, or closeness.

Kids want to do the right thing. They want us to love and accept them. But they’re going to get things wrong sometimes. When they do, our response will teach them either that we are safe for them to come to no matter what, or that we aren’t. 

So what do we do when things go wrong? Embrace them, reject the behaviour:

‘I love that you’ve been honest with me. That means everything to me. I know you didn’t expect things to end up like this, but here we are. Let’s talk about what’s happened and what can be different next time.’

Or, ‘Something must have made this (wrong thing) feel like the right thing to do, otherwise you wouldn’t have done it. We all do that sometimes. What do you think it was that was for you?’

Or, ‘I know you know lying isn’t okay. What made you feel like you couldn’t tell me the truth? How can we build the trust again. Let’s talk about how to do that.’

You will always be their greatest guide, but you can only be that if they let you.♥️
Whenever there is a call to courage, there will be anxiety - every time. That’s what makes it brave. This is why challenging things, brave things, important things will often drive anxiety. 

At these times - when they are safe, but doing something hard - the feelings that come with anxiety will be enough to drive avoidance. When it is avoidance of a threat, that’s important. That’s anxiety doing it’s job. But when the avoidance is in response to things that are important, brave, meaningful, that avoidance only serves to confirm the deficiency story. This is when we want to support them to take tiny steps towards that brave thing. It doesn’t have to happen all at once.l and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Brave is about being able to handle the discomfort of anxiety enough to do the important, challenging thing. It’s built in tiny steps, one after the other. 

We don’t have to get rid of their anxiety and neither do they. They can feel anxious, and do brave. At these times (safe, but scary) they need us to take a posture of validation and confidence. ‘I believe you, and I believe in you.’ ‘I know this feels big, and I know you can handle it.’ 

What we’re saying is we know they can handle the discomfort of anxiety. They don’t have to handle it well, and they don’t have to handle it for too long. Handling it is handling it, and that’s the substance of ‘brave’. 

Being brave isn’t about doing the brave thing, but about being able to handle the discomfort of the anxiety that comes with that. And if they’ve done that today, at all, or for a moment longer than yesterday, then they’ve been brave today. It doesn’t matter how messy it was or how small it was. Let them see their brave through your eyes.‘That was big for you wasn’t it. And you did it. You felt anxious, and you stayed with it. That’s what being brave is all about.’♥️
A relationally unsafe (emotionally unsafe) environment can cause as much breakage as as a physically unsafe one. 

The brain’s priority will always be safety, so if a person or environment doesn’t feel emotionally safe, we might see big behaviour, avoidance, or reduced learning. In this case, it isn’t the child that’s broken. It’s the environment.

But here’s the thing, just because a child doesn’t feel safe, doesn’t mean the person or environment isn’t safe. What it means is that there aren’t enough signals of safety - yet, and there’s a little more work to do to build this. ‘Safety’ isn’t about what is actually safe or not, it’s about what the brain perceives. Children might have the safest, warmest, most loving adult in front of them, but that doesn’t mean they’ll feel safe. This is when we have to look at how we might extend bigger cues of warmth, welcome, inclusiveness, and what we can do (or what roles or responsibilities can we give them) to help them feel valued and needed. This might take time, and that’s okay. Children aren’t meant to feel safe with every adult in front of them, so sometimes what they need most is our patience and understanding as we continue to build this. 

This is the way it works for all of us, everywhere. None of us will be able to give our best or do our best if we don’t feel welcome, liked, valued, and free from hostility, humiliation or judgement. 

This is especially important for our schools. A brain that doesn’t feel safe can’t learn. For schools to be places of learning, they first have to be places of relationship. Before we focus too sharply on learning support and behaviour management, we first have to focus on felt sense of safety support. The most powerful way to do this is through relationship. Teachers who do this are magic-makers. They show a phenomenal capacity to expand a child’s capacity to learn, calm big behaviour, and open up a child’s world. But relationships take time, and felt safety takes time. The time it takes for this to happen is all part of the process. It’s not a waste of time, it’s the most important use of it.♥️

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