What controls you? Are you owned by your priority list? Are you a slave to your loved ones? Or are you truly running the show? There is a balance to be struck here, as with all things in life. Without structure and discipline, we become rudderless, adrift at sea and tossed about by the whims of the winds that come from myriad directions. If we let this happen enough, we become lost and overwhelmed by the vastness of our surroundings. How can you be happy, calm and content when you feel as though you might drown?
Structure is the key. No matter how much you expect to accomplish in a day, having a plan of attack makes it more manageable, and can give you little waves of satisfaction as you move through each task. Accomplishing first one, then more and more! Those feelings of completion can become quite addicting. For many who are strong in their Pitta element, the satisfaction gained from progress and accomplishments in their work can lead them to exclude all else in their life: time with family, friends, even time for self-care, pushed out of the way as they strive to get just that much farther ahead with their goals and ambitions.
Time and self study, orsvadhyaya, as explained in this article atDoYouYoga.com, can be useful in pinpointing this as an area of life that needs study and reflection. It is worth taking the time to explore, as the results can be devastating, not just for our fiery friend, but for everyone singed by the flames of their driving ambition. Burnout is inevitable at this break-neck pace, and the hurt and resentment others take on as this person relentlessly pursues their goals can be hard to forgive and forget. But structure is so critical! How do you balance your passions and your need to care and nurture yourself, friends and family?
Discipline, of course!
The big thing most people forget when writing downgoalsand objectives, is to include the things that you expect you are going to "just do." Consider something as simple astime for yoga, or a lunch break. How likely are you to neglect those tasks if you get behind on your daily project list? We put our goals ahead of ourselves, and you can only do that for so long before it takes a toll. This is equally true of your personal relationships. If you keep putting off making time for your spouse, they are bound to feel resentful and neglected! Put your peeps and your practice on the list. It is a reminder of their importance. The major reason for most tasks on your daily list is so you can make meaningful contributions to your family and community, right? Sometimes, your most important contribution is your focused attention on them, or yourself.
That said, putting someone on your list does not give them permission to dominate your time whenever they feel so inclined! Your goals are important, and accomplishing them will give you the mentalspaceto focus and devote your full attention towards these other priorities. Expect respect from others for your schedule. Be kind, but firm about your boundaries and what you need to accomplish them. Once they realize they are on the list too, your significant others are likely to show more tolerance for your needs.
Make time for all the things that matter in your life. Approach your schedule and your priority list the same way you do your yoga practice: with the mindset of building strength, balance and flexibility. Stay grounded in yourintentions, and don't forget to breathe! You will find balance, and everything you touch will flourish.