It’s about balance. From the outside, I am often perceived to have mastered it, balance, that is. When inside, like most, I am challenged to my core. I did not pay attention to that which I preach, balance. As you might have already guessed, this is a reflection posting, but one that I thought worthy of sharing. I hope you will agree and find that it gives you reason to reflect and act upon your own balance.
You may have noticed (or not) that I have not posted much as of late. I have been following the sage wisdom of my elders. My mother raised me well enough to practice, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all.” Of course, I also believe too much “nice” sometimes has the same effect. My father said, “nobody listens once you start shouting.” I have been pretty good at keeping my cool despite it all. But recently I have discovered that the ocean doesn’t mind my occasional outburst (and it feels pretty good). Before you get worried (or not), know that I am indeed alive and doing well.
After seven years in Sweden, my health suffered from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and I needed a serious change. I mean this in every sense of the word, health (emotional, physical, intellectual…). I had forgotten how to smile, and was in need of a serious belly laugh. Being in my mid-40s (yes, a bit of mid-life stuff too), I knew something drastic had to happen. It needed to begin with the physical “vessel” so that I could proceed with the rest. So, here I am, moved the family to California (kids here, my husband’s coming eventually).
First order of business, sunshine to increase the dangerously depleted vitamin D levels. Second, get active both inside and out. Third get social, meet new people and reconnect with my existing network. The first month was full of the usual logistics and details of an international move with two kids. Registered the kids for school and activities they would love. I signed up for Pure Barre to literally kick my bottom into shape. I brought music back to my life, both guitar and downloading some great playlists on Spotify. I bought a used convertible to maximise sunshine and smiles while getting it all done.
All my meetings have been either on a hike or walk (no more lunches or fika – unless earned). I have reconnected with some wonderful friends and contacts and made new ones. The depth of conversation is remarkable when one has room for comfortable contemplation, silence. Walking side by side as you aim to a vista point provides just that. The shared memories that are created ensure a bond that cannot be matched by a hurried lunch and certainly not by meeting in a sterile office.
I am feeling amazingly sane and happy for the first time in years. I am able to tackle whatever life dishes out. This already tested by challenges to learn the emergency systems (separate ER visits for kid, dog and car all in one week). So, yes, now it is time to get back to work. It will not be full throttle at first, as part of my effort to maintain balance seeking the right amount. But I am happy to say that yes, I am back. My doctoral research is making great progress and I have a few projects in the wings. You will be hearing from me again soon and there is some great stuff brewing.
You might ask what does this have to do with leadership in the new social paradigm or global social strategy. Everything! Part of leadership and social strategy is authenticity and taking care of yourself so that you can lead, connect and share.
I hope you find this helpful in seeking your own balance. Moving to California is neither the answer nor an option for most. My point is to take action to achieve balance when it is completely lost. Take care of the core so you can take care of the rest. I expect great things from you all. Perhaps on our next hike.