Timeless Spirit Logo Being Mindful

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. May's Theme: "Balance"
Volume 4 Issue 4 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Being Mindful
You Can Be Free and Have Inner Peace
With These Four Keys to Balancing Your Life

by Janet Alston Jackson

I remember a dark time when I tried to balance everything in my life and failed miserably. I was like a new circus ringmaster on opening day trying to shape and juggle my roles as a mother, wife and business owner. The stress and fears were lions eating me alive.

How could I balance everything… it seemed impossible. I resorted to researching how others did it by voraciously reading self-help books which screamed at me "my way is best." Instead of finding direction, I became even more frustrated because their advice was conflicting. My life suddenly seemed even more chaotic. I was now angry with myself for not being able to follow what these best-selling authors told me to do. I was also livid, because here I was trying to live "the balanced life" helping others through workshops I gave to companies on effective communication, and I was spiraling downhill. My body began reflecting back to me what I was going through. Gaining weight&#133dropping weight&#133then ballooning bigger than ever before. <p>One day during a meditation I remembered an anonymous quote I once read. "A balancing act is different from living in balance." This struck me. Living in balance is divine order, which is our natural state. In order to live a balanced life I needed to align myself with divine order. Here are the four keys that I learned from my meditations on balance which worked for me, and I know will help you too: <p align="center"><font color="#330099">RECOGNIZING DIVINE ORDER</font></p> <p>The way to live a balanced life is to start from the inside out. The first step is to <a href="http://www.janetajackson.com" target="blank"><img src="images/jjad.jpg" align="right" width=265 height=380 border=2></a> recognize I am a spiritual being living in a perfectly balanced universe which is always under divine order. When I look at any chaos in the world, it can all be attributed to man. So with that in mind, I realized I only need to align myself with the divine order which is already operating in my world. The way I could do that was thinking not of chaos in my life, but of everything around me which was balanced. <p>I began contemplating the seasons, the stars, and the solar system, all operating in divine order and balance. I thought of flowers blooming in springtime. I thought of babies being born and how their tiny bodies would grow. Then my thoughts went deep inside of me. I marveled at the synchronicity of my own body functioning in perfect order. My blood circulates, the cells dividing and multiplying with precision. My organs, heart, liver, kidneys and lungs all synchronize in perfect harmony with one another. I thought of how my muscles contract and relax to help me rise out of the bed in the morning so that I could simply walk across the room. What a miracle. What perfect balance right inside of me. <p align="center"><font color="#330099">LIVING MINDFULLY</font></p> <p>Living in balance is learning to live each moment fully. These moments we take for granted are perfect unto themselves. Being balanced is Mindfully focusing on whatever task is before me instead of rocking the boat by mindlessly letting my mind run rampant thinking of what happened yesterday or leaning too far to the right thinking about tomorrow. I needed to focus on Mindfully engrossing myself in rowing the boat straight ahead if I was going to get to the other side. I had to focus on the tasks before me and nothing else. So this meant when I was with my kids, I needed to put my attention and energy on them. When I was at work&#133 I then would focus on the tasks at work. When I was with my husband, I needed to be with him. This reminded me when we are giving our full attention to the person we are with this is the highest form of loving them. <p align="center"><font color="#330099">LISTENING</font></p> <p>Through prayer and meditation comes a soft, quiet voice which directs us. We are told exactly what to do. Often we hear the voice, but we doubt it and don't follow the directions. Or we only follow our inner voice - sometimes. <p>In my meditation, asking my higher self what I needed to do to live a balanced life, I heard that I needed to do more planning. So with this in mind, I went online and found wonderful daily software, Franklin Covey Plan Plus. It's for those of us who hate to plan, or don't know how. <p>I was also instructed to release the clutter in my life which throws us all off balance. <p>I then found the Paper Tiger software to help me keep my office in order. When the free feeling came over me which accompanied order and balance, I then went to work on de-cluttering my entire house. The universe supported me when I just happened to catch a professional organizer on a television show suggesting ways to get rid of clutter. "We hold onto things, thinking of the past and our yesteryears by keeping old things we don't need. We also hold on to stuff we don't need thinking that we may be able to use it in the future." This struck me like lightning. He's talking about mindfulness! I needed to live in the moment and stop living in the future or the past and get rid of stuff. So like an army ant I went to work releasing things in my life which I didn't use <b>now.</b> What a cathartic, free feeling. <p align="center"><font color="#330099">COMPASSIONATE WITH MYSELF</font></p> <p>These three keys were wonderful and worked for me instantly when I applied them. But there were days when I wasn't going to think of nature's divine order. Instead I was going to get stressed looking at the chaos in my life, especially when I was tired. And I was not going to definitely live each moment&#133 because mindfulness is a practice. <p>These steps were guides to help me keep my life in balance, but it's OK if I fell off the wagon. I was now going to look at being out of balance as simply a reminder that I needed to get back in line and go within first through prayer and meditation. The outer will automatically line up with divine order. <p>Before when I was trying to live a balanced life, I was always beating myself up because I simply didn't know how. It wasn't something my parents taught me, or I learned in school&#133 still I thought I was wrong for not knowing how. So now I'm learning to be more kind and gentle with myself. Being compassionate with me is self love. Love dissolves the toxic emotions of anger and frustration&#133 which keep us in turmoil and out of sync. Love is balance. <p>So now am I still living in a three-ring circus? Absolutely. The evolution of the technical age has made us all busier than ever. But instead of trying to balance and keep up with this ever-spiraling world which seems each day to spin faster, I now remember who I am. A spiritual being who is already living in divine order. With this in mind I know I can balance on life's highwire. And if I get out of balance and fall, my higher self is my net, always catching me and I'll land on my feet perfectly balanced. <br><br><br> <p><FONT SIZE=-1 COLOR="#003333">Janet Alston Jackson is the author of "A Cry for Light: A Journey into Love." To order books and CD's, schedule Janet for speaking engagements, or subscribe to Janet's newsletter, visit <a href="http://www.janetajackson.com" target="blank">her website</a>, <a href="mailto:info@janetajackson.com">email</a>, or call Self Awareness Trainings toll free 1-877-796-8288. You can also order Janet's book from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/aws/cart/add.html?SubscriptionId=D68HUNXKLHS4J&AssociateTag=findinginnerp-20&ASIN.1=0963408615&Quantity.1=1&adid=0QR2YBVM2PEZNNZRTHCZ&linkCode=as1&OfferListingId.1=JlRlvLRxIrQCATcrEkqh%252BeD63kgCA3BIUFgoBouPd8s5sBz34X7WHUO2akw8%252FIH5WNpYl90jsPL6i7%252BG0xzXVlIRH2iHvXW7&submit.add.x=61&submit.add.y=8&submit.add=Buy+from+Amazon.com" target="_blank">Amazon.com</a>. <p>Janet Alston Jackson, csl, has facilitated self-awareness workshops to a variety of audiences since 1993. She often teams with her husband Walter Jackson (author of "Sporting the Right Attitude"), to facilitate fun, high-energy motivating trainings for which the couple is known. This unique husband-and-wife team has been guests on numerous radio talk shows around the country, and have made appearances on KCET, public television. <p>Janet is a certified behavioral consultant, a certified anger management consultant, and a certified seminar leader. Through their motivational company Self Awareness Trainings, the Jacksons have given numerous workshops on "How to Effectively Communicate," "Releasing Stress," and "Mindfulness Trainings" to a variety of audiences including corporate executives, parents, teachers, women in recovery, prison personnel, health care workers, and entertainment industry executives. <p>Janet co-founded with Walter, Believe In Yourself Inc, a non-profit self-esteem program for children and their parents. <p>Janet earned her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the California State University at San Jose. She started her television career as a production assistant for the Los Angeles local CBS station, and she was a news writer for the Los Angeles CBS owned radio station, KNX Newsradio. <p>A strong advocate for children, Janet was a Court Appointed Special Child Advocate (CASA) and a board member for their fundraising arm, Friends of Child Advocate. Today she is a board member for Child Care Resource Center, which serves thousands of families in Los Angeles County. <p>The author and her husband Walter, have three teenagers, Ryan, Devon and Jada,and one very loveable Chow named Simba. They live in Los Angeles.</font><br><br> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p align="center"><img src="images/bar1.jpg" width="360" height="8" border="0"> <p align="center"><a href="mailto:timelessspirit@shaw.ca?subject=Feedback"><img src="images/4-4/thoughts.jpg" width="375" height="100" border="3"></a> <p align="center"><img src="images/bar1.jpg" width="360" height="8" border="0"> <!-- End Matters --> <p align="center"><a href="http://www.timelessspirit.com/akswebdesign.html" target="_blank"><img src="images/akstitle.gif" width=200 height=40 border=0></a> <p align="center"><FONT SIZE=-1>Copyright (c) 2007 by Timeless Spirit Magazine. All articles are the copyright of the particular writers and cannot be reprinted without their expressed permission. 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