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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Balance in Daily Living

We all have busy lives. It's easy to get caught up our day-to-day
existence and forget that there's more to life than car pools and
work hassles. When we get out of balance, things tilting too far
to one side or the other, the whole thing can collapse, leaving us
stressed and upset, leading to ... food.

One thing that helps is how you frame events. Instead of seeing
things that need to be done as a drudge (how I used to hate
having to go downstairs!), and find a way to see the opportunity.
Yes, I said it. Opportunity. Every time you move around, it
counts as exercise, so next time someone asks if you exercise
regularly you can say, "Yes, I certainly do. I make beds and
clean floors and carry groceries."

Chores are opportunities to move, stretch and bend. Changing
your thinking turns something unpleasant into something fun (sort
of anyway). Laundry for me means up and down stairs, dishes and
making beds bending and stretching. All of these chores become
something I not only don't mind, but something I consider a good
and useful part of my day.

Before the modern conveniences like washing machines and microwave
ovens, people seemed happier going about their daily lives. There
was less stress, less noise, less pressure. You'd set it up to
talk to others while you chopped vegetables (there was no food
processor). I think there was more laughter too.

I was asked to shell peas once and I remember reacting like I'd been
asked to work a chain-gang. "Ah, Mom! Do I have to?" I sat on the
back porch, feeling sorry for myself and staring at the magnificent
view of Mt. Hood, and I realized the chore was actually quite
pleasant--not that I'd ever have admitted it to mom. Quiet time,
working with your hands can be very worthwhile, soothing, even
therapeutic, if you let it.

Consider your daily chores--are there any opportunities to change
the way you view these necessary parts of your day?

Think of a chore you aren't fond of doing, and see if you can
turn it at least into something you're willing to endure for
the sake of some exercise. For instance, I'm not fond of vacuuming.
It's cumbersome and heavy, and I'm not the one who dirtied the floor
anyway (this is my ongoing rant). We have hardwood floors so there
is very little vacuuming to be done, but soon we're moving into a
home with carpets. What then? I'd better do something about my
attitude toward vacuuming fast.

The vacuum is loud, so it's not a job for commercial breaks on TV
(unless you live alone), or my favorite cleaning time of very early
morning. It is definitely good exercise--in fact just getting the
clumsy thing out of the closet is probably what I most dislike, so
maybe rearranging the closet to ease the burden would be a smart

Next I'll decide how often I want to do the job because for me, I
know I get things done when I have a plan. Ever try EFT on a task
you don't want to do? This is your chance to see if EFT works for
changing your attitude about chores, just like it can change your
mind about your food and eating habits.

Gary Craig who originated EFT said pinpoint specific incidents for
best results. So perhaps if I go back in my memory to specific
times I either vacuumed and didn't like it, or was told to vacuum
and didn't like it, that would be helpful. I'm not remembering
anything specific so I'll start with, "Even though I hate to
vacuum, I deeply and completely accept myself."

Tap continually on the karate point or sore spot while saying the
complete sentence, three times through. Then while keeping it in
mind (with a shorter version, such as "vacuuming") or remembering
a specific event, start to work through the tapping points, tapping
on each about six or seven times, then moving to the next. There is
no right or wrong cadence--just go with what feels "right" and it
will be.

After going around once, I do remember being younger and not wanting
to do my Saturday chores (which coincidentally included vacuuming),
so for another round I'll choose, "Even though I hated when my mom
told me what to do, I deeply and completely accept myself."

I still don't like being told what to do or being bossed around, so
that is what I'll choose for my topic today. I like to pick one thing
for the day. If I only work on it once, that's fine, and if it's a
persistent problem, then I may work on it more often.

That is the point of these Daily Bites. If I address something that
strikes a chord with you, or just looks like something you think
is important, that's great! If my topic isn't something you can relate
to, see if it'll fit for something else.

I timed it to see how long it takes to empty the dishwasher and it
was less than two minutes, proving the complaining takes longer
than the doing. Try EFT for your chores and strive for finding more
balance in your daily living.