I’ve recently been deriving a lot of inspiration from the blog of a friend I’ve known since I was about 13. We see each other about once a year or so (she lives in L.A now) and every time we meet, it’s like no time has passed at all and we’re suddenly transported back to the verandah at school, swapping stories about boys, giggling about celebrities (though nowadays she has the gossip first-hand, straight from L.A!) and eating the most delicious food (usually made by the friend in question).
Her name is Tash and she’s the writer (and chef) behind The Chirpy Bird.
The Chirpy Bird is a blog in which Tash shares her experiences, wisdom and characteristic humour, along with some of the most delicious recipes (both indulgent and healthy) you’ll find this side of a Border’s best-selling cookbook shelf. She’s also somewhat of a domestic goddess, the queen of shabby chic, and has the warm, inviting charisma and vivacious glow of a truly beautiful soul.
She’s been through ups and downs, through health scares, dealing with the debilitating illness of an immediate family member, the stresses of being so far from friends and family, break ups, make ups and somehow, she always maintains a centered integrity and optimistic outlook that I know just draws people to her.
So when I started thinking about how balance is the key to building a foundation of happiness in life and how getting the right mental, physical and spiritual nourishment is a recipe that we each need to create for ourselves, I realised there’d be no better person to talk to about it, than a woman who loves to write all about feeding the body mind and soul.
C: What’s your philosophy on ‘balance’?
T: Ahhh Balance…that ol’ chestnut… it can’t be mistaken for a final destination but rather the gold at the end of the rainbow and something you’re always striving towards. It’s always about the journey so consider this all part of life’s work. There’ll be days where its easier and days where it will feel like you’re an act in your very own circus.
It’s important before you try to balance anything to take a look at your life, your priorities and be realistic. Balance doesn’t mean that your life is divided equally and compartmentalized to perfection. One person’s balance is another persons imbalance. The first thing you need to do in order to determine what your personal balance looks like is to know what’s important to you.
What do you want your life to look like? What do you want it to be made up of? The things that you say “yes” to should organically fall under those categories. No one can do it all, nor were we ever supposed to! Ask for help.. and the hardest part, be kind to yourself when it’s not coming together easily.
C: Have you ever been in situations when youv’e felt out of balance?
T: Of course! It’s also good to remember that in order to learn and appreciate balance, we must experience imbalance. Look at nature, there would be no balance if it was 24 degrees and sunny everyday! We’re human, we will experience all the colors of the rainbow and all the seasons. The key is to be kind to ourselves and each other. A defeatist attitude is a sure fire way to send you spiraling into oblivion and lose sight of it all.
C: What do you do on a daily/weekly basis to stay ‘in balance’?
T: There are a few things that I do daily to ensure that my mind and body are in the best possible shape in order to deal with stresses and “white noise” that trigger feelings of imbalance.
- Meditate. I’m a big believer in Vedic Meditation. The physiological studies alone have shown that meditation restructures neurological pathways in the brain and elevates the frequency that we have the ability to function on. A wonderful aide when you’re wanting to live your life in grounded clarity.
- Move. I’ve always been an active person, so whenever I don’t move I feel sluggish, which can lead me to feel stuck and sluggish in life. I move my body everyday and at the least 4 days a week I break a sweat. For me it’s important to keep those energy pathways open and moving. When I do this, the ‘white noise’ naturally falls away and it’s easy for me to be clear minded about what truly matters.
- Mindfulness. I’m aware of who and what I say “yes” to. What you feed yourself is the simplest way of telling yourself what you’re worth. I eat whole foods, organic whenever possible and I’m aware of how much meat I consume… always be aware of eating things with eyes that look almost human. That’s something that’s recently caught my attention and something I’m definitely conscious of. Whether you want to believe it or not, everything has an energy, what are you subscribing to?
C: How do you guard against burnout in your life?
T: Again for me, it’s all about being aware of what I say yes to. Think of yourself, your energy as a bank account; if you say yes to everything then you’ll be broke! Its time to take a step back and think about what’s really important to you. Valuing your time and your energy and being mindful of where you spend it, is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. Once you begin to be cognizant of this, you might find that your life changes dramatically. Your relationships, health, career, everything may change. But be sure that balance will ensue organically once you are standing strongly in your truth and integrity.
Stay tuned for part two of my interview with Tash later this week.
*All images courtesy of The Chirpy Bird.
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