Author: Sunny Massad
Most people over 35 are tired of working on themselves. The very nature of “self-improvement” causes us to feel like we should continuously aspire to be better rather than allowing ourselves to rest in who and where we actually are.
Learning how to accept yourself as a work in progress, to cultivate compassion in place of criticism, and to nurture and nourish yourself instead of neglecting your poor, tired body, is “a path of enlightenment.”
Losing your balance means living a life of either/or instead of both/and. Both work and play, both aloneness and togetherness, both discipline and indulgence all result in a life that reflects equilibrium and peace of mind.
Unlike the single-focused, driving force, “make it happen” books and workshops that dominate the self-help market, I recommend that anyone on the verge of burnout embrace the more yielding precepts of Eastern philosophies. They give emphasis to values like acceptance and peace of mind. It’s up to you, though, to place them within the context of Western values of efficiency, ambition, productivity or selfless service.
Westerners tend to get themselves into trouble because they have a tendency to choose one way over the other. Both are needed: a rich life on the inside, through self-reflection and contemplation, and a rich life on the outside, through hard work, play, and creativity.
Commit to a life filled with more love and joy by eliminating old patterns that consistently result in stress. The journey of transforming your life requires rediscovering the core values you may have abandoned in your day-to-day life, simply because there hasn’t been enough time to keep up with it all.
To reverse the symptoms of self-neglect that result from the constant drive to cure, fix, acquire and improve yourself requires a belief change. You will have to commit to living according to your highest values first.
If you are ready for a personal transformation experience, and feel that you cannot break old patterns of thoughts and behaviors on your own, there are specific exercises in UnTherapy: A Positive Psychology for Enlightened Living that can help you to clear obstacles and establish a new way of being, a new way of living the most peaceful life you can manage at this phase of your life.