This is a reblog of an earlier post about finding balance. My week has also been off balance. I have a Yoga Teacher Mentor workshop tomorrow on Low Back Issues, and I found myself researching so much I lost the overall intention of what I wanted to share with others, and I became overwhelmed. The analytical brain hijacked my heart… and I became disconnected from others around me.

Despite yoga I lost my middle ground this week.

So what was missing?

I stopped and took a breath, and then launched right back into exactly what I had been doing before. There was not enough time to pause fully and observe or to reflect on what was happening.

It was more like a break in a never ending marathon of getting things done. This is not enough to nourish mind, body and spirit or find real balance.


When you have found your middle ground, life is in balance. There is no overwhelm or anxiety, no fear or regrets.  You are in the present moment and content. 

Knowing that this place is available to us is reassuring … but our minds have “minds of their own” and still prefer to go into their own tailspin of thoughts about the past or worry about the future. Worried man

How do we recognize when our emotions start to sabotage us or our overactive thinking takes over from reality?

By regularly checking in with ourselves.

We may do it formally in yoga or in meditation, but a really helpful informal daily practice is to to do mindful check-ins with yourself.

These are referred to, using the STOP acronym.

S = Stop for a moment

T = Take  a breath

… And then a few more until you feel the mind start to settle and you land in your body once more. Perhaps bring hand to your belly and tune in to the sensation of breath, and the feeling of connection.

O = Observe…

… Ask “What am I aware of right now? In my body, my mind, my heart? … Can I be with it – without judgment? This practice is STOP not STJP!

Take time to reflect and perhaps journal about what brought you to this place. Be an observer of yourself from a caring place. Perhaps imagine what a loving friend or grandmother would see in the situation, and what she might say to you.

P = Proceed…

… After acknowledging thought, sensations and emotions, accept them for what there are right now. Allow them to move wherever they need to go.

As a practice it helps us understand that whatever arises, it does indeed pass. We don’t need to react to it. We don’t need to overcome it or run away from it. By recognizing it, it will lose its power. No matter how difficult or intense the experience can be, we are able to find our way to living it  with more balance and peace.


Ask yourself now. “Am I really stopping and finding balance or I am just taking a break in a marathon of getting things done?”


35 comments on “Can you Recognize When Life Gets Out of Balance?

  1. Aloha dear Val – yes, I think we are all challenged this way. Age is what has taught me to find the balance you speak of. I have tremendous energy on all levels. But I find if I’m in the office for a couple of hours, I need to get outside in the garden and work there, or go for a bike ride. The bike is zen, no doubt about it. The garden is still activity, but it’s so very different. Weeding, I’m sitting, digging, contemplating. The puppy noses in for love. The birds sing overhead, hopping from branch to branch, sometimes checking me out. My heart joins my body and I am part of this grand earth, once again. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Different locations and activities. Tending in many ways. Yet the essence is the same. Taking time to reflect inwards and appreciate the gifts of the world around us. Thank you Bela 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing this post Val, I will come back to read it again, when I feel the need and don’t remember it all ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the ‘STOP’ acronym. Very helpful, if I’m awake enough to use it! 😉 Hope your workshop goes well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mscapricorn

    I swear you always write exactly what im going through at the moment. That’s how I stumbled on your blog in the first place.I have been extremely stressed out lately. It seems I am going from thing to thing and not really accomplishing anything. I have deadlines to meet and they aren’t ones I can just say I will put off till later. One is my class for my online college. 5 Weeks for one class back to back all year long and other obligations I have. I just recently wrote on my blog that I was thinking about journaling again. I just hope that doesn’t turn into a chore too. lol. Thank you again, Val! Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post, dear Val. How many times I find myself in that spin…getting to my yoga mat helps. Getting into meditation helps. And…I’ve had those moments when relaxing into my breath just wasn’t going to do it. Hi jacked indeed!! Thank you for the STOP acronym. That’s awesome. 💕

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I have to say my life took a U turn when I hit the rock bottom n i did ‘STOP’ as you mentioned in this post. Doing that opened so many things about myself that were always trying to ask for my attention but I wasn’t aware of those. When I finally did, I found myself in a completely new place. This place is not pleasant all the time. It’s a struggle . But to struggle for something I believe in brings me contentment in heart and soul I never had before. Reading your post makes me look back at that time I did ‘STOP’ just few months ago. Thank you for this lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “The analytical brain hijacked my heart …” – when I read that line Val, I couldn’t help thinking about the Diana Ross’ song: “Stop in the name of Love”. If my memory serves me well, I think the next line goes: ‘…before you break my heart ..’ And to some extent that is what it’s all about really – we need to S.T.O.P. before we break our hearts. It’s all about loving ourselves enough to take time for our needs and not necessarily our wants. OK, I’ve rambled on enough – I only hope what I’ve said makes some sort of sense. As ‘Carrie Cannady’ says above, this is a great post.:)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. My go-to Mindfulness

    A great reminder to us all to STOP. Thanks for sharing this Val.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Eventually, yes I do figure it out when my life is out of balance. It takes me a while to recognize the symptoms, and even longer to realize how to correct the imbalance. But I get there in the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice reminder. I have been completely out of balance these last few months.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very useful, dear Val ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m out of alignment, Val. I shall take a break and STOP for a moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Just what I needed to read. The recent events in the nearby city of Charlottesville have left me feeling off balance. I allowed myself to ‘withdraw’ this past week and ‘just be’. It’s been very good for that grounding that I needed to restore. Thanks, Val!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. A lovely tool for a check in, Val. I have a flashing red light on my forehead that works really well, but it’s amazing how long I can ignore it! Lol. I hope you’ve recovered your balance. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. CoachMandala

    Great post! I recognize that sometimes it is important to STOP and evaluate if I am on balance. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Love the acronym for STOP.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Happens to all of us from time to time. What’s important is recognizing that oops we’re out of balance and fixing it. you are super good at doing just that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: