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The Elements of a Balanced Life

Episode 25 of the Fuel the Fire Podcast hosted by Shanon Safi, RD, LDN.

When you’re making a change in any aspect of your life, do you think about all the ways it might impact you? Do you make sure to balance the change with the rest of your life? In this episode, Shanon walks through the 6 elements to a balanced life to ensure you set yourself up for success that sticks.

In this episode we talk about:

  1. Nutrition: Are you properly fueling your body? (02:03)

  2. Movement: Do something fun and fulfilling! (04:17)

  3. Purpose: Center yourself around a reason (07:22)

  4. Surrender, Release & Introspection: Get connected on a deeper level (10:02)

  5. Connection: Seek something deeper with those around you (12:11)

  6. Play: You’re never too old to explore and wonder! (15:01)

Episode Transcript:

   Always thinking about these different elements and how they fit into your life in the way that lights you up. That's what you need to really take care of yourself. Do these little things that just let you feel alive again and just free your soul. Hello, hello, my beautiful people. Welcome back to another episode of the Fuel Fire Soul Podcast with your host, Shannon Safi.

I'm really excited to get into today's topic. the topic because it perfectly aligns with the new program that I just launched, Fuel Fire Soul. This program is my ultimate baby. I've been working on incorporating all these different elements of different things that I learned over the years and all the new certifications that I have from 2022 and I can finally put those into one program.

That genuinely is that holistic approach that I've been always trying to encapsulate and serve to my clients. And so, I am extremely excited to talk about this because again, this is really, it just feels like a culmination of my life's work up until this point to kind of finally be able to put it all together and birth it into the world so that everyone can experience the magic that I really believe that this is.

So today I want to talk about the elements of a balanced life, because truthfully you cannot look at your life through one scope. There are so many aspects to our entire being that are really important to address whenever you're trying to make any type of change, because a change in one area of your life usually impacts another area of your life.

Typically, it impacts all the areas of your life. So that's why it's so important to really approach this in a whole person way and really think about all the elements that are required for you to properly take care of yourself and to make that transformation something that genuinely lasts. So here I have six elements to what I believe to be the important things to address when trying to live a balanced, holistic life.

The first one I'm going to talk about is nutrition. You probably could have guessed it with my background as a dietitian. This is so important for so many reasons. If you really think about it, nutrition is the fuel that you need to do any of the activities that you're doing. If you don't have proper nutrition, or if you think of just in general, like, if you didn't eat at all, like, you're not gonna be able to function, you're not gonna be able to last or thrive, the same way you can't drive your car without putting any gas in it.

So, with nutrition, it's really about properly nourishing your body, rather than thinking of, how can I restrict myself in a way to look a certain way, or to be accepted by society, or to earn love, and all of these things that we... Maybe you previously thought nutrition was, which again, for me, I struggled with that for a long time to really understand how to properly teach nutrition and to really even embody what it is that I knew I had to start teaching.

So, with nutrition it's really about proper nourishment and understanding what that looks like specifically for your body. So, it's eating enough food. It's eating frequently throughout the day. It's making sure that you take the time to actually prepare. It's being mindful about what you're putting into your body, and it's such a good place to really focus on really just connecting with your body and what it's asking of you.

So often we go through our day and we're kind of disconnected from our body, or we follow programs of what we think we're supposed to do, or how we're supposed to eat. And really, the goal with nutrition and making it balanced for you is tuning into your body and understanding what it's asking for. Your body has a beautiful way of telling you what it is you need, of course having a really good foundation of learning about what nutrition really is and what a balanced diet really looks like, that's gonna help a lot because we have so much conditioning and layers of what we believe is healthy based off of the media or the way we were raised or the way we were raised.

Things that we saw our friends do. So, it's really important to take the time to understand what that looks like and connect with your body so that it can help guide you in this process. The next key element is movement. The reason I don't like to use the word exercise and I prefer the word movement is because I feel movement really encapsulates like a bigger, broader spectrum of things that we don't necessarily.

Connect with exercise. So, with movement, there's so many different types of movement and it doesn't have to be formal exercise or what we think formal exercise is. I love to do my movement outside because that's a really great way to connect to the earth, connect to nature and get some fresh air. There is something that sunlight and sunshine and nature and all the elements and the animals really does for us that again, because we, you know, depending on what region you live in, it can sort of make you feel limited as to when you can get that experience.

But even just like a 10-minute walk outside is great movement for your body and a great way to connect to nature. And with this movement, there's different types of movement that you can do, right? So, I would categorize it in different ways, like cardio elements, strength training elements, and just fun elements in any way you think of it.

As long as you're moving throughout the day, especially if you have a more sedentary job, It's great to just kind of throw like little subtle movements, whether it's stretching like yoga, or even if it's just informal stretching, or just popping up and doing some squats, or just making it a point to go up and down your stairs a few times if you work from home, or if you can get up and just like walk to the water fountain in your building if you're at an office, or if you're allowed to take breaks and step outside.

Just increasing those little bits of movement throughout your day We'll create a huge shift. So even if you find yourself feeling so busy that some days you don't really get a chance to actually work out or go to the gym the way you had intended or take a class, whatever that might be. Still incorporating small little sporadic elements of movement throughout your day will make a huge difference because right now, for example, if you're listening to this and you're feeling a little hunched over.

And, you know, you just, you haven't moved too much. Like this is a great moment to just get up and shake it out and move your body in any which way, like, again, that movement, it could be just getting up and doing a little dance, putting on a tune that makes you want to move your body. This movement is going to help in so many ways, from stress relief to emotional processing to again, being good for your health and your joints and your longevity.

So it's really good to just focus on putting little bits of that all throughout your day. And again, like I said, it can be little small things, just making sure that you're moving your body in some kind of way that's going to help your healing and your health overall. So much in ways that most of us aren't even conscious of, and you don't even have to be conscious of the ways that it can help you, and you'll still be able to experience what that feels like and how good that can be for you.

The next element I want to talk about is purpose. So, with purpose, this can be different for every person. Purpose can show up in different parts of your life. For some, it might show up through their work. It might show up through your family life. It could show up through your friendships. There's so many different ways.

Like, tapping into the community and doing something that's beyond yourself. Feeling that you're contributing to something greater. Having a sense of purpose in your day will help you feel so much more guided and aligned. And if right now you feel really lost as to what your purpose is, that's totally okay.

It's really normal to feel that way. Giving yourself some time and space to explore that a little bit more for yourself is really going to help give you a lot more meaning and fulfillment throughout your day. So, if right now, maybe you're in a job where you're feeling like you want your purpose to be through work and your career.

Take the time to explore different avenues of what lights you up so that you can make the kind of transition that will truly fulfill you. Because what you don't want to do is feel aimless and then start just like throwing darts and seeing what sticks. Sometimes that can be a good tactic just because by moving and making a choice and doing something different, you might be more likely to find another avenue, but you also don't want to frustrate yourself and feel more defeated by going through so many situations that kind of feel almost like they're misguiding you, because sometimes when we are doing too much aimless action, it can retract us as well.

So really taking the time to ask yourself, what makes you feel good? What truly lights you up and really just not putting any limitation on what the answer might be You know, what can typically happen is when we start to explore this, especially a lot of people want to make it their career They might feel that certain things that light them up won't make them money So then they really shy away from diving into their purpose So you have to just let that thought go and get it out of your head because you really, you know, it's 2023, you can make money doing just about anything these days, right?

And when you're truly passionate about something and you genuinely see it as your purpose, it is going to serve you to pursue that in any which way you can. So definitely keep that in mind and be really open to whatever answers want to show up and let yourself get creative with how you can explore that and really put it into the world.

So, the fourth tip I want to talk about is, I didn't have a better name for it, so I consider it Surrender, Release, and Introspection. It all goes together. If I had to sum it up, I probably would have just called it Spirituality, because really what this is about letting go and just letting yourself flow with life.

Just flow and release the resistance you might be feeling towards the way things are happening right now. And this takes some time of sitting with your thoughts and letting yourself feel what you need to feel and allowing that to give you some answers of things that you might not have clarity on right now.

So with this, the practice of surrender, releasing and introspection, it can be done through practices like meditation. It can be done through dance. It can be done through journaling. Working with a coach is another really great example. These are opportunities for you to really surrender again to what life wants to bring you and what life has been showing you.

We can get really caught in what our ego wants, in the reality that we think we want to experience, that we can sometimes block ourselves from what's actually going to make us genuinely happy. So, practicing receiving, and allowing yourself to get the messages that might be being thrown at you, but our head might be down and we're too focused on what's going wrong and we're too focused on what we're not getting, that we think that we want, that we're not seeing the good things that could potentially be coming our way and happening in our life.

So having a practice that helps you let go and helps you release and helps you really just have the ability to feel what you are meant to feel in this lifetime through your different experiences. That is really going to allow you to walk the path that's genuinely meant for you. The fifth element that I wanted to talk about is connection.

This again, there's so many ways to view all of these points. So, when something pops up into your head, so me just saying these words or saying these topics, if something popped up into your brain, that's the thing that you should follow. That's your intuition tapping in the thing that kind of wants to take over right away.

Sometimes that can be your intuition. Sometimes it can be a trauma response, but if it excites you, if something popped into your brain and you're like, wow, I really miss doing that or, oh, this sounds so exciting. Follow that. Explore that. Connection can be so many different things. And again, it really depends on what you enjoy.

Connection can be with your family. It's something that you can do with yourself, something that you can do with friends, with your partner, with children, with the elderly, really anyone. Allowing your connection to really be explored in different ages, with different people, in different interests, can be a really beautiful thing.

Let yourself expand beyond the walls that you might currently be in. Try something totally new and connect with the types of people that maybe before you might have felt intimidated by. If you're curious about certain things, create a connection through that curiosity. You can learn a lot from other people, and it can show you a lot about yourself.

And this can help give you permission to explore things, and give you permission to step into someone that you've always wanted to be. And connection, really, I always come back to this, I think life is really about love, loving ourselves and loving other people in the same way. And so, connection is a really great way to just exude that and explore something that is really nourishing to both parties.

Think about that balance of like giving and receiving through connection and so many of our connections. They really are mirrors to ourselves so again connecting and feeling that love and truly embodying what it means to be love and to exude love is going to do wonders for So many aspects of your life like your stress and your fulfillment and your happiness a lot of that is rooted in connection.

So, spend time with people. Make that a priority. Give yourself permission to make that a priority. You know, if you are willing to show up to your job 9 days a week, no questions asked, then make this a priority in the same way. Because this is important for your life. Hang out with your friends. Spend that extra time with them.

Carry on the conversation. It's good for you. Trust me. And the final element that I want to jump into and finish off with is such a good one that we all forget about as adults. It is play. I think so many of us get stuck in wanting to accomplish things, wanting to achieve things, that we forget to go back to this basic element, which is play.

Explore new things. Be a kid again. Do the little stuff that used to light you up. Keep that inner child alive and joyful. So much of your joy is going to come from the play in your life. Maybe you like to do puzzles. Maybe you want to go dance class. Maybe you want to go to a dance class. Maybe you want to join a soccer rec league.

Maybe there's a play that you want to take a part in. Maybe you really just like to, like, play in the kitchen and make a wild meal and pretend like you're on an episode of Chobbed. I might be talking about myself. But yeah, just let yourself play, let yourself explore, jump around like a little kid. Go climb a mountain, go splash in a lake.

Like do these little things that just let you feel alive again and allow you to forget about what time it is, where you are, any of your responsibilities, any of your obligations, and just free your soul. Let your creativity out, get into art again. All of these things that we kind of let go and leave back in our childhood, you really want to bring back into your adult life.

These things are just good for your soul, good for your happiness. They're going to make you feel so good to just let your hair down and not worry about what anyone else is thinking. Yeah. So really these elements, I'm so excited about the program. I know I already talked a little bit about it, but through this program, I wanted to really show people a way that they can design this into their life so that they're always feeling good.

And when you start to feel off balance, you'll know what it is that you need to do to get yourself back. Because a lot of times we fall off course or we're off balance and we have no idea why. And then we just kind of build-up that off balance. And so, with this, always thinking about these different elements and how they fit into your life and the way that makes you feel good, that lights you up, that's what you need to really take care of yourself.

And to be. Almost like the parent that you need to yourself. I always like to kind of look at that relationship with ourselves almost as like I'm two separate beings like here I have my inner child Shannon and then I have my adult Shannon and We need to have those conversations of hey, what is it that we're missing?

What am I not giving myself? What do I really need to honor right now for me? Sometimes kind of having that removed from yourself, it lets you get a different perspective. And especially if you think about like your inner child and your adult self, it's going to give you a lot more freedom and permission to allow yourself to play, allow yourself to move, and allow yourself to do the little things that might feel like they're missing right now.

Or even sometimes it could be as simple as needing a hug, needing that connection, like things that little kids need, but we don't always think because we're an adult and we're in this different life stage that we have to let those things go. Remember to bring them all back, baby. So yeah, if you're interested in the program, I am running a special for January.

It's half off and I will honestly literally never have it this low again. So, if you've been even slightly curious, you should jump in now. If you want to chat a little bit more about it, DM me on Instagram. We can set up a time to talk and I’ll even send you a few free days so that you can check out some of the different elements of the program so yeah hit me up while I’m still offering those free services so like I said you can get a little bit of a taste thanks again for listening guys as always if you liked this episode or you think you know someone that might really enjoy it please send it over to them If you really loved it, I would greatly appreciate it if you shared it on your story and tagged me at fuel the underscore fire.

I love to hear from you guys. So, shoot me a message. Let's chat. I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm so excited for the next episode. I have a special little surprise for you guys. So, stay tuned. Love you. Bye.



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