Urban Echo News 

Invest in ‘I’

by Janette Ward

I am delighted to introduce you to Ravinder, an inspiring woman I am pleased to call a friend, who has written about why and how she has made powerful changes in her life in order to create a happier and more balanced life… Here goes!

While on my personal development journey, I came to realise how important it is to invest in “I”.

On reflection I can say I have spent a lot of my life investing and pleasing others. I believe there was a natural balance in my life until I became stressed and chronically tired and started to feel a lack of energy most days in the period between 2010 and 2016. I consciously started to adjust the balance of my needs from 2007 onwards. Now at 50 years old I realise it has taken me 10 years to find a routine for creating a balance and space for me on a regular basis.

Many things have supported me and contributed in my journey to regular personal time: writing my journal, mindfulness, relationships with my family and friends, faith in the creator, prayer, yoga and walking. Having been born into the Sikh faith, spirituality has always played a big part. My religious upbringing in Punjab, India before coming to the UK created a foundation to practise and build on my faith. Seeing my mother reciting the daily Sikh prayer ‘Japji Sahib’ from a young age every morning subconsciously set my own belief system.

When I was not putting myself first, I lost balance with regard to taking care of my own needs, it left me feeling physically low in energy, with a lack of motivation and confidence. At work, responsibilities and the duties alongside were all mounting up to become a strong stressor in my life. Due to the exhaustion of my work responsibility, I was unable to balance a social life and find time to function socially. My relationships were suffering due to less attention and the quality of our time together was reduced. At home for many years I was exceeding my maternal duties and also the role of caring for the whole family.

It is important to look after your own needs in order to continue providing and meeting the needs of others. I have had to learn how to balance my own expectations and the work, society and cultural expectation of myself and release the need to be perfect in all aspects of life.

As Ralph Blum says “You are reminded that you must first draw from the well to nourish and give to yourself. Then there will be more than enough to nourish others.”

I find poetry and my faith very inspiring and supportive. Poetry has played a part in my self-expression and sustaining my creative flow. In my life when there have been times I was naturally balancing work, home and other people’s needs, life was more manageable. However, when that natural balance got tipped it took me years to come back to a consistent routine to balance my needs and other’s needs; as well as my home and work life balance.

The journey at times has been rocky and at other times smooth. Today, in hindsight, I can say it was all worth it, but while I was going through it, at times it felt like I couldn’t go on anymore, with God’s grace I was able to continue. I believe through this experience I have learnt that suffering is a part of becoming a person in your own right and I now know what works for me to remain balanced and have peace of mind.

“Rome was not build in a day” “But they worked on it every day” – That is the key to our achievement, success and a fulfilling life.

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