De-Stressing with Aila Accad
The other day I had a cyber chat with Aila Accad, RN, MSN. She calls herself ‘The De-Stress Expert’ and is a professional speaker, trainer, author and well-being coach. She has been self-employed since 1978 studying and teaching effective ways to get rid of distress for healthier, happier living, which is kind of neat because nine years into it she had a revelation that would change her life.
CLH: When did you realize slowing down was a good idea?
Alia: When I pulled the covers over my head and wanted to disappear for 3 months in October of 1986. I was married with two children, 9 and 11, a home-based business and studying for my Masters in Nursing. There was definitely too much to do and I was burning the candle at both ends trying to get it all done ~ perfectly.
CLH: How did you go about making the change?
Alia: I pulled the cover over my head and imagined hiding out for 3 months and starting over again. The thought came to me, “What if I died right now, who would do all this stuff?
The answers changed my life.
There were things my kids would do – help with laundry and cooking; things my husband would do – like shopping; and things that no one would do – like change the toilet paper roll, make the beds and help anyone who was in trouble. I asked myself why I was doing these things that did not matter to anyone else.
In some cases, it was because it mattered to me. In other cases, it was beliefs about what I ‘should’ do, inherited from my mother and father’s to-do lists. These needed to go.
I had a heart-to-heart with my husband and children. We adjusted responsibilities and I ‘let go’ of having tasks done the way I would do them.
CLH: What strategies have you developed to remind yourself about the
importance of balance?
Alia: This is a daily practice. I start with gratitude for waking to a new day, set an intention to be present to my soul’s purpose and keep my actions in alignment with that. Mindfulness, breathing and occasionally stopping to reassess ‘what is most important right now’. Being aware that today could be the last day of my life gives urgency to spending each moment in alignment with my self and purpose.
CLH: What advice can you give others who struggle with maintaining work/life equilibrium?
For me, and most women, work and life are not separate entities.
In fact all the categories we place life into are artificial, including weekdays and weekends. Life flows continuously from birth to death.
If you look at a balance scale, you will see that the two pans on each side are not separate, they are connected to a center fulcrum.
Imagine that one pan holds your life-time, the other your life-experience.
This is your Time-Life balance. The fulcrum is YOU.
The time side is finite and you don’t know how much is there. You get to choose what to place on the experience side of the scale.
My suggestion: Choose wisely every moment, every day and be engaged fully in whatever you choose!
CLH: Thank you for your time!
Alia: Thank you!
For more information about Aila’s work, go to her website http://www.ailaspeaks.com Sign up for monthly ‘De-Stress Tips & News” and receive her e-book “Ten Instant Stress Busters” as a gift. Aila presents the simplest, most effective information and tools she has learned and created in a 4 DVD with Action Guide package called ‘The De-Stress ToolBox™’.