Living a balanced life

“Self-acceptance must come from within.”

By Roger Zotti

Psychotherapist and motivational speaker Diane Lang says what she learned from writing her book, Creating Balance & Finding Happiness (Kendall Hunt Publishing), was “to re-use my own tips and tools when I had a major illness. Sometimes you write about something—even teach it—but it’s harder to follow your own advice. When I got very sick last year, I had to take my own advice, which was tough.” In fact, the reason Diane wrote her book because “the information, tips, and tools I write about really helped me. I wanted to share what really worked.”
Diane says writing her first book, “The Path from Motherhood to Career,” and her latest weren’t overly challenging. “I had the basic information I used to help myself and others, so I found writing the books therapeutic,” she explains. Her third book, which she’s now writing, “is more challenging because it’s a process I’m still working on, which is releasing my addiction to fear and living a life of trust and faith.”
One concept Diane kept in mind while writing “Creating Balance & Finding Happiness” was gratitude. “I talk about it in my book and in my workshops. I can’t stress how important it is to live a life full of gratitude. I’m constantly saying thanks for everything.” She suggests a daily “gratitude check,” which for her takes “2-5 minutes.” Then she begins her day by asking herself, “What I am grateful for in my life?” Then at night she asks herself, “What am I grateful for that happened today?”
A recurring point in “Creating Balance & Happiness” is that in our fast-paced world most of us seek instant gratification: “Society has come to a point where everyone wants a quick fix…but that doesn’t happen and sets us up for failure,” Diane asserts. Positive changes in a person’s life “will take time,” patience, and “trial and error.”
Diane’s views about being selfish may surprise readers: “The selfish you….is good because it means a better, healthy you for everyone around you.” She recommends making “a verbal or nonverbal commitment—whatever it takes. Just make ‘you’ the most important person in this world. Now, you can go out and give the world your all….Don’t ever hesitate to be selfish if it means a better you!”
Another standout point is self-acceptance. “I have caught myself many times looking for approval from others, but once you become aware that you can see the pattern…stop it dead in its tracks by knowing it doesn’t work,” she writes. “Self-acceptance must come from within. Looking for acceptance and approval from others is a sign of low self-esteem.”
In straightforward and unpretentious language, Diane’s book offers common sense suggestions—which some people may have forgotten and about which they need reminding—about how to live a balanced, happy life. She considers “Creating Balance & Happiness” “a journey” for herself, for her daughter, and “for everyone who reads it. Also, its goal is to help herself and “others to be the best people they can be by using the tips in the book.”

Diane’s book may be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, www.kendallhunt.com, and www.dlcounseling.com.