Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

December 3, 2013

Inaugural expo to show how to live a balanced life

By Wade Coggeshall wade.coggeshall@flyergroup.com
Hendricks County Flyer

---- — Some of the steps often suggested for achieving a balanced lifestyle seem so simple.

Get sufficient exercise and sleep. Eat healthy. Find a hobby and routinely set aside time to relax and meditate.

And yet with the rigors of work, school, and parenting, it’s easy to throw that symmetry off. Add in a major life change like divorce or the death of a loved one and it can be even more of challenge to not neglect yourself when you’re trying to take care of everything else.

Being a mother, Becky Homko knows the difficulty of balancing family life and work. As owner of Today’s Events & Business Services in Brownsburg, she decided to bring together vendors and experts who can help people achieve that equilibrium.

The Balanced Living Festival & Expo is set for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex, 1900 E. Main St., Danville. Those offering products and services for healthy living — be it financial, mental, and spiritual — will be on hand. Homko also is working to have related experts to give presentations.

With this being the first edition of the event, Homko won’t charge an entrance fee, though freewill offerings will be accepted. She’ll also have interactive activities for children.

“Some people may see this as a health fair, but I see it as being all about the family,” Homko said. “I’m hoping whole families come to this together.”

The idea for Balanced Living started when Homko noticed how often it was tough to separate fact from fiction when determining what’s best for a healthy lifestyle.

“I’ve noticed there are a lot of health fairs for the senior community, but not a lot for families,” she said. “I created Balanced Living to be about body, mind, spirit, and financial health.”

While technology has made us more plugged-in and connected than ever, it’s also made it hard to unplug. That may make it seem like you’re constantly being pulled in multiple directions, but Homko said life has been hectic throughout history.

“It’s just about trying to find that balance for each family,” she said. “One of my goals as a business owner is to help other local businesses connect with the community — and let the community know there are services and resources here that can help them find that balance.”

Money Mailer is one of the sponsors for the expo, as is the Hendricks County Flyer. Homko also has joined with HendricksCountyJobs.com to offer a career/job fair at the event. Sponsorships and vendor space are still available by visiting the website TodaysBusinessServices.com.

The non-profit Wish for Our Heroes is also part of the Balanced Living expo. The national organization, with headquarters in Noblesville, works to help active-duty members of the military and their families have easier deployments and assist relatives back home. Homko met some of their organizers at a harvest festival.

“They do great things. I wanted to bring them and get some heroes taken care of here,” said Homko, noting it can be gestures as simple as paying a utility bill or buying a month’s worth of diapers.

Wish for Our Heroes also will have a training course modeled after military basic training for children to try at the festival. Homko has learned of many area enterprises that help with various aspects of healthy living.

In order to achieve the ultimate goal of the expo, Homko said you have to commit to every aspect of living.

“Many times people just think of healthy living only in the physical sense,” she said. “They forget about mental, spiritual, and financial health. Even if you have lots of money, that doesn’t mean your body’s always healthy or your mind, and vice versa.”

The Balanced Living Festival & Expo will even have resources for pet health.

“In many homes pets are also part of that balanced living,” Homko said. “They bring that calmness and are therapeutic. Just having an animal is therapy for many people. Then of course there are service animals as well.”

An obstacle that often has to be overcome in this endeavor is convincing potential participants that the time and money involved won’t be as significant as they may think. That’s something Homko has learned in her own experience.

“Just making some small changes have made a big difference for us,” she said. “That made me realize how I could help other families.”

Many such steps are free, like thinking more positively and not letting every little detail stress you out.

“That’s always easier said than done, but sometimes that decision you make for yourself really determines what’s stressful and what’s not,” Homko said.