Are You In Balance?
“Always keep your balance. Your dreams come true
only when your feet are on the ground. Keep going,
you never can tell when a miracle will occur.”
Are you in balance and what does that mean anyway? Yin-Yang, Male-Female, Left brain-Right brain, Work-Play…
We are told the ideal is to lead a balanced life. The principle concept of Navajo metaphysics says that we must walk in harmony with the earth and ourselves lest we do damage to both. Hozho is the word that describes this balance and it is a key element to being happy.
Sounds great hey? But what does it look like circa 2011?
First thing to recognise is that it’s different for all of us – we are all unique so what works for you may not work for me and vice versa. Anyone who tells you that they have THE cure all solution that works for EVERYONE is simply delusional.
So – recognise your uniqueness and honour yourself. Trust that yes you really do know best!
Next – define it – balance that is.
Emotional, Physical, Mental, Material, Spiritual.
Emotional – some people need lots of friends, others enjoy a limit of 3…, some people want to go out all the time, others like to stay at home and read a book, some people need to vent, others need to mull things over. So what about you? What would ideal emotional balance look like?
Physical – same deal – some people need to run 10kms every morning, others need to pump weights, while still more enjoy a quiet walk with the dog. On the food side we are different too – some can eat mung beans others need a steak.
Mental – they reckon the human brain weighs about 4% of body mass but uses about 17% of energy. Neuroscientists now say that we can reshape our brains throughout our entire lives. The old adage of ‘Use it or lose it’ really does apply. So how do you exercise your brain? And what’s the balance between thinking, playing and relaxing that works for you? Remember that fun things like games are good.
Material – so here’s the pressing question of our times. What’s a good balance between material wealth and happiness? The research certainly shows that below a certain threshold (in the US it is about $60,000 per annum) every extra dollar of income does have an effect on happiness but after that the effect diminishes. So what’s your ideal balance of material abundance and free time? How much money and ‘things’ is enough?
Spiritual – I believe this one feeds all the others – if you are materially rich but spiritually poor you’re most likely a bit of an arsehole (sorry) – but seriously – how do you feed and nurture the inner you? This can be as simple as quiet time to take the dog for a walk and go all the way to meditating for hours a day, praying, chanting or whatever works for you. The key is – Are you at peace?
Now you have a picture – what’s going to get you there?
In a nutshell - Daily practice and weekly rituals.
Little things accumulate – so 15 minutes every morning setting your intention for the day really does slowly add up. Just like taking time on a weekly basis to exercise, spend time with family and friends, read, write, ruminate and have fun.
If you have a good idea of what balance looks like for you then you can take the time to work out what sort of daily practice and weekly rituals you need to keep you on track, in balance and at peace with yourself and the world.
And the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle – outcome versus journey.
Don’t get so focussed on the outcome that you forget to stop and smell the roses.
“Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the shadow.”