Balance is a word we see used a huge amount when it comes to anything to do with health and wellbeing as the ‘thing’ to aspire to achieving. It is used by a lot of therapists who often claim to have the way to helping us achieve ‘balance’. As such, it has become something we would all love to have and often spend a lot of time and energy focused upon, yet what are we really chasing? Do we even really have an idea what it means to us? And is it something so narrow we should be aiming for anyhow?
Firstly, I don’t believe one can truly have ‘balance’ if they are not connected to their inner world of emotions and feelings. We need to be able to experience sensations on a visceral level first to embody the experience, then to make sense of it on a conscious level; we cannot gain it externally without having a conscious connection back to the internal world.
Secondly, we can never actually achieve that point of perfect balance, as by my understanding it describes a static point, and as human beings, we are never static from birth till death. All the body rhythms, the blood, lymphatic fluids, the movement in the cerebral spinal fluids to name but are few all ebb and flow constantly like the tide, continuously moving and changing by day, by month, by season – we breath in and out right down to the cellular level and these rhythms are always in a state of movement or at a momentary point before movement starts again.
So rather than ‘looking’ for a specific point to focus upon, I prefer to look at it in terms of a ‘zone’, a place where we experience the energy we take in meeting the energy we give out, where all the organs and bodily functions are operating within their optimum ‘zone’. That zone is the place where we can move forward in our daily life with minimal effort, we are clear and focused upon our purpose and our actions to meet that are relatively unhindered by our psychological and ancestral patterning. Yet every moment or phase in life is ephemeral, so as we move onto the next moment, so we need to continue to be mindful of what it is that is pulling us one way or another.
So how do we know where that zone is and how can you find it? Every experience we have in life helps us gain a clearer idea of where that theoretical place is for ourselves. So therefore, to truly know where that may be, then we need to live and experience life, to explore where the extremes are, where the edge of our conscious world lies. When we know where the extremes are then we can gain a greater insight as to where our optimum or ‘balanced’ zone lies so long as we are doing all this with a conscious awareness.
We need to reflect on how good our entire being is when we are in a great place experiencing all the joys of life, and then we also need to embrace the dark moments, the times of despair, of deep sadness, of rage etc as it is often in those moments that the greatest insights into who we are and what drives us become apparent.
On a workshop many years ago the following saying was shared which perhaps best sums this up:
“Whatever is happening is exactly what needs to be happening for you to learn what you are here to learn, so take notice what is happening”.
So, rather than bury our head in the sand or suppress the feeling, the emotion, the ache or pain, ask yourself why you are at that point, what is your learning? When one can truly embrace both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’, then one will start to understand where the place of peace between those is and what resources they can draw upon to maintain themselves in that zone.
To operate within the ‘zone’, we need to create a healthy routine to nurture the body and mind that includes appropriate exercise, good quality food and have some
form of mindfulness practice. However, integral to maintaining a routine that supports one to operate within their optimum zone is having time out from those routines. This is the cycle between Yin and Yang, just as day becomes night and day again; we need focused action followed by rest before embarking upon the focused action again. Understanding the importance of this cyclical movement allows us to reflect and experience what the differences between the two are.
So we need on occasion to let go of the focus and have an all night party, sleep all day and do nothing – let it all go and just be in the moment. Yet if we spend all our lives out on the extremities we tax and strain our body – It consumes more energy. If one works or approaches being ‘balanced’ in an intense and overly focused way, then even though they may be eating the right foods and doing the ‘right’ things, something is not right. The body mind is tight and unyielding.
So in summary, balance is something we pass by occasionally, however if we live with a mindful awareness of what is going on in our life, are proactive in our health and wellbeing including receiving some external input or reflection from trusted therapists, then we will minimise the extreme ups and downs and maximise the time within our own optimum zone.