I Opened My Heart, it's All Over This Page.
One of the things I learned when I first started studying Alternative medicine is that true, vibrant health is a state of balance: the emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual states working together in harmony. I loved the sound of these words: balance, harmony. They struck me with their beauty and simplicity then, and they still do now.
But truly understanding what balance & harmony implies? A little messier. Not so clear cut. But, who doesn’t like a little nitty-gritty chaos once and awhile?
Oh good, so you’re feeling a bit adventurous?
I thought I understood what they meant on that day in class, writing the words in my otherwise blank notebook. I didn’t. And, I still don’t. At least not fully. But here’s what I’ve learned so far:
It’s freakinggg hard to be in balance! It takes constant work. At least that’s my experience. You have to tackle your issues, challenges, and obstacles head-on. As a person of extremes, I have trouble comprehending how to not always give 10000000% and let other things fall to the wayside. I’ve also realized that trying to do complete opposite doesn’t work either. (As I told you, I tend to go to extremes!) And, sometimes, you have to see-saw like this to realize that there even IS a middle ground. Once you experience both ends, then it’s easier to recognize what the middle might feel like.
But, the most profound thing was my realization that balance is not a static, but rather a dynamic state.
Yes! Balance, much like life (and you & I) is constantly in flux. It does not exist in a vacuum! It moves, shifts, turns.
The balance of my life, work, relationships, and personal time for today may not necessarily apply for tomorrow. Maybe today I actually need to focus more on work, and that is OK…. as long as I maintain other things as well. And perhaps tomorrow there will be a need to focus a bit more on relationships. And maybe the day after that I will feel called to have more personal time. It’s all good! Just as long as I’m keeping track of what I need today. At this moment. Right now.
True balance is the ability to go with the flow of life: to realize that my needs, wants, and desires constantly change but that I can honor them daily by checking in with myself.
That’s why balance was so evasive to me for so long. I thought I could plan it in my calendar. But, as life has so often shown me, very few things can be planned or calculated. In part, this is beautiful. In another part, it’s extremely frustrating. And, I do have a few “non-negotiables:” I dance and do one piece of art each day. If I don’t, I feel dull, icky, and not like myself at all. This is the foundation that everything else in my life springs from. Without these things, I have no sense of center and I crumble.
So, as I often say. Start simply. What might your balance foundation look like? What are your non-negotiables?
And hey, it may take going to extremes a few times to figure out what balance means for you.