We often discuss "balance" as if it is something to achieve, like reaching the top of the mountain. I have long thought of balance in this manner, like a see-saw, or yin-yang, this constant juxtaposition between two different states and somewhere in between you feel a piece of balance. Recently I realized that thinking of balance in this manner was not helping me because it meant that I was constantly putting energy in to bring balance in, adding whatever is opposite to return myself to that middle ground. I should say that this isn't necessarily a bad way to look at things, at least we are working to get back to that middle ground and sometimes we just cannot help but be brought away from the middle ground. BUT, on a day-to-day basis I think we need to get away from the seesaw. Balance is synonymous with peace and harmony, which are both states of being. Imagine for a moment that your life isn't harshly divided between black and white, yin and yang, but is a swirling blend of the two. Regardless of the level of activity within yourself, it is permanently streaked with peace and harmony. A rough week requires some nourishment to balance things out, but ultimately what is best is to strive to not have a rough week. While a return to balance requires action, living balance is more a shift in perspective. I often think of people who live insane lives then go to yoga to "restore balance," then curse their way through traffic the entire way home. That is the seesaw. That is only putting your body through greater stress. We shouldn't have to do yoga or meditate in order to maintain sanity!
Peace and harmony do not necessarily denote, "easy going," though. On the contrary, we define peace and harmony on our own terms. I have loads of physical energy thus my definition of a peaceful state is much different than another person's definition. Living a balanced life is more living a life that nourishes each individual's peace. The key is "living a life." I did not say "doing activities" that nourish peace, that brings us back to the seesaw.
So the big question is: does your general life (not the random events, but the 90% of the time) nourish your definition of peace? Before you answer that question, you might want to sit down and write out what peace/harmony/balance mean to you. What is the picture that pops into your head when you imagine it? The next question to go through is, what is in the way of you feeling balanced? Is it your attitude/perspective (mental state) or is it your lifestyle (physical state)? Remember that it is possible to change the mental state, and if the mental state cannot be further changed then it is time to change the physical state. What are you willing to do to create a balanced life?
In my mind, living a balanced life is going with the flow, my flow. This means that I don't have to think too hard or try too hard. Thinking/trying too hard is not so much that I don't put effort in, as much as it is saying that I don't exhaust myself while putting the effort in. Think of a project that was challenging but greatly rewarding, you likely put in a lot of effort, but you felt amazing while doing so. That's how life should be. When you feel exhausted it is the result of going against your natural flow, this is representative of being out of alignment with your higher path in life. I think we could all benefit from not trying so damn hard all the time to make life work, because deep down we all know that life works best when we let it flow. Where can you gain from a little bit of surrender in your life? Until it become clear what you should be doing, stop fighting so damn hard and just surrender. That surrender will support mental peace, the mental peace will eventually give way for physical peace to come over the body and guide you forward. This isn't perfection, this is balance.
Chelsea M Latham
When I was a kid my mom would occasionally refer to me as a Reverend, because I had the need to speak so passionately about just about everything. Little did she know that some day I would build a business upon sharing the wisdom that I am so passionate about. So here you go, here are some bits and bobs of thoughts strung together for your enjoyment.