We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.
- E E Cumings
We carefully orchestrate our daily lives so that we are in a job, where we can earn the big bucks, to afford the big house, the new car and the latest gadgets. We eat out at the “in” dining places, with the “in” crowd. We go to the newest fanciest bars. We partner up 'cos everyone seems to be doing it. It makes us feel good. It’s the cool thing to do, right? But who’s really making these decisions?
In the meantime, life chugs along, you become discontented. Work isn’t fun anymore. And you’re not really sure about the friends you hang out with. But you need to earn the dosh to keep living the life you’ve become accustomed to, with the friends you think you need to butter up your sense of self-worth. Now throw into the mix the increasingly frequent bouts of headaches, the stomach bugs, the flu and the possible skin rash. While this is all this is happening, you keep getting the niggle in the back of your mind, that it doesn’t have to be this way. But you push it down deep to the recesses of your mind and tell it to shut up. Really? You still want to keep living that way? Sounds to me like a life way out of balance.
Look, I’m not poo-pooing a lifestyle of abundance. We all desire to live in comfort. But continuing to do anything which doesn’t serve you or make your happy anymore will tip anyone into imbalance.
So what makes up a life in balance? If you have a combination of most of the following, then you’re on the right track.
- You possess a robust physical well-being. You probably exercise regularly. You’re sturdy and you’re the person least likely to break an arm or leg, sprain an ankle, or dislocate a joint.
- You have strong immunity to disease. You don’t get affected by colds, headaches or the flu.
- You maintain a good balanced diet. You eat all the good stuff in moderation. You allow yourself the pleasure of the occasional dessert and you don’t feel an ounce of guilt. More importantly, you stay away from junk food.
- You have healthy emotional and mental boundaries. You frequently listen to your gut feelings. You know when you’ve had enough of any situation. You won’t put up with anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or goes against your personal beliefs. You’re not afraid to stand your ground and say so.
- You have a positive outlook on life. You have an innate belief that everything happens for the greater good, and you don’t let setbacks bring you down. Most times you think happy loving thoughts.
- You’re in a loving, respectful relationship with your significant other and with yourself. You honour your partner and their needs, but likewise you also honour your needs and allow space for them to be met.
- You accept your dark side. Everyone has a shadow self, but you acknowledged yours and embraced it. You don’t let it rule your everyday, but you’re always aware that it is there.
- You don’t dwell on the past. You let the past stay in the past. You don’t let it define your current situation.
- You cultivate a happy playful attitude. You have a childlike curiosity about the world. You’re endlessly enchanted about your surroundings and the people around you. Around every corner is a new treasure to be explored.
- You have an innate trust in the universe. You have an inner knowing that you are being looked after by a higher power. You have surrendered your hold on your life to this higher power, you let life’s magic unfold in your everyday and it is wonderful.
- You feel connected to everything. You see a piece of yourself in everything and everyone. And because of this you have a renewed respect for all people and all things in your environment, because you feel you are one with everything.
Simply put, being in balance is prioritising what is important to you in every single moment. If your body is in need of nourishment, feed it. If it feels tired and needs rest, lie down. If it’s feeling out of sorts and slightly frazzled, unplug yourself from the internets and go out in the sun, take a walk in the park. When you’re feeling emotionally or mentally overwhelmed, allow yourself time and space for silence. When you’ve had a long frustrating day at work, disconnect from what’s going in the office and leave it there. Don’t let it intrude on your life at home. Remember you are in charge of your boundaries. And once every few days, make time and let yourself recharge by allowing yourself a bit of simple self-nourishment. It could be a bath, a good hearty meal, a quiet moment in the garden, a swim in the ocean, a bike ride, an afternoon nap, some fresh flowers to gaze at, a cuddle with your pet, a cuddle with a love one or getting yourself lost in a book. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
So the next time you’re feeling rundown and in the early stages of something flu-ey, do you drag yourself off to work? Do you tell yourself you don’t have time to stay at home and get much needed rest, because there’s an avalanche of work in the office? Is it because you’re afraid your job may be at risk if you don’t make an appearance in the office? Better yet, lets rephrase the question. Will you prioritise your health over your job? Let’s get real! And if your answer to that question is in harmony with how you truly think and feel inside, then well done, you! If you aren’t there already, you’re certainly on your way to being in balance.