Untangling this essential exercise
What does it even mean?
When our Life gets imbalanced we don’t even realize it, even if the signs are everywhere. We can feel overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed and frustrated and yet in the success driven world we inhabit this seems quite normal. Our priorities are at the whim of others as their schedules dictate how we spend our time. Life feels extreme with little room for rest or respite. With no opportunity for equilibrium, we still do not question, how did we get here? On an intrinsic level it is a tug of war between the personal and the public persona. The constant jugglery to balance the two worlds feels like burning the candles at both ends, even though that sounds like an overabundance of metaphors. We keep plugging on until a complete breakdown occurs.
Many of us know we are missing something. We wish to take agency of our time, our thoughts and our dreams to create a beautiful mosaic that includes our career and interests, family and relationships, health and spirituality. Can we strive for it? Can we sustain it? And what steps can we take to succeed?
In my viewpoint the struggle for balance is the line in the sand between the individual and the demands on them by those they are accountable for. It is the seesaw between wanting to stay healthy while indulging, chasing opportunity while being held back by responsibilities or opting for stability when dreams beckon. In real terms we see these translated to roles that systemically demand a lot from us, parenthood versus career opportunities, friendship versus spousal obligations, comfortable versus style, modern versus traditional – the list is endless.
Thomas Merton said,” Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony”. This gives a cultural context as to how we can keep everything aligned as we seek balance. Requiring both attitude and discipline, making alterations requires a very strong core.
Reading and researching about it, I have learnt it is best to focus on the immediate. Instead of obsessing about the future or dwelling on the past, staking your mind and attention on what is happening today keeps one grounded. It requires us to be present in the moment for work, family and friends. Complete engagement keeps our mind from being scattered in multiple directions. Serving as guardrails, it keeps us connected to everything we value.
Setting off in the right Direction
Hitting the right notes in the morning can jumpstart one’s day. For some, this can mean meditation, others rely on exercise, while some prefer to pray or indulge in some quiet time. The crucial thing is to connect with oneself, affirming and understanding that every day is a gift that needs to be unwrapped and savored. Minimizing the negative influences around us is another major hurdle to overcome as we strive for balance in our lives. Ridding ourselves of toxic impacts will enhance the aura around us and soon a heavy weight will be off our shoulders.
To gain equilibrium, we have to forgo the sense of control. Paradoxical as it sounds, this is acknowledging and accepting that we cannot do everything all the time. Having come to this ultimate understanding, we can now go forth and begin to truly live Life to the fullest.
Being creative, is another important touchstone to achieving Balance. Even though most of us are required to adopt a practical approach to everyday living, we need to explore creative outlets. This allows our minds, hearts and imagination to soar, our vision to stretch, redefining our Life and it's outlook. Creativity can add color and dimension encouraging us to be a better version of ourselves. Finding artistic channels can be as simple and varied as gardening, coloring, painting, story writing, writing a blog, photography, or learning a craft or anything one is interested in.
Now that we have outlined a framework that can help us achieve balance, lets chart out an actionable plan, transcribe it and consciously strive forth to live a more adjusted life. Join me in this quest and share your tips as to how we can live life to the fullest.
We are stronger together