We talk a lot about finding balance in our life, usually this refers to juggling work, family, and various responsibilities etc. However true balance starts with our state of being. If we are off-balance so is the rest of our life to some degree or another.
True balance can only be achieved when we focus on body, mind and spirit separately. Even though they’re interconnected there are aspects of each that require attention.
Let’s start with body, which is the obvious one. Everyone has a body. We have our basic general self-care grooming routines, than there’s nutrition, making sure we nourish our body with wholesome foods. Foods that help us thrive! Exercise is another important part of maintain a healthy body. However if your beating your body up with extreme forms of exercise, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Exercise is meant to be enjoyed not a punishment for having a body. There’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself, but pushing yourself to the point of creating physical handicaps is insanity.
Let’s move on to our mind. Let’s get honest, the incessant mental chatter in our heads is exhausting. Our brains produce upwards of sixty thousand thoughts a day. It sounds impossible but that’s what a lot of science professionally say. Ninety percent of the time we’re not even aware of it and according to Dr. Chopra most of it is repetitive. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt…lol. Start practicing meditation and mindfulness. You have no idea how good it feels to have moments of mental stillness. You begin to understand the beauty of silence. Incessant mental chatter is like pollution. If you were raised in a very polluted city, you don’t know how good clean air is, until you move to a place with no pollution.
Finally there’s the spirit. Many people equate spirit with religion. No, spirit is the energy that animates our body. Spirit is synonymous with breath. We enter with an inhale and we depart with an exhale. I was at my grandmother’s side when she took her last breath. All that was left was her body, the container that held her spirit, her energy, her being. Rumi (a thirteen century Sufi poet) said “Do you make regular visits with yourself?” This is domain of the spirit.
Cultivating a basic spiritual practice is simple. Start with practicing gratitude, non-judgment, compassion, acceptance and forgiveness. It helps connect us with the best of humanity, and in turn, it helps create a better world. As Gandhi said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s not complicated and its worth it, otherwise we stay stuck in low-energy emotions like jealousy, envy, greed, hate. These emotions do not create balance, they create dis-ease. Nothing good comes of them.
There will always be an ebb and flow between these three areas. It’s the organic state of our existence. Nevertheless the more aware and focused we are in these separate areas, the more balanced we will be.