How Your Balance
he little lady in the white dress caught my eye, teetering unsteadily on the grass near the shore of the lake. And then she fell, sitting heavily on her diapered bottom. Mom watched eagerly as she picked herself up and began moving forward again.
Learning to Balance. Toddlers are not the only ones learning to balance. We're all struggling with the issue of balance in some way. We're looking to do our jobs well, to raise our kids right, to be a good spouse or lover. We want to spend time with our friends, time with our family, time with ourselves. We want to play sports, enjoy hobbies, nurture outside interests. We want to take care of our homes, our cars, our bodies, our heads and our souls.
Everything is interrelated. Balance is not separated into categories. Everything is interrelated. The anklebone connected to the leg bone, the leg bone connected to the thighbone, etc. We are systems within systems. Mind-body-spirit-individual- family-society-earth-nature-universe. For example, our environment may affect our emotions, which affect our energy, which affects our organs, which affects our total health. If you are out of balance in one area, your whole system is out of balance.
Health is a question of balance. All health, say the experts, is a question of balance. Imbalance in the body's systems, chemistry or energy flow creates disease. Imbalance in diet, sleep, exercise or anywhere in our lives can also lead to disease. Exercise in moderation for example can improve or maintain health, but if we spend all our time at the gym to avoid our feelings we will be physically and emotionally unbalanced. We may risk physical injury or our denied feelings may unconsciously motivate self-sabotaging behavior in rela- tionships or work or manifest in our bodies as some other kind of illness.
Balance is a question of choice. Of course, you say. Everyone knows about the importance of balance whether it's in our nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, or financial planning or even our world's environment. But while health in any realm may be a question of balance, balance is a question of choice. Are you consciously moving toward balance or only reacting to pain? I must admit, as I answer this question for myself, I realize too often I do not give attention to imbalance until it shows up as discomfort or "disease" in my body or my life.
Seeking homeostasis? The urge to find balance is a natural part of being human. Every one of us is seeking our own balance, looking to claim ourselves, to fulfill our purpose, to transcend. Every organism and every system out of balance seeks to return to stability or homeostasis. If we ignore or are unaware of an imbalance in our bodies, minds, or souls, we will receive small reminders like chronic aches and pains. If we continue to ignore, deny, or remain unaware of imbalance, our systems or our souls will ultimately get our attention, using a major life or health crisis like a tumor or a car wreck to do it.
Just wait for the lesson? I often tell potential coaching clients, you don't need me to learn what you need to learn. Your soul and the universe will ultimately teach you one way or another. If however you want or need a more focused approach you can choose to become a student of your Self, the master of ceremonies of your movement to balance, and the author of your life experience. Moving toward balance requires asking yourself some good questions:
What does balance mean to me personally? How would you describe life and health in balance for you?
How's my balance now? Take a moment right now to rate yourself on your own balance scale. Using a 1-10 scale with 1 repre- senting being out of balance all of the time and 10 represent- ing perfect balance, where would you place yourself? Does this rating surprise you? What did you learn about yourself?
Do I want different balance? Would you like to see a change to better balance now? Be assured that improved balance and centeredness is possible to achieve in your life right now regardless of your life's circumstances, deadlines, or those lists of tasks that grow longer each day. The first step is to take responsibility.
How can I be responsible? Taking responsibility for your own balance requires recognizing your power of choice. Choose to be committed. Choose goals for your own health and balance. Choose to be more self-aware. Choose to learn. Choose to seek out and take in new information, and choose consistent action to move to balance. Are you ready?
Where do I want to create more balance right now? Make a list of the places you feel out of balance. What areas do you want to change? Is it your work/home life balance? Do you want a more balanced financial plan? Do you need to find a greater sense of purpose in your life and work? Is your body out of balance, chronically in a state of disease?
What are my goals? Once you have a focus for your move to balance, you need to set goals, and that's not easy to do. Goals are frightening. The attainment of goals requires commitment - the choice to change, let go of the old and learn the new. Yet without clear objectives and purposeful action we drift into an illusion of balance and invite the reactive crises to disease imposed by our bodies and souls seeking a return to wholeness. What are your goals for balance in your life? What will your balance look like, feel like?
What do I need to learn - about me, about health? In addition to the things you know about where you are out of balance, there are things you know you don't know. For example, I know I could benefit from learning more about nutrition. Then there is what you don't know you don't know. To discover new pathways to health and balance, investigate and explore new information and alternatives. Perhaps it's time for some kind of test or health exam? Could you benefit from a lifestyle assessment, an EQ test, or coaching sessions? Is it time to read about acupuncture, herbs, or nutrition, or take a class in yoga or meditation?
What actions do I need to take? What can I do to move toward balance right now? What can I do on a regular basis? What is the next step I will take? Awareness without action creates illusion. Taking action immediately changes your balance.
Where can I go for help in returning to balance? In addition to traditional methods, there are many alternative resources that will help access your balance and increase your awareness of your body-mind-spirit health. The choices cover a broad range:
From acupuncture, a two-thousand-year-old method of healing by unblocking and manipulating the body's energy; to meditation that evokes your own higher wisdom.
From massage therapy for stress reduction or repairing sports injuries to essential oils that can alter moods or promote healing through their aromatic and herbal properties.
From chiropractic that can return your body structure to balance to Feng Shui, the ancient art of creating a balanced physical environment in your home or office.
Nutrition, holistic counseling, healing with crystals, herbs, water therapy, homeopathy, Ayurevedic medicine, psychic coun- seling, spiritual counseling, dance or movement therapy, fitness and wellness programs, and more.
We are all seeking balance. Our health and well-being are a question of achieving that balance. And, achieving balance is a matter of choice. To have the balance you seek, evaluate where you are now, examine the choices you are making, identify what you need to learn, and take your next step toward balance now.