I intend to write about some principles that I have found to be invaluable in my own life.
Obviously I am writing about them as ideals. As imperfect humans we do not always manage to manifest our ideals perfectly. However, maintaining the intention to do so is a powerful practice in its own right.
The first one I will tackle is balance.
Do you lead a balanced life? Are you a rounded person? Do you maintain balance and poise no matter what is happening around you? Or are there aspects of yourself which are a little out of kilter?
The principle of balance works in many ways, at many levels. For example
- Physically – Are you equally strong on both sides of your body, or equally supple? Is your upper body more or less well developed than you lower body? Of course we do not have complete control over these things due to our genetics, past accidents or influences which have left their marks. But we do have control over how we sit, stand, move and exercise and whether we put more effort into our weaker areas than our stronger ones, and whether we focus too much on one type of exercise which might overdevelop one aspect of ourselves in relation to others.
- Emotionally – Are you more or less emotionally strong or resilient than you are physically or mentally strong? Do you repress your emotions or are you perhaps too easily emotionally aroused or too quick to dump your emotions onto others? Do you willingly put yourself into situations which you know will challenge you emotionally, or are you emotionally timid?
- Mentally – Can you see both sides of an argument? Having decided on something after reasoning it through, are you able to maintain your resolve? Or do you often allow your emotions to hijack your thoughts?
- Spiritually – Do you have a voice of conscience, a set of morals or standards that inform your thoughts, feelings and actions? Are your standards too highly enforced, leaving you often feeling guilty and repressed in your humanness, or do you overindulge yourself and put your standards aside rather too often?
In all these things (and in other aspects of life too), working towards balancing ourselves invariably leads to a higher quality of life.
If you thoughtfully examine current affairs, news and world events, it is possible to see how lack of balance of one kind or another has contributed to tensions and turmoil. Almost all distress in life comes through lack of balance of one sort or another and although much of the distress that you feel may come principally through a lack of balance by other people, groups or nations, balancing ourselves lessens the likelihood that we will inflict harm on others, and thus reduce the endless cycle of action and reaction that often ensues from this.
Although it is often futile to attempt to moderate the extreme or unbalanced behaviour of others through mental persuasion, the example that you set in your own life can be far more subtly influential, at least to those near enough to you to experience your presence and state of being. And with the whole world being within just six degrees of separation, any positive influence you have within your own immediate life sphere can spread far and wide – probably much more so than you might imagine.
Good luck with your efforts at finding a dynamic balance!
And in future articles, I will be seeking to do my own bit by covering a healthy balance of topics.