How to Find Balance in Our Busy Lives
May 23, 2019
The pursuit of balance is an ongoing challenge for us all. Between work, family, friends, travel and taking care of our bodies, the need for mental and emotional equanimity is ever more critical. It is also increasingly difficult to achieve — so much so that at times our efforts to create harmony can throw us off-kilter even further. To learn more about the importance of balance for body, mind and spirit, read on. 1
The truth is, achieving that feeling of equilibrium is a lifelong, ever-evolving objective. And often, the best way to approach it is to by not trying to change everything at once, but rather implementing small adjustments over a sustained period of time.2
Balance, for us, is when doing is counteracted with being. It’s finding the space and bandwidth to offset activity with stillness, chatter with silence and being out in the world with quiet home time.
Take the practice of yoga, for example. Each pose has a counter pose. Such as, when doing a backbend that stimulates, one must neutralize their body with a forward bend that releases. Everything we do on the mat can be applied to our lives, off the mat. With every action we take, there is a reaction, and the more we counteract our busy days with relaxation or our lazy days with movement, the more grounded we will feel.
Many of us, by necessity, focus more on the doing side of life – carpools, career, charities, significant others, social outings, fitness, etc. These are the “things” we’re told to do in order to have a rich, fulfilling life. But in reality, the more we do, the less balanced we are. And as the pace in our life increases, we run the risk of abandoning our inner worlds and losing touch with the deepest parts of ourselves– the stillness.
A philosophy we try to live by is: focusing the same amount of energy on our minds, hearts and health (internal) as we do on our work, social activities and families (external). Easier said than done, of course, but by identifying goals and reflecting on them from time to time, or by simply setting the intention to create harmony, we move closer to finding balance.3 And just like riding a bike, living a steadier life comes easier as we gain the right amount of momentum.
In the end, not even the most practiced of yogis, truly feel balanced all of the time. In this day in age, having moments of stress and struggle is inevitable. Yet, when we truly understand the origins of our moods and feelings and are not afraid to experience them, we are able to embrace change and allow ourselves to evolve. In other words, it’s often through the process of losing balance that we ultimately attain it.4
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” –Thomas Merton