When you get right down to it, life is a balancing act. We constantly strive to balance everything—Work and play. Self time and time spent with our significant others, children, other family members and friends. Serious, reflective moments (like this post) balanced against silly, goofy ones (see my previous post). Whether we are attempting to find the time to start or maintain an exercise program, or just steal an extra hour from our week to sink into a favorite chair and catch up on that novel we’ve been dying to read, the need for balance in our lives is a daily, often hourly, task.
But what about the need for balance inside each of us? What are you talking about, huh, Mike?
Triad of Balance.
Before we can find the time to balance our hectic lives, or begin to understand how to approach doing so, we need to balance our selves.
There are three parts of each of us that I feel need to be individually balanced—Mind. Body. Spirit. And then they need to be balanced together.
Let’s start with the Mind, because once we have our head on straight, the rest falls into place nicely. The brain needs to be fed. There are lots of things that our mind absorbs each second—this post, for instance. The good thing is: we can, most of the time, choose what we ingest mentally. I suggest we feed our mind nothing but the good stuff, by that I mean: read more, watch TV less—or watch TV programs that add interesting, informative, positive data to our brain. That goes for what we read too—read fiction, sure, but a variety of it. Also everything else that stretches our limitations, help to learn new things, or add more positive, thought provoking images to our brain. Focus on the good in the world, while acknowledging the not so good, but remaining positive throughout. The more positive, intelligent, happy, helpful, kind, intriguing, beautiful (add your own positive word here) thoughts we incorporate into our brain every day, the healthier, happier, and more balanced we will become.
We also need to exercise our Mind. Just like muscles that do not stay active, an inactive brain will become flabby, less sharp. Work both sides of the brain: do puzzles (I love crosswords; do one a day), challenge yourself by learning a musical instrument, or joining a group like Toastmasters or by enrolling in a night college course.
Let’s move from the Mind for now and focus on the Body. If we need to feed our brain with good, healthy data, you can probably guess what I’m going to say next, right? Remember that old expression? You are what you eat. What we eat and the amounts are vital in maintaining our body’s balance. Eat healthy, nutritious foods and our bodies will respond in kind. Keep portion size down, and our body will not only be the right size, but it will help reduce some of the risks of heart disease (the number one killer in America), cancer, diabetes, hypertension, gastrointestinal problems, and any number of other maladies. Add to that healthy diet a sensible exercise program (see Ten Reasons To Get Out and Walk Every Day ), and our body is going to love us. Speaking of love, let’s add that to the list of things the brain should focus on each day.
We also need to keep the Body (and Mind and Spirit) free from negative intruders—tobacco, excessive alcohol, and dangerous drugs.
Treat your Body like the temple it is and you will feel great, live longer, and get yourself that much closer to being balanced.
Now the Spirit. Spirituality means different things to different people, but with one common bond—the act of doing something positive that fulfills us. And just like with the Mind and Body, our Spirit needs to be fed and exercised daily.
Feed your soul with happy, healthy, helpful thoughts, daily, then expand outward—share a funny joke with friends, call your mother or father on the phone just to say hello, offer a random act of kindness to a stranger, (leave a nice comment on someone’s blog post). On a larger scale, we can do volunteer work, give to charity (money or time), join groups or forums with like-minded people practicing spiritual giving. And, of course, worship our higher power at our place of worship, or at home.
Now the hard part—balancing all three: Mind, Body, and Spirit.
There are times, too rare, when I have had my Triad of Balance in harmony, when I have felt mentally healthy and happy, physically strong and active, and spiritually fulfilled and content. But more often than not, one, or sometimes two, or the three need work. And when even one of the three is off, the result is: I am out of balance. Put another way: I am not complete, not the person I know I can be.
The ultimate goal, for me at least, is to have all three—Mind, Body, and Spirit—in balance all the time. While that is often a mighty challenge, it is one that, when attained, makes me the best person I can be, and well worth the effort.
Remember, all we, as flawed human beings, can do is try. Work at everything I’ve discussed in this post, each and every day, and good things are bound to happen.
Visit my website, livelife365.com, for videos about everything I talked about in this post…and lots more.
Until next time…