It is in the contrast, or time without balance, we learn to appreciate and relish in the divine moments of balance.
There’s much to be said about balance. Be it work life balance, balanced diet/nutrition, a balanced, body, mind, and or soul. The balanced moments when everything feels good, we are healthy, strong and full of energy, when we can be calm and at peace with all that is. With every moment we approach, we have opportunity to lose and to gain balance. Sometimes we can see when we lose balance and other times it isn’t until we literally fall flat on our face that we see just how imbalanced we really are. Creating balance is different for everyone. Finding balance is also a never ending journey that takes both time, and from experience, a lot of patience to navigate through. At certain points we may also happily be rid of balance for a moment or two all together. But for the day to day, I’ve experienced relative balance is often offset because of the ease of an old pattern, too many commitments, over indulgence in what we love, or our ever-present I want it here and now mentality. Balance isn’t achieved overnight, and it’s almost never perfect for more than a fleeting moment. Life happens, changes occur, and on we go. However, even given all of the inevitable surprises that come with the day to day, brining even a hint of balance throughout our lives can really help us to feel all that much more grounded, healthier and happier.
I wanted to dive into two parts of balance in particular. A balanced body and a balanced mind. May these thoughts give you something to think about and maybe even try.
A Balanced Body
Balance in the body is often one of places we don’t notice imbalance until its to late. When we pay too little attention to how we move, or what we put in our bodies workouts and nutrition can be more draining then energizing . Loosing sight of how our muscles miraculously contract, how our lungs bring each breath that allows us to move forward, and how energy from food derived pure and straight from nature allows us to be our best. A balanced body is multifaceted, it requires focus and attention to where you are right here and now.
I’ve lost balance of my body many times through either nutrition or exercise, creating digestive issues, weight gain and or injuries. Learning to have a balanced body, for me, has meant understanding my unique body. From its PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) to over dominant quads I’ve had to learn what balance physically and nutritionally means for my body. Thus I’ve learned; before we balance we must observe. Often when I’m feeling out of balance with my body I consider: whats changed in my body, feels uncomfortable, or has started to lag? Physically speaking, imbalance leads to injury, over development of muscle groups, fatigue, physical stress and overall discomfort, so its important to take the time to observe your body.
Nutritionally speaking, imbalance can lead to food sensitivities, unhealthy gut flora (my recent problem), weight gain, fatigue, stress, anxiety and oh so much more. Given allergies and hormonal imbalances, nutritional balance has been a bit of a trial and error journey for me. I have a great appreciation for reaching a point where with nutritional balance we can give our bodies the nutrition to thrive, strive and still enjoy a few treats here and there. My goal currently is to find the balance nutritionally where my body can thrive off of wholesome foods, yet, I am still able to enjoy a treat or two each week. One of my favourite things to say is that everyBODY is different but the important thing is to find balance with what works for your and your body.
Some other thoughts for finding a place of balance within your body are to try:
A) Consult with a nutritionist, Naturopath, Doctor, a nutritionist/medically approved meal guide, or tracking your nutrition through a food diary/app like My Fitness Pal or LoseIt. Don’t focus just on Calories but also have a look at your protein, sugar, healthy fat, fibre and daily vitamin intakes. What are you missing? What are you overdoing it on? Consulting a professional on this is a great way to bring your body back into balance.
B) Modify your movement. As our body can be muscularly or skeletally imbalanced from time to time its good to have a Chiropractor, physiotherapist or other qualified professional assess the imbalances in your body. Someone like a physiotherapist or a sports therapist can help to make suggestions on approaching fitness as a way to balance your body, muscles and skeletal structure. But as always its just as important for you to pay attention to your body. Notice for example: where your weight goes in a lunge or a squat, where your weight is when you run, do you run lopsided? Be sure to also incorporate a rest day into your week. Rest is crucial to rebuilding your body as is stretching! So incorporate both into your daily routine. Again a fitness or healthcare professional could give you customized stretches to help balance out your body but in general gentle stretching or foam rolling is a great start. Having a balanced body will aid in keeping you energized and strong, avoiding injury for many years to come.
Finding the right balance of what your body can tolerate both physically and nutritionally is tricky, takes some experimentation, and A LOT of patience. But its also fun being on the journey of seeing your body reap the benefits of giving it exactly what it needs. When our bodies are physically & nutritionally balanced we are stronger, more energetic, and in a sense more durable to go about daily lifting, carrying, running, walking, playing and goofing off or just doing the active things we love!
A Balanced Mind
Again this will be different for everyone but for me balancing the mind is sometimes harder then balancing the body, but is often necessary before attaining success with a balanced body. When we begin to balance the mind we may find the need to spend some extra time focusing on what we feel. For example: I can certainly feel when my thoughts drift off into worry world, anxieties keep me up at night, or I cant seem to focus because I’m so distracted by my judgmental thoughts. For me a balanced mind is one that isn’t inundated with negativity. It is a mind that has,
A balanced mind is one that can relish in the peace of being present and is forever intently listening to its soul. When my mind is balanced I find judgments fade away and I can be present in the learning and love that surrounds me. Of course this also includes being able to express emotions rather then holding them in or stuffing them down. There was a time were I let my mind run on fear, placing myself in a box where feelings weren’t allowed to exist. Then there have also been the times where I can’t seem to stop emotion. Neither of which is a balanced approach.
So what is a balanced mind? For me my mind is balanced when I’m able to let go of judging my emotions and just to be as I am, weather that means jumping for joy or having an off day, I can accept not only myself but also others. A balanced mind can recognize that when we judge others we judge ourselves. All of which can create unrealistic expectations. Whenever I feel my mind is unbalanced with judgment, fear, anxiety or expectation its just another reminder to bring my thoughts back to my truth, back to love, and back to faith. A balanced mind can find the love in all that is whether it be something comfortably familiar, or miraculously different.
These are some of the approaches I’ve found help when trying to balance my mind and find a little peace:
A) Counter judgment with a smile – Instead of comparing yourself to someone smile at them, acknowledge that the light in them is also in you. Show them love as you would an old friend (perhaps they might even become a new friend). What I’ve come to learn is that often we compare ourselves to others when we see the potential of ourselves in them. The comparison is just our little self going HEYYY WAIT A MINUTE I could do that, be there, go there, or see that, why am I not? So take the little judgments as a signal to instead appreciate that person for who they are, what they are doing and use it as inspiration for taking steps towards dusting off the dreams you have!
B) Find your happy place, a little time in the day thats just for you. Time to: sing, dance or move it out, craft, or watch one of your favourite movies. Just find a way to boost your energy into where you can let your mind wander into a happy place where you do and want to feel your best!
C) Make plans with friends – Practice a balanced mind by talking out (not taking out haha VERY different things!), your emotions with each other. Realizing you are not alone in your feelings and having that loving encouragement to just be you goes a long way to balancing your mind. I’m incredibly blessed with so many amazing friends and I’ve found friends will also call you out on your self-criticism helping to bring you back into balance of realizing all that you do have to offer. Good friends always seem to help me acknowledge what I’ve been resisting, or even help me to see my current struggles in a different way. The idea here is to bring what the mind is criticizing into the light so you can work through it in a loving environment, and maybe even see things from a different perspective.
D) Have a Soul Session – Whether its church, Journaling, or spending some time with a spiritual book like ACIM, a spiritual practice of any kind will refuel your soul and help you to clear your mind to focus on where your heart and emotions are. Some of our favourite spiritual teachers or gurus can also help us to learn better ways to bring balance to our life through the teachings they often provide. Keeping your spiritual practice both fresh and apart of your routine will help your to be constantly aware of where your at. I often check in with my spiritual balance by journaling, meditating or finding some quiet time to be with my thoughts. Sometimes IF your thoughts seem to consuming try a guided meditation or some yoga to move through your emotions. But all in all noticing where your souls at an hearing about spiritual practices or ideas can invigorate a balanced mind and help inspire you.
Above all don’t forget to give yourself time! Let go, find balance and find love right where you are. Acknowledge the perfection in imperfection. Balance of the mind and body are a small part in balancing the many components of life, but all in all it’s a fun adventure.
Love and light,