Balance is not only about one’s relationship with gravity, although this is where learning about Balance is fundamental. Any variables (like water and slippery rocks) immediately make balance challenging. How we remain upright demands our focus.
Beyond the challenges of gravity, there are many levels to the concept of Balance. What I want to highlight today is balancing the different aspects of ourselves on a daily basis, specifically, Body, Mind, Spirit, and Emotional Self. This involves asking the question “Am I giving equal time to each of these aspects?”
It’s natural for people to favor one or two aspects. In our culture, the mind and/or emotions tend to take up the largest portion of our attention. It can be an effort to re-direct ourselves to take care of our bodies and to nurture our spirit. Oftentimes, we’re not aware of the need to attend to all aspects of ourselves until there is a crisis. When the crisis requires us to use one of the sides of ourselves we’ve been neglecting, it becomes obvious that we need to change our modus operandi. As we attempt to change, we are likely to find that habitual patterns don’t yield easily.
When we decide we need to quit a bad habit, the ego may view this with a “bunker mentality” and sabotage you every step of the way. (C’mon, you know I’m not exaggerating). This is why, ultimately, you want to have a daily check in with your “Quadrinity” to see how everybody is doing. The Quadrinity is the terminology used in a therapeutic model called The Hoffman Process which offers help in integrating these facets of Self in a structured, supportive environment. (www.hoffmaninstitute.org.)
The Hoffman Process teaches that the aspects of ourselves need to communicate with each other. Let’s say we ignore or are out of touch with our body’s needs. We eat poorly, neglect to exercise, and ask too much of our body in terms of work. It will let us know one way or another. If we ignore it long enough, it will get our attention with an illness. The same is true for emotional needs. Unless we get some secondary gain out of living from one drama to another, our lives will sort themselves out better if we pay attention to what we need emotionally. This starts with what you need from yourself, and then asking for what you need from others.
As long as you do a check in and give equal time to each of the four aspects, you’re going to find obstacles much easier to navigate. When you’re not doing this, it’s like having a GPS and leaving it in the glove compartment or having membership at a gym where nobody knows your name.
We’ve all been given the tools we need to respond to life’s situations. I know, sometimes things look bleak and overwhelming. We question whether we’re up to the challenge or whether help will be forthcoming.
This is where Spirit, our essence, comes in. If you know how to listen for guidance, it will always alert you to the next right thing. You can only really do one thing at a time anyway. Any task will eventually get done, any space will get tidied, any obstacles will be removed, if we simply call on the part of us that is best suited to the job and do the next right thing.
Balance is a lovely experience but it requires our committment. The reward is a symmetry to your life that you perhaps can only imagine. We’re fascinated with Balance when we find it in nature. We need to be as fascinated with finding it within ourselves.