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Lifestyle and Balance (Part I)

I recently had a client ask me “when will I know my life is ‘balanced’?” I often use this term “balance” when I am coaching my clients and students to signify some sort of equilibrium. However, this can often be misleading, insinuating perhaps that at some point we will “arrive” in balance never to be knocked out of this imagined sweet spot again.
First off, balance is not a fixed state. Balance is in constant flux because we live on a moving, spinning planet, which is constantly being transformed through seasonal changes, human intervention, and the passage of time. In addition, we are existing in a body made up of countless cells, bacteria, atoms, etc. that are constantly changing based on their relationship to their internal and external environment which, through this microcosm of communication between tiny little organisms living inside us, ultimately effects the macrocosm of how we individually feel day-to-day and moment-to-moment.

The only thing we can be certain of in life is that life will change, and we will change with it.  How much we change and in what direction that change occurs, we have a certain amount of control over.

Living within balance is our ability to adapt and thrive even when life throws us the unexpected. This does not mean that you will not lose your balance temporarily. I always say, “It’s not if you stumble that defines your state of balance; it’s how quickly you can recover once you fall.”  How quickly we correct course can be enhanced through practicing the tools offered by mind/body systems such as tai chi/yoga/meditation, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and holistic values of nutrition and lifestyle like the ones we offer at Bushido Wellness. Through changing our daily habits to a more balanced lifestyle, we can bounce back more gracefully as inevitable change occurs or when “life happens.”

Pranayama_editThere are so many ways to look at balance. In future blogs, I will break down some of the finer details, discuss some of the more obvious physical forms of imbalance, and even some of the more esoteric ones that certainly effect our daily equipoise. Along the way, I will suggest some tools to nudge you in the direction of that ever elusive “sweet spot” and give some reminders of what balance is from a holistic standpoint and some ways to support balance in your daily lifestyle.

Remember, if you are looking to make changes in your lifestyle, you have to start right from where you are. You can simply start by changing one thing, practice that change for at least six months daily (in some cases hourly), and over time you will notice it becomes habit. It took you time, years, to learn the habits you have and will take time to learn new and improved ones.

Your assignment if you choose to accept it:  

Pick one small thing you know would improve your life.

For example: Drink more water. Five minutes of focused breathing. Schedule those continued self-care appointments you keep putting off.

Choose one thing that you know you need to change and practice a little bit every day for the next four weeks. Give yourself a gold star on your calendar every time you succeed. If you don’t like gold stars, how about scratch and sniff?

Practice kindness and compassion towards yourself and always remember when learning new habits, you are literally learning a new skill. It takes time, practice, and patience. Try not to take on too much change at once. Start small. If you feel you’re not succeeding in making change just remember, every time you try you are changing your brain just a little more towards the thing you want. New habits take time, so let’s start!

This blog will not self destruct. Forward it to everyone you know. 🙂

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