Sunday, September 12, 2010

Life Balance

Photo by S. Brumley
The human body has an amazing ability to physically balance itself. When you consider that we're all top-heavy, the number of unconscious tiny adjustments that our body has to continuously make based on an unceasing flow of information from multiple bodily systems is mind-boggling. Luckily all of the cognitive development we need for physical balance are established instinctively when as a young child we learn to sit up, walk and run.

If only it were an instinctive part of growing up to learn Life Balance - work-life, emotional, social, financial and spiritual balance. Achieving Life Balance is a requires a conscious effort on our part. Otherwise we may find that we're working to live or an emotional wreck or a social outcast or in financial trouble or without spiritual direction.

However, we can't focus too much on any one aspect of our life or the others will get out of balance. I used to spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing. I was out of balance and doing became an aspiration for me. I started doing more - spending my free time in the mountains running, cycling and backpacking (a rekindled love affair from the past). And I began accumulating backpacking stuff thereby reversing course in my campaign to reduce the stuff in my life. I was happily doing all these things and felt as though I was moving towards "happiness".

But backpacking isn't about stuff, it's about walking and being in the moment in the wilderness. I had allowed myself to become preoccupied by the equipment aspect of backpacking. While that didn't detract from the wonderment when I was on the trail, it consumed my time off the trail. When I should have been reading, writing, contemplating, running, cycling, meditating and playing my violin I was online reading about how to shave grams off of my pack. I had become too focused on one aspect of my aspiration to do and let all of the other important dimensions of my life and things I wanted to do languish. While this hasn't made me unhappy - and actually I feel quite happy - it hasn't moved me appreciably towards happiness. Nevertheless, it has advanced me to a revelation that will keep me on the path:

Life Balance is essential to Happiness

How do you maintain yours?

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