Simple Practices To Bring Balance Into Your Life

Wednesday is usually my Blog Mystery School day and I have wandered from that lately.  So I wanted to return with some ideas I thought you might find helpful as your ready yourself to enjoy the holidays and to get focused in the New Year.  I wanted to write today about the importance of balance.

I think of balance as having 4 aspects.  Each individual has thoughts/mind, emotions, body/heart and spirit.  During this busy season and for the next year I want to give you some ideas to keep these four aspects in balanced in a way to optimize your health and functioning.  Each aspect needs to be cared for and nurtured.

The Mind is a busy place where a variety of ideas, beliefs, thoughts, reactions, and plans take place.  The mind can be focused on the past or the future but is works most effectively in the present.  The busy overflowing mind is less helpful then the relaxed mind.  A mind inspired by ideas and possibilities is very expansive.  The best state of mind is quiet and open.  This quiet mind is possible through meditation and other practices.  The simple practice I am suggesting today is: Following the exhale of your breath until you are empty, then pause and follow the inhale of your breath until you are full and pause and start the cycle again.  As thoughts come up simply note the thought and return to following the exhale and inhale of the breath.  This process of watching the breath will naturally deepen the breath and quiet the mind.  

The Feelings you have as I have written often provide direct feedback about how you are doing.  Feeling positive, joyous, passionate, alive, open all indicate you are on track.  Feeling negative, fearful, bored, closed, blocked means you have gone off track.  A healthy expression of emotions begins by acknowledging what you are feeling, then expressing these emotions in ways that are helpful and healthful for you.  Love is powerful emotion tied to the mind, heart, body and your spirit.  The practice I want to suggest is two parts:  1. Always validate your feelings buy acknowledging them as they come up in you.  2. Feelings come and go on their own if you recognize them and then let them go through expression or through changing your thoughts.  If you don’t like how you feel change your thoughts.

The Body is the place where your heart resides and all other functions of living.  The heart is the center of much of the action and the place where love is located.  Love is actually a feeling state that resides in the body and is linked to the infinite in you call your spirit.  The body is full of emotional and intuitive knowing.  The body is your vehicle and it needs to be taken care of through nourishment, rest, exercise and healthy practices.  The simple practice of breathing I suggested above is great for the body also.  I do have a specific practice to suggest you use as often as you can.  The practice is called Walking Meditation:  Go out into nature (outside of the house where the birds are and air is flowing naturally) and walk.  This walk is slow and relaxed.  This walk is aware of what is going on around you and what is going on inside but only for the purpose of noticing.  The main focus is to walk and be surrounded by the moment, free to just be.

You have a Spirit.  It is the part of you that was before this lifetime and will continue beyond.  It is your life force; the spark that ignites you to imagine, to expand and to love.  The spirit in you is connected to the collective wisdom of all of human kind and the universe.  There is no limit to this part of you.  It is always free no matter the restrictions of thoughts, feelings or body.  Practice of spirit can include the walking meditation and the breathing mentioned above but I have a specific one for you to explore:  I will call this contemplative stillness.  In the quiet wisdom within you is all you ever need to know.  Sit, stand, lie or however you can, spend time listening inward for the guidance of your higher self.  This time spent in contemplation can be while being creative, while waiting in line, in the midst of being playful, reading inspiring ideas, or simply enjoying some quiet time.

There is so much more I could write about these four aspects.  I wanted to keep it simple in ideas and practices so you could do them in an uncomplicated way.  The world you and I live in is full and complicated, so keeping it simple makes sense.  If you do the four practices with the four aspects in mind, you will find balance, your life will feel much richer, and you will experience true joy.