If any of you are old enough to remember The Karate Kid movie, you may remember that the teacher always was telling the Karate Kid about balance.
This was not just balance on his feet or in his body. This was about balance of life. The karate kid was practicing constantly and was giving up everything else in a major effort to train his body and his mind for the contest that was upcoming.
The teacher found a picture that the karate kid had. That was a picture of the beautiful teenage girl that had a crush on the karate kid. She wanted attention from him but he was too focused on his training to even realize this.
The teacher showed the picture to the karate kid. He told him “Balance, You need the balance”
It is very typical for a lot of us to lose the balance in life. I think that some people naturally maintain a basic level of balance easier than others.
Some people that are able to maintain the balance have pretty predictable lives, without a lot of variation. That is not necessarily the best thing either. It really depends on your personality.
Certain people have a particularly difficult time maintaining balance in their lives. People with chronic pain , like myself, have a hard time with balance.
I am thinking of this example because I have such a high level of pain in my neck and spine today that I have already repositioned myself and my laptop 3 times during this post.
There is extreme pain in my neck, radiating up into my head and down my arms. My fingers and hands are going numb because the nerve is so severely pinched by the herniated disc in my cervical spine today.
So this is a high end bad pain morning. If I stretch it could help. The feeling of disappointment and feeling disheartened by the level of pain today is overpowering.
People that have chronic pain have trouble maintaining balance because the pain takes over their thoughts.
Anything that dominates your mind on a regular basis will tend to dominate your life.
When there is something that dominates your thoughts, the other things in your life get pushed aside.
Recovering alcoholics are more aware of the importance and value of the “little” things in life than a lot of people are.
They have learned the lesson that some people never ever learn. Life must be balanced. When something gets 90 percent of your time and attention then something else is being neglected.
Workaholics will get so dominated by work that they neglect their loved ones. Shopaholics will become so obsessed with buying that they neglect balancing their finances.
People with mental illness will become so overwhelmed by intrusive thoughts that they will neglect the needs of their bodies and minds.
When our work lives become neglected, we will lose self esteem about our jobs and our ability to make a living.
If we neglect everything else but work, we will lose our emotional support system of family and friends.
No matter what is taking the majority of our attention, we are sacrificing some other aspect of our needs.
Everyone has certain areas of their lives that need attention. There is the work or whatever is generating income. A frequently neglected area these days is physical health. Mental health is affected by physical health and visa versa.
You also need something that you enjoy outside of work and family. Something that helps your self esteem, like yoga, art, golf, gaming, writing , singing or some other activity.
We humans are built to have various aspects to our lives. We need to work for shelter but we also need to love and be loved.
We need to be healthy and we need self-esteem. We need spirituality of some kind to give us direction and hope.
Balance is a constant juggling activity. The balance is bound to get off, sooner or later. If we are in tune with it then we will notice. When we notice something is being neglected we can take measures to rebalance things.
So just be aware. If you feel overwhelmed by life then it could be that tipping the scales a bit will help. Sometimes simply adding in some time to meditate, go out to lunch with a friend, or do a fifteen minute stretch in the mornings will help.
Other times we have a huge balance problem such as an addiction or a severe mental health issue. One of the ways to help ourselves is to make very small changes that are tolerable. Just make a small change such as stopping to eat breakfast at a diner once a week.
Take care of yourself and take care of your relationships. Pray for balance in our lives. Write down your areas of life.
What hats do you wear? Teacher, Mom, Dad, brother, boss, student, artist, team mate, co-worker, fishing buddy, blogger.
Think of them in a pie pictograph, like a pizza with slices. Put one important area of your life in each slice.
Which is the smallest slice? That is the one to work on.
Is one slice taking over the pie and squeezing the others out? That is your area of dominating thoughts, addiction or obsession.
Peace and love and balance to all of you,