Balance is key to well-being and happiness.
Everything in moderation, including moderation. – Oscar Wilde
What does a balanced life look like?
When one area of life increases in demand, energy must be pulled from other parts. Our focus hones in on the influenced aspect of our being, and other arenas suffer from lack of attention. When a stressor in life dominates us, our boats slice through the waters of life askew, with the masts dangerously close to the water.
A balanced life generates peace with energy being spent across the realms of mind, body, and soul. If we neglect our physicality, health issues can rise to the surface. If we pay little attention to our minds, our intellects are stifled, our focus is hazy, and we become mired in the daily rut of life. If our spiritual connection lapses, our tendency toward virtue lessens, and the storms of life easily upturn us.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. – Mark 12:30 NIV
The Gospel of Mark encourages us to seek God with all parts of ourselves; God desires this balance for us. When we direct our worship to God from every angle of our lives, our vitality remains even, and we feel a sense of peace. When we hold back one area from God, the weight of the boat shifts and we risk going overboard.
Circumstances contribute to stress. However, when I become “stressed out,” most often I’m spending too many resources in one area, and the other parts of my life receive less effort. Currently, I utilize most of my energy for running due to my training demands. As a result, my anxiety increases and my patience decreases. While I accept this for a short period of time, long-term imbalance can erode the foundations we have created in our lives.
How do we generate balance?
Finding peace in life will look different for everyone, nevertheless, our focus needs to include all areas of life in the same way our worship does. Humans are multi-faceted. Care needs to be taken and encouragement cultivated in our minds, bodies, and spirits.
- Challenge yourself intellectually
Learn a new language. Take a course at a community college. Start a new hobby you’ve dreamed of learning. Read. Stay aware of current events. Join a discussion group.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. – Aristotle
- Train yourself physically
Exercise. Walk with purpose five times a week. Take a Zumba class. Stretch while watching TV. Do a “clean eating” cleanse. Bring your lunch to work instead of eating out. Try herbal tea instead of coffee.
Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. – John F. Kennedy
- Engage your relationship with God
Pray, talking to God like a friend. Journal your feelings about each day. Meditate to clear your headspace. Study religious texts. Attend service and join a small group. Cultivate a sense of gratitude for your blessings.
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. – Woodrow Wilson
Life is difficult, and it can be hard to stay the course. Make sure you feed your mind, body, and soul to keep an even keel and centered approach to living. Balance is part of your best life.
PS- The Pre-100 miler video series starts next week! I’m getting race jitters!