Finding Balance in a World Askew

The video above can be misleading in light of the rest of this post so let me just clarify that somethings you don’t have to try to do, while others you should constantly try to strive for.

We live in an time of quickness, our world is rapidly spinning faster and faster. Ok, the earth isn’t spinning faster. At least I don’t think… but maybe it is? The universe is expanding in size but I don’t know if that necessitates faster… whatever I’m not talking about the earth’s rotation, I’m talking about our pace of life. It’s whirling by us and we’re grabbing at whatever we can before it leaves us in the dust.

Or at least that’s what it feels like.

Instant gratification in regards to things is okay on a few levels. Food when we haven’t eaten in hours, water when we’re dehydrated, clothes and shelter when we’re cold and need a fire to warm us. Even less viatally essential things, like how we NEED that song we just heard on the radio

RIGHT NOW!

I get that. But it’s not an absolute truth of our humanness that we are entitled to get everything we’re due immediately. In fact, in some cases, it’s the opposite. Not the entitlement part, we are all most certainly entitled to that which we already possess. Rather, the more ethereally essential stuff. We have so much potential, it’s there within us, but we need to tap into it to get it. This is what takes time and energy and concentration, all of which is counter to the way the majority of our world functions.

I’d be willing to bet that if I stood on a busy street for an hour and asked people what they wanted most in life in one word, a good majority of the answers would be love or happiness. However, in our daily lives we act in opposition of the desire to have those two precious aspects of life. Achieving these isn’t like ordering a book on Amazon and getting it delivered directly to your Kindle (or Apple store and iPad if you swing that way). They take time and concerted effort, such as looking seriously from all angles at the things that aren’t making you happy and finding out why. Or meditation. Where you have to sit still and be quiet and not think….

how do people do this!?

I can’t last more than 10 minutes.

In previous posts I’ve detailed how I felt when I was in a place of unfortunate confusion which caused me distress in my life for about 10 years. The first glimmer of coming out of that was a book my Dad got me for Christmas: The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity. It basically told me what I knew to be true in my heart. All of what I was reading was very new and different but, in a way, I felt like these were things I already believed, I just hadn’t put them into words. After that I felt I’d figured it out.

I’m so enlightened now, I got the messages, thanks! Ready for enlightenment, any minute now!

Of course it didn’t come. And what was worse was that while I felt renewed and changed, the fact that everyone else around me and the rest of the world hadn’t changed too made me frustrated and angry. I only felt peace when I’d read the book before I went to bed. So I started reading more books on various topics: NDEs, Gnostic and synoptic Gospels, biocentrism, psychology, history. These might seem scattered and distant from the book that sparked this exploration but they were really all related.

One topic led to another.

I wanted to soak it all up and what I found was that it’s all connected. Based on what I was reading and what I took for my own beliefs, there was no opposition between science and my beliefs. In fact, they complimented each other very nicely.

I learned to live two lives: one in the material world, chugging away at a desk job, and one lost in a book, blowing my own mind with all the new things I was learning. Once I quit that desk job, I seriously considered taking a solid break from the world and absconding to a remote Native American village to soul search for a few months. The Type A side of me wouldn’t allow that so we met in the middle and I went to music school for a year. In essence though, I think it had the same affect. I got taken out of my droll 9 to 5 and was able to simply live life with very few cares.

I know, I’m very blessed and very thankful.

I have a point, I swear. It’s this: 100% in the material world or 100% in the spiritual world doesn’t work for the vast majority of people here. I’m no different. I had to learn how to balance myself between the material and the spiritual aspects of myself. Because we are both, at the moment, and ignoring one and indulging in the other will only make our time here harder.

One big take away for me was that it needs to be a consistent practice. I know many people who have the ability to incorporate a life change as easily as flipping a switch. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. It takes me a long time to change, but once I made the effort, it was like,

how come I wasn’t here all along?

Because it’s usually so much better than where I was before. However, in order to avoid mistaking the next step for reaching my spiritual apex, I need to keep a few things in mind:

  1. I know nothing: while I do celebrate achieving the next enlightened step, it’s merely a step.
  2. There will always be more to learn: there is no possible way for the vast majority of us to figure it all out.
  3. Keep going: once I’ve reached that next ah-ha moment, don’t dwell because there will always be more to explore.
  4. I’m in control: everything I decide to put in my face is my decision, so if I become angry at some inane Instagram post, it’s my own damn fault and I should’ve unfollowed that person a long time ago.

Number 4 is really important. It doesn’t only apply to social media but to places we decide to go and people we decide to be around. We can’t control other people but we can control ourselves. Choosing to be around certain people and doing certain activities to our own liking will ultimately make us happier and really set the foundation to allow us to grow in the direction we sincerely desire.

While I’ve demonstrated the various ways I’ve struggled with and somewhat found balance, I also understand that everyone is different. We all need to take a moment, a deep breath, and ask ourselves how we might find our own happy, spiritual equilibrium in our ever changing world.

Again, this takes time and patience. Which is why I tattooed the ancient Celtic symbol for balance on my wrist where I can get a daily reminder:

BW-Awen-small

So we all have our process and tricks… what’s yours?