In my latest read by Joan Chittister, she says the Spirituality of Balance has five attributes: equilibrium, variety, self-awareness, re-creation, and an appreciation of the value of imperfection.
Equilibrium: To me this is the ability to stay centered in my day, despite the distractions that pull me off center. I think back to another favorite book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, A Gift from the Sea, in which she suggests that a woman is like a wheel hub, pulled in many directions. It is the ability to live inside out, allowing the calm of spirit and prayer to permeate the rest of the world through my being. I would like to say that I am good at this, but at least I can say that I am better at it some days than others!
Variety: This is an easy one for me. By the nature of being an entrepreneur, I value the variety that life brings. I don’t like doing the same thing everyday. Life for me is soul-less when I am doing the exact same routine each day. I believe finding balance includes taking a walk in a different direction, even if it throws your dog for a loop. Finding balance is working some and taking a stretch break, breathing, and soaking in the warmth of the sun. I do well with variety. Tony my husband can eat the same thing for lunch everyday and would be happy if we had hamburgers every night for dinner. I am always looking for new recipes to try. I think variety is a spice of life.
Self- Awareness: To me, balance in my life comes when I am living my passions. So many people sell themselves to the almighty dollar and work in jobs they don’t like. I may not have the same amount of money and security as someone who has worked in a corporate setting all their life, but I have an idea of what I am supposed to be in the world. I have a personal mission to be a healing presence in the world, wherever I go. This mission has only come about through a lot of introspection and journal writing. I am aware of my gifts and now I am looking for ways to best use them in the world.
Re-creation: We all have weaknesses and this is it for me. When asked what I like to do for fun, I have a hard time coming up with an answer. I like to walk, and read and spend time with family. I like to garden, and go to the mountains. However, I do not have a regular play practice and am working to develop one. I am out of balance in the small amount of time I spend re-creating myself and re-energizing myself. Although I like doing things on the computer, I can’t count that as re-creating time. My personal rule is that re-creation involves no technologies like a computer or a tv. Laughing and spending time with my daughters is my best re-creation right now.
Valuing Imperfection: Imagine letting go of perfection and learning to be perfectly human! Imagine not beating yourself up every time you make a mistake. Imagine forgiving yourself for not doing something right. Imagine loving yourself like a child, and reminding yourself that you are doing the best you can in every minute of every day. And then LET GO of all thoughts of being perfect and embrace the fact that you are NOT perfect! We judge ourselves so quickly and harshly. If we could treat ourselves with a little more kindness, we would be less judgmental about the people in our world. And there would be a lot more love in the world to go around. I am working on this, just as I imagine many people are doing.
So how is the balance of spirituality for you? Are you pretty balanced or is there one aspect of your life that you struggle with?