A Need for Balance

One of my favorite finds this year is the book and series called, Good Omens. In it, the earth’s birthdate is uncovered, and it turns out the earth is a Libra. At the time, this made me laugh as I too am a Libra. However, with all that 2020 is challenging us with, I am discovering that both I and the world are being asked to find more balance, which is both a core challenge and passion of we Libras.

Photo by Evan Clark on Unsplash

Balance is not a fixed location but a constant readjustment. Think of someone riding a unicycle. They do not get the unicycle upright and then stay in that perfect state of equilibrium. To stay balanced the cyclist – and we – need to make constant adjustments in how we think, how we act, and how we interact.

Balance Your Time

Much has been said about balancing our time between work and home. Balancing time is also finding the present moment. Staying in the past brings regret. Focusing on the future brings fear. Being in the present moment is the point of balance between negative emotions of the past and future. It is also the space where we are empowered to act.

All or Nothing

Much of our pain these days in in taking sides and seeing issues, people, and situations as clear-cut dichotomies, which they never are. All-or-nothing thinking makes us lopsided and off-balance. Through my own life, I have found that nothing is absolutely black-or-white, right-or-wrong, true-or-false. Between all people, issues, and ideas there is always gray. When we can find that gray, we can find balance.

Action and Inaction

Where all-or-nothing exists in our mind, the concept of Yin-Yang expresses balance in action. Yang gets the limelight for me personally and much of society. Yang is aggression, action, accomplishments, and holding to beliefs. Taking action is not bad in itself. The trouble comes in when this is all we have and when we don’t make space for the Yin. Yin is about flexibility, adaptability, and flow. Yin is about strength through bending and humility. You can learn more about these concepts in this great video.

For me personally, I usually lead with the Yang. I am the bull in the china shop trying to fight for what is right and make things happen. Again, this is not bad, unless action is all I have. Sometimes the best solution is in the pause, in acceptance, in flexibility, in humility, in the Yin. The key to peace is not to choose Yin over Yang or Yang over Yin but to discern when to use each.

Equality

Equality is finding balance between people. Nothing, read that again, nothing makes one person more important than someone else. Not money, not beauty, not nationality, not gender. We are all equal. The only inequality that exists is based on our own judgments. I have experienced inequality growing up a woman in a man’s world. I have being perceived as “the other” being the only Caucasian in an African American History class. I have felt superiority bestowed upon me due to my education, position, financial status, and skin tone. Through all of these instances, I see that the differences, the inequalities were all in someone’s mind. To find balance between us and others, we need to release the false sense of separation. We need to seek to understand and accept the other, instead of spreading and continuing prejudice. We need to release our fear of loss as meeting others as equals (raising up others) does not minimize ourselves. Together we are both stronger.

Steadiness through Constantly Changing

Where are you feeling off-balance? Is time making demands you can not meet? Is your thinking skewed? Is the imbalance between trying to act when the best option is to wait? Is it in feeling that you are due more than you receive or a fear that others are taking from you? Take a few moments to close your eyes. Breathe gently in through your nose and out through your mouth. Find the balance and peace of this moment. Then examine where you feel off balance. What needs to shift to help you find serenity?  Throughout your day check-in and make minor adjustments to help you maintain stability in balance.

from type a to type me: how to stop doing life and start living it

What is Type Me?

Type Me is uncovering and following your own unique definition of success. It is releasing the roles and responsibilities others have for you. It is bravely living by your values and what brings you joy. Type Me is your own unique life separate from any expectations attached to your title, status, or function. Type Me is your own definition of how life should be lived.

from type a to type me: how to stop doing life and start living itType Me is putting yourself first. It is experiencing life, not flying from task to task. Type Me is putting yourself back in the driver’s seat of your life. It is reconnecting with your inherent power and inner knowing.

Becoming Type Me means gaining more of life. You gain the space to find more time, more joy, and more ease with your projects. Type Me reduces stress, allowing for better health mentally and physically. As a Type Me personality, you will gain more joy in your relationships, and in all you do.

Type Me allows you to:

  • Feel you are in control and contributing to the world without having lists and deadlines rule your life.
  • Complete everything needing to be done, but in a way which is much better for your physical health and your enjoyment of life.
  • Enjoy life instead of feeling you are flying through it task by task.
  • Experience and enjoy accomplishments without having to burn yourself out.
  • Be less of a victim of circumstances, and more of a conscious chooser of your experience.
  • Fulfill your obligations, and still have time for yourself.
  • Maintain a sense of self while still being a caretaker.
  • Receive what you desire without guilt or justification.
  • Remain powerful, calm, and energized, even in the face of incredible challenges.

Type Me is a new way to approach life. Instead of trying to control every situation and everyone around you, you can learn to control how you experience what is happening around you. True freedom and joy lies in changing how you approach life, in your own unique manner.

Join others on their journey to becoming Type Me by contributing and receiving support on our Facebook Group Page.

snowy street

At One

There have been many times in my life, and still some today, when I fight reality.  I want a different outcome.  I desire for things to be different than they are.  I pray for divine intervention to change the facts.  What usually occurs are that the facts remain and all I have done is to create pain and disappointment for myself.  It is said that what we resist, persists. What if instead of resisting, we accepted?

Recently I was introduced to the Navajo word “Hozho.”  It is the most important word in the Navajo language.  Roughly translated it means peace, balance, beauty, and harmony.  When you are one with and part of the world around you, it is said you are “in Hozho.”  Here is how it shows up. Say there is a drought. Many of the modern religions would say to pray for rain.  Instead, the Navajo hold a ceremony to help them be at peace with the drought, to be in harmony with the drought. Said another way, Hozho helps us to accept what we can’t change, to be at peace with those things beyond our control.

snowy streetThink about how this may play out in your life. Right now in Chicago it is winter and winter this year is cold and snowy.  Snow is not my favorite thing.  It is pretty to watch at the end of the movie White Christmas, but I much prefer seeing it on television than shoveling it.  What if instead of focusing my thoughts on my desire for it to be eighty-degrees and sunny, I instead fully embraced that it is snowing?  Wishing I could walk around in shorts today only makes me sad.  It makes me feel bad about my circumstance.  It puts a damper on my day.  The thought of wanting things different affects how I experience the entire day.  If, however, I embrace the snow, my mood shifts.  I don’t have to love it.  I only need to accept it.  The truth is that it is snowing.  There is nothing I can do to change this fact.  As I can not jump on an airplane headed for warmer climates, my only other choice is to accept my circumstances.  The best I can do right now is embrace my current situation.  In embracing and accepting my situation, I feel peace and can enjoy my day exactly how it is.

How often do you fight the reality of our life? How often do you wish for something different? How often do you pray for divine intervention to change your circumstances?  And how often does your resistance to reality cause you pain?  How can being in Hozho change the experience of your day?  Share your experiences.

Melissa Heisler, Stress Reduction Expert

Shadows

The other night I saw the movie The Year of Living Dangerously.  The movie uses Wayang Kulit, a style of Indonesian shadow puppetry to symbolize the battle to balance good and bad in the universe.  In the movie, the character Billie Kwan uses theses shadow puppets to talk about higher ideals.  “In the West, we want answers for everything. Everything is right or wrong, or good or bad. But in the [shadow play] no such final conclusion exists.  Look at Prince Ajuna.  He’s a hero.  But he can also be fickle and selfish.  Krishna says to him, ‘All is clouded by desire, Ajuna, as a fire by smoke, as a mirror by dust. Through these, it blinds the soul.’”  Our shadow is the dark side of ourselves. 

Balance is an oft discussed topic with my clients.  I agree with Billie Kwan in that the West wants clear unwavering definition.  You are either Right-wing or Left-wing.  You are urban or rural.  A concept is either right or wrong.  There is no wiggle room.  There is no gray.  The West has a desire for the absolute.  But there is no absolute in life.  We are not one thing.  Like Prince Ajuna we can be a hero one day and selfish the next.  We can be giving in one situation and stingy in another.  We are not one dimensional beings.  We are multifaceted.  Life is multifaceted.  Life is balance.  If there was only sunshine, the crops would die.  They also need the rain.  All of nature needs the balance between black and white, good and bad, light and shadow.

The peace of life is not found in labeling and adhering to absolutes.  Peace is found by navigating the delicate balance between light and dark.  For example, many of my clients are open-hearted givers, which is a very admirable trait.  But if they give without end, if they give in every situation in every moment of every day, they become depleted.  There is a balance needed between giving and receiving.  Many of my clients have a hard time with this concept because they label giving as good and receiving as bad.  They believe if they do not live completely in the good then they are bad.  But as the recently departed Debbie Ford often professed, “Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to life in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.”

Look at your own battle and balance of good and bad, light and shadow.  Can you embrace your shadow in order to become whole?  Can you find the benefit of your shadow and the weakness of your light?  Can you see how they are both needed?  What shadow in your life are you running from?