Balance is the place so many strive for, yet some find illusory.  At times, it can feel like the rabbit chasing the carrot tied to a stick. As our country and the world go through times of change, we are facing a polarization that many of us have never seen in our lifetime. For some, it is rocking their lives in unexpected directions, and creating an increase in the amount of conscious effort needed to find a state of balance. Some are able to maneuver to find the balance, and others are struggling.

I reached out to a diverse group of people, and asked how they are managing to surf the waves of transformation.  For those of you who are having difficulty traversing, take solace in the fact that you are far from being alone. Many have said they do well at times, and others have been shaken to their core and are still attempting to find a way to recreate their foundation.

As humans, we have emotions. It’s important to allow ourselves to feel those emotions, no matter how uncomfortable they make us feel. When one attempts to negate a particular emotion, it can lead to imbalance and apathy. Balance does not just happen when we are in a state of happiness and joy. It’s possible to be angry or sad, and be balanced.  It’s the way that one reacts to the anger or sadness that may create the imbalance.  Anger can propel one to take action and set boundaries that can lead to a positive change in one’s life, or the world. When anger becomes blame, finger pointing and shaming of oneself/others, that’s when imbalance happens.  So, how are some people reacting?

  • With all that’s been going on politically and in North Dakota its bringing out the anger and rage in me. This past week, I have been addressing my shadow side – the pointing of fingers and judging mode I was in; and once I realized what I was doing, I started the Ho’opponopono forgiveness work.
  • I use the power of my own click — that is, I can decide not to click through on articles that are obviously going to push my grief and anger. I’m not ignoring issues, but I am keeping myself healthy

Part of maintaining balance is being honest with ourselves regarding what we can and cannot control.  For example:

  • I could speak up about it to my elected representatives, I can “pray” about it, I certainly empathize for those who are suffering and I can try to help by donating my time, my voice and my goods, but after doing what I consider my very best to alleviate suffering and bring change to people who are not as fortunate as I, I acknowledge there will always be people I cannot reach. I cannot torture myself with the idea that there are people I cannot help. 
  • I try to stay informed, do what I think I can do to help, acknowledge what is out of my control, and do my best to present the best model that I can to my fellow humans. When I’ve done my best at those things, I forgive myself for not being able to make more things better. And I find something that makes me happy. And if it makes the world a better place, double points. 

When we are reaching our point of saturation, or if we’ve already surpassed it, it is imperative that we step back. It’s a great time to disconnect from social media and the news; do something irreverent and/or nurturing to our body and soul. Here are some things others are doing:

  • Many find routine comforting, spending time outside, hiking, gratitude journals, eating healthily, getting plenty of rest, laughing, watching innocuous shows/movies, being creative, dancing
  • Many are increasing their mindfulness practices such as yoga, praying, meditation, walking, ceremony, stretching, bodywork, acupuncture
  • Bathing in Epsom salt, baking soda and a few drops of the essential oil of lavender
  • I still find the mute button a powerful tool.  I am trying to focus my time and energy on the people who share an optimistic attitude in a creative space.  I am enjoying my hobbies as well as trying to get dormant house projects finished. 
  • Breathing, really connect with my breath sending it the center of the earth and back into my heart….If I have ANY kind of negative awareness, I bring my self back to my breath, expand and find something to be grateful for in the moment.  For me it is about FEELING the sensation of gratitude, not just a mental ticking off of something.
  • I find a good hard guttural SCREEAAAMMMMMM works wonders for me. As you know, trapped energy inside of our bodies only creates inner chaos mirroring the outer chaos and can drive us insane. A scream to me simultaneously validates my anger and lets it out so that it’s not allowed to torment me.  I find it’s useful (and kind) to warn others in the house before letting it out. 
  • Honestly, sometimes, nothing seems to work and I break down.  Often, I feel better, at least temporarily, so I guess accepting and almost embracing the “terrible” can help act as self care.

Some create balance by reaching out to strangers with kindness.

  • I have also made a real effort to reach out to people when I am “out in public,” shopping, etc. to connect with random people in a positive way. Whether it is smiling and making a positive comment to a tense mom or making passing comments to people who may be feeling isolated in these trying times, I think it helps them, and it does help me.
  • I have decided to be more attentive and kind to myself and others.  Small things really, ya know the pay it forward thing.  Buy the next person’s in line coffee or give the homeless guy 20 bucks.

We live in a world that is incredibly judgmental, and often teaches us to judge ourselves and others harshly. We do not have to buy into this mind set.  It’s possible to reframe our lives, and find new ways to live. While these time can be challenging, we as individuals are also being offered the possibility to create change within ourselves, and the world.

  • Decreasing judgement of myself and others.  And not just shutting it down.  Allowing myself to be with the sensation of it and offering love to myself and others as I let the energy of it move through me.  This is probably the biggest thing.   Letting go of judgement and allowing myself to FEEL without judgement of myself or others.   I understand and occasionally recognize my environment reflects back to me my core beliefs conscious or otherwise.
  • I work diligently focusing on the positive.  I am working on re-framing my thoughts and words to eliminate the words “not and no.”  For example, “No that won’t work” becomes “There is a better way to do this.”
  • Asking questions instead of assuming my story about a situation is true for all concerned. Example, “Well, this just sucks” becomes “What else is possible, How can it get any better than this”?  Check out Access Consciousness, Dain Heer….on you tube.  They speak of “Living in the question”.   For me, this can really open up other possibilities and further questions.  Questions can be expansive, declarative statements, not so much.

The question of how to maintain balance may be something we have to continuously ask ourselves, and be continuously flexible in what the answer may be.

I’m incredibly grateful to all who responded with their stories, and how you find balance in your life. I was touched reading your responses, learned a lot, and had to write this a little at a time to maintain my own balance. I hope at least one of you has gained something helpful for yourself.

As we soon head into a new year, may 2017 bring all of you an abundance of joy, laughter and balance.

Much love and gratitude,
Terri