Tuesday, July 29, 2008
“The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.” ~Albert Einstein
Okay, what I am about to say here goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: seek balance in your life.
The Greeks, specifically Aristotle, were really on to something when they talked about the "golden mean". They believed that anything in excess produced imbalance and disharmony. Their philosophy centered around the concepts of beauty and truth primarily but we can apply their thinking to everyday principles and the way in which we choose to live our lives too. We need not be a Romantic poet either to appreciate the benefits of nurturing these qualities within us.
We all have a natural homeostasis...a plumb-line of optimal health if you will. When the weight shifts to one side we get sick, flounder, fail to thrive. If we veer too far off the path, whether it be through an addiction, a distorted way of thinking or anything at all that swings the pendulum off course we experience negative consequences. Sometimes we realize when this is happening, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we WANT to escape, to be somewhere else, to remove ourselves from the path of certainty. However, as time passes the effects will catch up with us.
Perhaps I am rambling here but my point is that seeking balance really is the path to health and happiness. I can only speak for myself in these blog entries but perhaps what I have to say might resonate with you as well. When the health of my family was in jeopardy a couple of years ago I fell into a pattern of disharmony with myself and the world, all the while trying to make my way creating paintings that chronicled this difficult time. I got sick as a result and it took me awhile to get back on track, but I did eventually get better, healthier, and am now thriving. We are amazing creatures; our bodies and minds really are our temples, places to appreciate and to never take for granted. Our physical bodies are very forgiving but we must treat them with respect too. We must nurture our entire beings, and in turn we will have the energy to do great things.
Imbalance can occur externally too. We can fall into unhealthy patterns with others, with food, with anything that is taken to the extreme, even exercise, which is good for us...must be done in moderation! I try to focus on positive friendships and relationships and pare away associations that are not fulfilling, that sap my mind and body of energy and thus impair the flow of creativity.
The key is knowing when the compass is spinning, when we are off course, when to regroup and prune away unhealthy areas of our lives. We are all amazing works of art...each one of us. We all deserve respect and happiness. It is easy to undermine optimal health by letting ourselves fall into negative habits. Fortunately our bodies and minds give us clues: we get a cold, the scale goes up , our mood is down consistently. When this happens check yourself and make changes. Sounds easy, but often it is very difficult. Chocolate just tastes too darned good...yet in excess..well, you know the answer.
I think that fundamentally we know in our hearts when we are out of our natural homeostasis. We can sense it in it's more subtle forms, and of course it slaps us in the face in more pathological manifestations. We all have the power within us to make great changes, to self-actualize, to find the sweet spot of effortless effort within our lives. The time is now, anything is possible and when we are well balanced, health and happiness will follow.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”~Albert Einstein