Thursday, September 25, 2014

Looking For Balance on the Equinox

The autumnal equinox was yesterday, a day where light and dark are balanced. It also signals the beginning of autumn, a season here in the northeast of great change and beauty, foretelling the months of harsh weather and darkness. I asked myself, as I was on my daily run: Am I living a balanced life today? Am I balancing the active doing part with rest and inner searching?

I have written about balance before, on numerous occasions. It is a concept that has always eluded me. Right now I am traversing through the world of underemployment, so I have more time available to meditate, run, practice yoga and eat home cooked healthy meals. But what happens when that forty hour a week position becomes a reality? What will I have to let go of in order to take care of my body's basic needs, such as actually sleeping. It would be nice if I could survive on five hours a night, but alas, I am an eight hour gal. 

If I create a blue print for a perfect day, maybe I can adjust it when I do start working longer days, using a mathematical formula perhaps? If today I spend one hour running and one hour in yoga, if my time reduces by 50%, would a half hour of running and half hour of yoga still meet my needs? Here I begin to overthink and stop paying attention to what my body needs. Part of what the Autumn equinox teaches, is to first come to a place of balance, and slowly, minute by minute, begin to slow down as winter approaches. In this world of doing doing doing, we tend to ignore our bodies and the signals we receive from them. Winter is a time to sleep longer, go within, and find the peace and quiet in the dark. Our cave person ancestors weren't hunting and gathering at 7pm in the middle of winter. They were huddled around a fire, perhaps quietly making spears. 

Perhaps the secret to a balanced life begins with paying attention to the rhythms of my body. To sleep when I need sleep, to run when I am restless, and to sit and meditate when my mind needs calming. But how does one do that in the "real" world? First, when time begins to become scarce, I must look for time drains. Honestly, how many hours a day are spent watching Netflix? These precious hours can be used more efficiently. One hour of yoga versus one hour of "Ally McBeal?" No contest there, the yoga, will benefit exponentially more than mindless television. Just for today I will practice some balance, I will pay attention to what my body needs and maybe I will actually listen. 

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