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Balancing Your Life

After watching the Olympics for several days, it has occurred to me how important BALANCE is to each and everything I watched. If one is just an inch off-balance, one way or another, that person will go down – no matter how good they are, how much they have practiced, or the long hours and many dollars they have spent to get to the Olympics. A speed skater, a boarder, ice skating, skiing, etc. – all require the magic of Balance in order to reach the podium.

I have a mobile in my room. I was watching it for some time. It has seagulls with wires connecting it together. The slightest whiff of moving air will cause it to circle. I noticed that, out of all the seagulls on the mobile, one small section was not moving properly. After studying it for a few minutes, I could see that one seagull had the tip of its wing over that of another. So I reached up and tweaked it a little. The mobile immediately swung back into perfect balance and moved like it should.

The thought occurred to me: How nice it would be if we all lived our lives while paying attention to Balance: Work, play eat, sleep, etc. How we spend each golden hour of our lives each and every day plays a part, just like the wing tip.

We all know what we have to do each and every day. We have to work at whatever we do to earn the money to meet our commitments and take care of our loved ones. But if we are not very careful, we can easily get out of Balance in our lives.

Perhaps you are thirsty so you reach for a can of cold pop instead of water. You are in a big hurry and are hungry. You look on your phone for a listing of fast food outlets nearby in lieu of a health foods store with ready-to-eat items. A child wants you to read him/her a story after a long, exhausting workday, so that moment passes by as you collapse into a chair. Your body is tired and aching from sitting or standing at work all day or night, so you pop a pain pill and settle down to watch some television before bed or sit at a computer, playing games to relax your mind. No thought of yoga stretches or deep breathing enter your mind.

Perhaps you are far too busy and with too many commitments to take that five minutes  for yourself or look for a yoga/Pilates/exercise class that would improve your health. You are shopping for groceries and grab the quickest and easiest meals instead of shopping carefully for items that are healthy for you or your family.

As I said, if just an inch off-balance in Olympic sports, it won’t work – the medal goes to someone else. However, if your life is Out of Balance, you do not feel well. You take a pill for your symptoms and keep going. You miss that beautiful sunset or perfect flower without noticing. Your mind is so busy on more important matters, like making a living, picking up the children on time, wondering where you are going to get the extra money needed to repair the car, how you can clean the house before guests arrive, and a million other things that bombard you from every angle. You are driven by outside forces that consume your time before you crawl into bed for a fitful night’s sleep because you are so over-stressed.

Your life is shortened by the stress caused because of your attention to the extraneous matters/forces. You do not take that five minutes of calmness before you start your day, breathing deeply and thinking/reading beautiful thoughts. When you get the chance to stop for a moment, you check your phone for messages or play a game instead of looking around you, pausing to see that item of Beauty just waiting for your attention. Your mind is crowded indeed. But if you choose to slow down just a bit, you would hear the laugh of a child as you read a story or see the smile return to a checker’s face who has just gotten a rude customer and needs your smile and “Good day!” to refocus his/her attention.

My point? Balance is not a dream – it is a choice. Every moment of your life contains one. You can make a difference to yourself and others. At risk is your health, the livingness you do or do not feel, and to the joy you could spread to others. The thought you put into every act/choice will change your reality.

You just have to ask yourself some questions: What is really important to you? How could you respond differently if you were not harried, tired, and grumpy? What would help change that? What class could you take such as Anger or Stress Management, Yoga, exercise, or something else? Could you stop what you are doing as you sit for hours at a time in order to move about for five minutes, as recommended? Could you take a deep breath and stretch a bit? Could you focus on something else  instead of whatever is making you crazy?

Life is so fleeting. It is our choices each day that will help the time to pass quickly and easily or drag by as we do a job that is eating us alive. There are always alternatives. You just have to look for them. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Seagull Mobile

Hibiscus and Geranium

Dillon Reservoir Sunset

Hardy Hibiscus

Front Range Sunset

Zucchini Flower & Honey Bee


The Flow of Time

Unity Daily Word for July 7, 2014, states: “I live in an orderly universe where seasons change and new life emerges at the appointed time, where flowers bloom and apples ripen as designed and where I accomplish what is mine to do easily and naturally. I need only look to nature for assurance that there is ‘a time for every purpose under heaven.’  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)  In the summer, leaves do not rush to turn to gold and fruit does not hurry to fall from the tree. Nature is in concert with the rhythm of life. Pacing myself, I willingly flow with life, and I find peace.  I am not rushed. I meet my goals and maintain my health. I stay mindful of what is important to me and seek balance in all endeavors. With gratitude, I am fully present to this moment in time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:17 says: “For He has appointed a time for every matter and for every work.”)

In this harried world, with matters pressing on us every minute of every day, how can we begin to live as though the above words are true? Choices, my friends, choices.

What are you giving your attention to? Can you remember the last time you were truly at rest in your heart and mind? I would be willing to bet that you may not be able to remember such a time unless you reach far back in the past. If you can remember a recent occurrence, kudos to you!

In William George Jordan’s “The Majesty of Calmness,” he denotes the difference between haste and hurry:

“Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries. Every phase of her working shows plan, calmness, reliability, and the absence of hurry. Hurry always implies lack of definite method, confusion, impatience of slow growth. The Tower of Babel, the world’s first skyscraper, was a failure because of hurry. The workers mistook their arrogant ambition for inspiration. They had too many builders — and no architect. They thought to make up the lack of a head by a superfluity of hands. This is a characteristic of Hurry. It seeks ever to make energy a substitute for a clearly defined plan. The result is ever as hopeless as trying to transform a hobby horse into a real steed by brisk riding.

Hurry is a counterfeit of haste. Haste has an ideal, a distinct aim to be realized by the quickest, direct methods. Haste has a single compass upon which it relies for direction and in harmony with which its course is determined. Hurry says: ‘I must move faster. I will get three compasses; I will have them different; I will be guided by all of them. One of them will probably be right.’ Hurry never realizes that slow, careful foundation work is the quickest in the end.

Hurry is the deathblow to calmness, to dignity, to poise. The old-time courtesy went out when the new-time hurry came in. Hurry is the father of dyspepsia. In the rush of our national life, the bolting of food has become a national vice. The words ‘Quick Lunches’ might properly be placed on thousands of headstones in our cemeteries…His self-respecting stomach rebels, and expresses its indignation by indigestion. Then man has to go through life with a little bottle of pepsin tablets in his vest pocket. He is but another victim to this craze for speed. Hurry means the breakdown of the nerves. It is the royal road to nervous prostration.”

So I ask you, would you rather participate in haste or hurry? It really is up to you to make this choice. Many days seem like we are a gerbil in a cage, just going round and round, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. We get up, do what we have to do to get to work, work, travel when we must, come home, and then collapse on the couch till it is time to turn off the TV and go to bed…just so we can get up the next day and do it again. Many have very long commutes, whether it be by car, plane, bus, train, subway, or taxi. It all takes time, doesn’t it?

It seems most strange to me that many long years ago, many people worked very hard to give us a 40-hour workweek. But now, with the many ways we can bring our work with us wherever we go, many people work a lot more hours a week than 40. Some work places have actually installed beds! How many people have been waiting for a doctor appointment and can watch someone pace back and forth with a phone in the ear? Or perhaps it is someone using a smartphone, doing business, texting, talking, and finally going up to the desk to change the appointment to another day because this person could not wait any longer…and two seconds after this person leaves, the name gets called to go back? These are but two examples of how busy life can become. Have you ever been in a restaurant and watch two people texting at a table — only to find out that they are actually speaking to each other on their phones? Electronic gadgets are wonderful inventions, and they become more wonderful each day. My question to you is this: Are you using your gadgets to enhance communications, making great use of your time? Or is it just another way to hurry through your day? Are you compelled to answer your phone when it rings? Do you even try to text and drive at the same time? Have you watched someone in a near accident because they had a phone up to the ear instead of a Bluetooth or audio connection? Is the need for speed in our world of communications that important? Only you can make these choices. In short, your upset stomach may be as much from the pace you are moving as it is from the food you ate, far too quickly.

Stress is a known factor in every day. Many different types appear in very recognizable forms, but there are others that are not so easily understood or comprehended. These all complicate the difference between haste and hurry…for one has a plan and the other has none. Do you see the truth in this?

Life should be lived from the inside to the outside, not vice versa. Yet I see so much of the latter present in everyday situations. Life seems out of control, doesn’t it? You are like a marionette with so many strings tied to you that your daily dance is faster than the one minute waltz played in 30 seconds! How do you get your breath? Stop and take one — a very long one. Take five minutes for yourself, and get off the merry-go-round. Then, when you get back on, take a plan with you and use it. It will change your life from hurry to haste, guaranteed!

Here is a unique idea: If you need a little more time, give it to yourself! It is yours from the minute you wake up until you close your eyes that night. Choose wisely how you use it!

John F. Kennedy stated: “We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.”

Inscription on an Ancient Sun Dial:

“Time was is past — thou canst it not recall.

Time is thou hast — employ thy portion small.

Time future is not, and may never be.

Time present is the only Time for thee!”

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Clown on Hobby Horse

Clown on Hobby Horse, Briskly Riding!



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