The benefits of living a balanced life are immeasurable. We can experience contentment, happiness within and enjoyment. We become resilient and are able to cope with life’s difficulties better and easier. We have faith and trust in a higher purpose and love the person we are. We find ourselves with better health, and an internal and external glow. So, what does it mean to be “in balance”? And what does it mean to have a balanced life? In this article Natalia, who runs our “Creating Balance in Your Life” workshop at the retreat delves deeper into this area and considers practical steps to bring balance into your life.
It is quite tricky to create a short definition of being in balance, but for us here at La Crisalida, it means being, and living, in tune with ourselves, with our needs, emotions, body and reality around us.
Sometimes we can think that everything needs to be perfect to live a balanced life. Or we think we must be or act in a particular way. All we really need to be is in tune with ourselves.
Part of being in tune with ourselves is to understand the deeper meaning of emotions, which primarily serve us, warn us and are our signposts. So often we distinguish emotions as positive and negative (we like or dislike the emotion). All emotions have a deeper meaning on some level, beyond the label of pleasure and pain. So, if necessary, allow yourself to get familiar with anger or have a good cry – be aware of these emotions, observe them and express them in a healthy way.
Moreover we need to remember that sometimes loss of balance is a part of living a balanced life. It is an opportunity to discover life in a new deeper way. Everything is changing, so it is expected that moments of balance come and go. So take a positive approach and treat your stumbles as lessons to learn, as opportunities to grow.
Below we share some of our ideas how to develop more balance in our lives.
1. Mindfulness, awareness, time alone.
We can define mindfulness as a moment by moment awareness of our breath, emotions, feelings, thoughts and surroundings. This kind of approach allows us to free ourselves from the chains of past and future thoughts, thereby bringing peace, calmness and opportunity to enjoy the present moment. The present moment is all that really exists.
The great way of practicing mindfulness is spending some time alone, just you, your body, your breath, your emotions and nature around you. So go for a walk, listen to the birds, notice the beauty around you and enjoy yourself.
Meditate. A few minutes each day is really enough! Nothing really complicated, just sit down in a comfortable position, keep your spine nice and long. If you struggle with back aches you can sit down on the chair (with a straight back and feet touching the floor). Close your eyes and just observe your breath. Sense the touch of the air in your nostrils or on the upper lip. Just keep observing your breath and let go of your thoughts. Just let them come and go.
Staying in touch with reality as it is, is a great way to ensure we stay in touch with ourselves too.
2. Gratitude, faith, letting go
Daily practice of gratitude is a very powerful tool, which brings to our lives more joy, peace and trust. Be grateful for everything that life sends on your path and embrace it. Even in the least positive day there are always the little rays of the sun – not just the sun from the sky, but a smile from a stranger or a wag of a tail from a dog. So focus your mind on what is good in your life and by doing so, you will attract more happiness. Everyday before falling asleep try to think about three to five things you are grateful for that day. And you will not believe how your life transforms.
Have faith in the process of life. Let go of your controlling ego and go with the flow. So often we cling to old habits, relationships, jobs, which do not serve us anymore. So maybe now is the time for change? Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the new future. Life is like trapeze swings. You need to let go and hang for a moment in the uncertain nothingness, to be able to grasp a new opportunity.
3. Appreciation of your body
Your body is the temple of your soul. It is incredible how powerful the mind-body connection is. Not without the reason we say: In a healthy body is a healthy mind.
So take care of your body, nurture it and listen to its needs. Make healthy lifestyle choices, exercise and be active, eat a healthy and balanced diet, have healthy daily routines, and allow your body to rest when it needs it.
Here at La Crisalida we have a programme of exercise, yoga, supported with wholesome wholefoods (plant-based) diet. This mix supports our bodies to move back into balance, to its natural pure state.
But remember that everything is about balance, so allow yourself an occasional treat and enjoy it!
4. Nurture your spirit
Surround yourself with people you really care about. Create meaningful relationships and a good support system. Spend time with people who really nurture your spirit, who allow you to glow, grow and develop. Maybe let go of the people who drain your energy and pull you down.
Set some time for your passions, exploring the world and fun activities. Laughter is a powerful tool! And so often we can not “fit it into our busy agenda”. So make sure that from today you save some time for joy.
Dance, sing, laugh and play! :o)