Emotional Balance

Emotional balance has been unfolding in my life for 50 years.  One of the biggest hurdles has been letting go of the belief that my emotions define me; that I am what I am currently feeling.  I now define emotion as: e-motion = energy in motion.  When I am experiencing a specific emotion, I realize that it is energy moving through my entire being.  It is energy that has been given a name such as happiness, sorrow, anger, etc.  Remembering this helps me release judgement about the nature of that energy.  Energy is energy; it is neither good nor bad; it just is.

As practices for the body and mind (yoga, meditation, healthy eating, exercise, fresh air, loving friends, etc.) have become consistent in my life, my emotions have become more consistent as well.  For the most part, my emotions fit what I am experiencing in the moment.  When each of my parents died, I was deeply sad and grieved.  I was also profoundly grateful that I was with them in their transitions. I was proud to be their daughter. I was also grateful for everything they had given me over the years.  So many emotions flowed during those times and I felt them all. Intense and fulfilling all at once.

In releasing judgement, I view these experiences in terms of intensity.  Seldom is overwhelming happiness described as bad, yet it is every bit as intense as sorrow and can be just as exhausting.  My granddaughter’s birth was so intensely joyful that there were times I didn’t sleep very well.  There were times when I quietly cried for happy.  Intense.

On the other end of the spectrum, I choose not to take in news about things like child abuse because the depth of anger I feel on behalf of these innocents is almost frightening to me.  But is anger always “bad?”  Not in my opinion, because there are many people who have been inspired to acts of bravery because of the anger that arises within them.  Anger and frustration with things I had allowed or created in my life have given me the courage to make very difficult changes.  Intense.

Intensity is seldom comfortable, which is why these energies are judged as bad or unhealthy.  The key, is – guess what? – balance!  It makes more sense to realize that imbalance in the emotional body creates confusion and can be destructive than to set the goal of never feeling these things.  When I feel angry, can I allow myself to be in it in a way that leads me to action, forgiveness or compassion?  If so, I will quickly return to peace and tranquility.  My actions will be appropriate to the situation and to my desire and intention to live lovingly and compassionately.  It is when I avoid and stuff or hide my feelings that my behavior becomes inappropriate and possibly destructive.

Balance is the key. Here are a few reasonable goals:  Feel without being thrown against the wall by the intensity of emotions. Be willing to sit with the discomfort in order to remember that energy in motion does not define me; it is something you are experiencing in the moment.  It will diminish, shift, transform because that is the nature of energy.  Embrace the experience for what it is:  a human experience that does not change or define your True Self, a spiritual being. Be patient and remember that it takes time and maturity to come into this awareness in every aspect of your being: physical, mental, emotional.  You don’t have to change everything at once.  You don’t have to fight yourself and judge yourself.  You do not have to be perfect.  You can be in this moment, experience it, and be all that you are.  You can unfold into True Self as naturally as a healthy tree matures and produces perfect fruit.

One of my favorite responses to myself when I explode into emotional intensity and catch myself in the midst of it is:    Well, Catherine Ann, welcome to the human race!

 

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Seeking Balance

Human beings are designed for balance.  Homeostasis is the natural mechanism that functions 100% of the time to establish and maintain balance.  It is an automatic and wonderfully complex process.  Mental and emotional balance are part of homeostasis because there is no separation among the body, mind, and emotions. What affects one, affects all – whether that effect is toward health and wholeness or dis-ease and imbalance. I can enhance balance by my lifestyle choices, making it easier for my body to achieve balance and wholeness. I can exhaust it when my lifestyle choices undermine the process.

I can raise my own awareness by asking myself these questions:  Am I helping or hurting myself?  What are the patterns in my life?  What do I want to experience? Do the choices I make in any given moment support or undermine my fundamental desires?

Have you known someone who is faced with overwhelming life challenges and yet remains loving, kind and able to find joy in small ways? Do you wonder where they find the strength to go on? Is it possible their level of self-awareness is a major factor?

Have you ever known someone who consistently creates chaos while bemoaning their fate and wishing for a more peaceful, happy life?  Do you wonder why nothing ever goes their way? Is it possible their level of self-awareness is a major factor?

My observation is that both people, consciously or not,  are seeking balance.  What we need to understand is that this balance comes from within our beings, not from the circumstances outside of us. It emanates from our personal choices moment-by-moment. The results f those choices hinge on the level of our self-awareness, our consciousness.

So, if a person is chaotic within themselves, they will manifest chaos outside themselves because, to them, this feels like balance. And they are right. What they experience inside and outside is in balance but this does not create peace and contentment.

If a person is balanced and peaceful within themselves, they will manifest balance and peace outside themselves because, to them, this feels like balance.  And they are right. What they experience inside and out is in balance and it does create peace and contentment.

The difference is that one achieves a healthy balance and one does not.  Remember that balance is not a static state.  Even the healthiest balance waivers now and then. The question is “What am I creating and how am I living the majority of the time?”

Life is not about perfection.  It is about balance and harmony and wholeness.

Diversity

Honoring diversity supports unity and wholeness.

An orchestra needs all of the instruments to be present, properly tuned, and well-played to bring forth its beauty.

The  most beautiful gardens are filled with large variety of plants, colors, and textures.

In a group of people, it is individual differences that allow us to see  and identify one another and also appreciate the cohesiveness of the group.

Honoring diversity supports unity and wholeness.

 

Aware Of Being Aware

It is possible to step back from your current state of awareness and become aware of being aware. How?

A simple example:

Take a stroll – not a power walk – without headset, etc. Begin by looking around and becoming aware of your surroundings. Notice the trees and your neighbors’ landscaping. See the sky. As your walk continues, become aware that you are noticing what you are seeing. Then, become aware of the awareness that you are noticing what you are seeing. Now you are aware of your own awareness; you are aware of being aware.

As you gently continue, you may experience the sensation of “watching” yourself take a walk. It is a sensation rather than a physical seeing of yourself and then one day you will realize you are aware of that level of awareness. You keep taking one step more back from your current awareness until you experience that you are awareness itself.

Yep, it’s a little weird when you read it but, when you experience it, you smile and sigh and think “Oh, this is what I’ve been moving toward.”

Aum shanti Aum, dear hearts.

Just Be

As a young wife and mother, I felt overwhelmed at times. We were living in Goose Bay, Labrador and my children were 3 and 1. As an Air Force Wife, I faced most days, many nights, and sometimes weeks or months a a time alone. I wasn’t alone, however. Every woman around me was living the same experience. We came together whether it was at a Wives’ Club meeting, the bowling alley, or the base chapel. I did it all. I found a bible study/prayer group that was loving and supportive and I began to develop a daily spiritual practice.

One of the more mature members of our group taught us about the value of a daily quiet time that included prayer, silence, and journaling. It took a little while but I established the practice of rising before my husband and children, fixing a cup of tea, and just sitting down to enjoy the quiet, the silence, before beginning my day. I learned to take the time to just be. Of course, initially, I made it harder than it needed to be. I tried to create deep, impressive spiritual experiences. Sharing my frustration with one of the women brought a profoundly simple response. She touched my arm and said something like “Catherine, just sit down and be there. Let yourself just be for a few minutes.” My days were hectic and this sounded like heaven so I tried it.

She was right. To sit in silence without needing or trying to accomplish anything was just what I needed. Before long, that first half hour of every day was my oasis, my source of peace. It led to time of deep inspiration as I sought wisdom in raising my children. It brought peace as I realized this was an important part of my path to knowing myself and living my truth.

So today, dear hearts, I invite you to take a seat and just be. May the love and light that you are shine through the body, mind and heart you currently occupy. Hurray!