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This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Balancing Act

Keeping your life and your Self in balance takes attention

Keeping  your life in balance means not working too much, not playing too hard, not letting your 'me-time' turn into isolation, not using your physical self so much (in sports or a labor job) that you induce damage to your body, or distracting yourself with entertainment (partying, gaming) in such large doses that your mind turns to mush.  Most of us need or at least could use all of these things but, and this is key, in moderation.

One of the ways to plant the seeds of compulsion and, even, addiction is doing too much for too long, of one thing.  In a previous post, I wrote about how behaviors and substances are sometimes used to escape/avoid, to numb the emotions, or to achieve a false high---leading to dependence.
Most people can not only do all of the above things but, will find them much more delicious and gratifying in small doses  The first bite of a choice cupcake or candybar is divine but as you continue eating, it's almost as if your taste buds become dulled and 3/4 of the way through, that delicious cupcake just isn't as exciting anymore.  Drug addicts sometimes describe the compulsive search for the massive high of the very 1st dose, never again to be experienced.
A beautiful, unusual bouquet of flowers can have a luscious fragrance and be beautiful visually unless you work in a florist shop.  Too much of a good thing overloads our senses and removes the charge.

A lot of people don't like to hear this, the oft offered advice:  All things in moderation.  Some people hear this as a restriction-they want to be able to generate extremes-but actually as referred to in the post So You Want to be Free, you actually preserve your freedom of choice if you don't overindulge.

Today is my birthday.  I decided to begin a new tradition:  A Birthday Resolution.  My resolution is to try to move towards an even amount of work and play in my own life.  I've worked very hard all my life and I have accumulated an array of responsibilities, so, for me, this will be a challenge.  But it will be an effort toward balance.  It reminds me of people who invest in the stock market; periodically, and on a regular basis, they have to "re-balance their portfolio".  They have an investment strategy that they've committed to and they have to re-balance from time to time to keep the portfolio in line with their goal.

Excess isn't healthy.  Overindulgence is what the word says it is---too much.

We notice this imbalance when we see a person who is prone to emotional extremes.  "Experiencing emotions is, of course, a normal part of life, but extremes can induce imbalance and illness..."  Dr, Maoshing Ni.    Impulsive actions can also lead to repercussions.  "When you are visited by emotional extremes, use deep breathing and rest to restore your metabolic equilibrium."  Dr. M. Ni

The old adage:  Think before you speak can come in handy.  (Save yourself from saying something you might regret but can't take back.)  Giving yourself a little time before you respond to another, and before you take action can yield a superior plan.  That's what I find.

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