What images go through your mind when you see the word balance?
What feelings come with those images?
What does balance mean?
These are the kinds of questions that start this journey toward clarity, and it all begins with awareness.
Awareness is a word that everyone knows. It’s an innate part of our existence. But how many people are actually aware of the role their own awareness plays in their lives?
The diversity of awareness practices in cultures across the planet are all examples of how creative we are as a species. With such a bountiful collection of practical ways of doing things, it can be pretty tough to decide which one works for you. And interestingly enough, every single one of these awareness practices will work for someone. They wouldn’t have been successful if they didn’t work.
What will guide you to your own personal version of awareness is this: understand why you are practicing awareness in the first place.
Asking yourself questions that reflect your deepest values guides you. And it’s not just about which questions you ask, but the quality of the questions as well.
Questions like: Why am I here? or, Why is awareness important? These only reflect the need to engage much deeper aspects of our nature. These questions are so vague that it can be hard to find a practical answer that actually makes sense. One that you can integrate into your everyday life.
After a while, these questions begin to go round and round, and there is no ‘magic pill’ solution that guarantees an easy fix to life’s challenges. There are, however, always the stars in the sky, and the sun over our heads… the moon at night.
We can always look to the reality we all share for examples. Nature is a wonderful teacher and offers many parables about our nature as humans. Things like the amazing complexity of organic life can boggle the mind, but then again there’s the amazingly simple idea of duality.
It’s represented in all sorts of ways. There’s yin and yang, light and dark, life and death. These reveal the universally constant dance of a dualistic nature. Awareness of this nature is why balance is so important, and where you can begin unraveling the mystery of why you are here.
Like the yin-yang symbol, night and day, black and white, weak and strong, death… life… the appearance of a balanced duality exists everywhere in nature. This is actually an expression of a singularity. Without both sides together it is only a halfway expression, an unbalanced equation.
That doesn’t sound like the Universe I know.
Balance is in everything. It makes sure the diversity that we love so much continues throughout our lives, and it also reflects the constantly changing sway between two sides that you see all around us.
The heliostatic equilibrium that keeps the Sun from imploding upon itself…
the back and forth sway of the seasons…
the day and night cycle that all orbiting bodies strive for in their journey around their stars…
the way economies fluctuate in their struggle between over-consumption and economic growth…
the way political stability comes in between two extremes…
the way our bodies have two halves that appear the same but are opposite.
All of these examples are natural expressions of the same principle.
The universe is always striving toward balance, but it never quite gets there. When I use the word balance it means this exactly. Nothing stays the same.
If balance were a straight line between two extremes, it would take on a certain flatness. Can you picture that?
A completely flat plain without even a ripple, or hill, or any rifts at all across the landscape. That would be boring. No one likes the same thing all the time. There has to change. Otherwise, you become depressed and begin losing sight of the beautiful parts of life, focusing on the negative space that’s there instead of the generative side of your existence.
Balance is the dance between opposites, a cycle between extremes. But then there’s the question: What’s at the center of the extremes?
Imagine for a moment that your life was only joyful… just pleasure all the time.
Imagine there was no pain or sadness, nor loss or humiliation.
This would be like asking for a day that never ends, or like living with your eyes always open. We need the darkness. And we need to blink too.
Staying on either side of this center for too long brings dangers that can have minor effects, or they could be severe. This center is our connection with that grand mystery that we all have a word for. In my culture, we call it Creator, but a more familiar term to you might be the soul or God.
The principle is there no matter what interpretation. It doesn’t matter how singular or how polytheistic, all interpretations are revolving around the same idea. But we disagree about the symbol and we disagree about the interpretation.
This idea I’m offering you isn’t about being right or wrong. It’s about the truth.
It’s about the truth that we all feel in the deepest parts of our being. You felt it your entire life, just like I did. It’s your connection with this great mystery within you that keeps you centered, and balance is the way you dance with that center.
It takes action, though. Will you dance closely with your center? Or will you dance on the extremes? Can you be balanced when the extremes are there?You can be sure they will come and go throughout your life.
Balance connects you with purpose through awareness of this center. Participating in the experience with the freedom to stay connected will bring lasting balance.
It’s like a comet that’s cruising around the sun. If you go too fast or your orbit flies too far, you’ll get lost. If you go too close to the sun… well, you know what happens.
But unlike a comet, you can choose how you experience the extremes of the burning hot sun, and the cold of space.
Experiencing the light and the dark sides of life is not an option for anyone. We’re all going to feel pain. And this pain is not optional, but suffering for it is.
You can choose to suffer when you’re in pain because suffering is a choice.
Just like the comet going into deep space, you will experience the darkness.
But will you stay there?
With awareness you can experience the darkness, and then choose to walk away.
Awareness guides you through the challenging questions in life.
And it will constantly bring you back to reality, if you allow it.
The importance of this concept cannot be understated. It’s one of the most fundamental aspect of finding clarity.
It’s also how you find answers to those deeper ‘why’ questions about who you really are. Those questions that seem so difficult to answer for so many people. Questions like: Why am I here? What is my purpose? What is the meaning of life?
These kinds of questions are at the root of purpose, and with awareness of your center, you can find purpose.
You can truly be what you have the potential to be.
But you have to want it first.
If you don’t actually want change, if you don’t actually want balance, or continue to have hangups about what symbols to use, what religion to practice, or what ideas to believe in then your journey might look more like the Comet. A slave to the extremes with no direction but the one that was given.
Awareness, balance, and action are central to this idea of finding purpose. They are the keys to unlocking your intent.
When you’re connected and aware of your intent with a balanced sense of clarity, the possibilities are only limited by things like gravity, or electromagnetism.
But don’t be disillusioned when things go awry. There’ll always be obstacles. There’ll always be bumps on your proverbial road. There will always be some war to fight, or some tragedy to overcome. And there’ll always be a battle with pain.
How you chose to negotiate this terrain is entirely up to you.
The words balance, awareness, and clarity are all revolving around that primary idea of connecting with your inner self. It’s about connecting with the real you. The version of yourself that has no boundaries and who creates their own destiny. The version that speaks with one heart and isn’t confused about purpose, or intent. All of the other principles are connected with this one concept, and are how you can begin waging war against the enemy that’s keeping you from being your true self.
So then, how do you begin this war?
What do balance, awareness, and clarity have to do with being you?
Again, we go back to the crazy amounts of diversity with pretty much anything human… there are a lot of ways to practice awareness. They all lead to balance and they all lead toward clarity.
But how do you actually practice it?
Well, that’s why this is an introduction to balance through awareness.
I’ll have more content and exercises in future posts.
Here’s a hint: you have to clear away all the bullshit first.
Stay Strong Everyone,