Hop into my car and you may be treated (or tortured?) to a variety of tunes. It could be Slayer, Dio, Bad Religion, perhaps, Blackmore’s Night, The Beatles, Spiral Dance or even Bob Marley. Maybe even a sprinkling of Madonna, INXS, Johnny Cash, or Scott Joplin. When it comes to music, it’s easier to ask what I don’t listen to. I like a good balance. As a matter of fact, I apply this concept of balance to most of my life.
Combat boots and hippie skirts? Of course!
Coffee or tea? YES!
Walking or running for fitness? Both offer benefits.
Vegan, vegetarian or meat eater? Flexitarian anyone?
Veggies-raw or cooked? Depends on the veggie!
A balanced lifestyle is integral to achieving and maintaining holistic wellness. You can have too much of a good thing….finding that middle ground actually helps to keep us on track. I have brought my kids up on the notion that “what we do most of the time is what really matters.” When they go to a party they sure do eat the cake and sometimes drink the soda. They have a great time and don’t feel that they are restricted from enjoying the festivities. Conversely, have you ever known someone that lived an extreme lifestyle? For example- severely restrictive eating habits or excessive physical training. How long were they able to maintain these habits? Was there a breaking point? And what happened next?
Hopefully, they were able to gain insight and reevaluate their choices. Perhaps, they were able to find that perfect balance, one that is more manageable and that creates a feeling of homeostasis.
While studying animal science in college, one of the first classes I enrolled in was animal psychology. It was a fascinating class and the best part was that I had to get a pet rat! Actually, I got 3 of them: Pandora, Gypsy, and Jasmine. We were asked to purchase a couple for training due to their short life spans. The first thing our professor cautioned us on was to not over-train our rats. What? I never realized that would be an issue. I had envisioned spending hours each day working with my rats. Instead, we learned that there was a certain point in which the rats would become fatigued and learn to take short-cuts while completing their tasks. It was up to us to find that balance to not only achieve, but also to maintain results. I find that applying this idea to daily life is key to maintaining a lifestyle of holistic wellness. There are going to be situations where things aren’t optimal….you eat the junk food, skimp on your daily physical activities, forget to take supplements and so on. That’s totally ok. Remember, that it’s what you do most of the time that makes a difference.
How do we know if we are balanced? How do we achieve and maintain equilibrium? I like to ask myself a simple phrase- is it nourishing or depleting? It may take some practice in the beginning, but once this becomes a habit of asking yourself, you will begin to see a difference. Recognize your own patterns and establish the balance that leaves you feeling happily nourished- physically, emotionally and spiritually.
And I leave you with that….my garden beckons, as I am about to head outside and listen to Slayer, while I lovingly convene with Mama Harriet- the mother plant of the gorgeous field of baby dandelions that grace my front yard.