Spirituality and Humanity - The Subtle Art of Balance
I instantly feel when I am out of balance. With the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Gone is the morning Yoga and evening meditation routine. Replaced by procrastination of life itself enters. On its shoulders rest the infamous Binge-Watch and the unhealthy Binge-Eat. All three are not a good combination, even by themselves they become a force to be reckoned with. Usually they do not have to stand alone though.
In their wake gathers a party of despicable individuals, born and raised by societal pressure and expectation, with the audacity to believe they have a right to enter any time they see fit. Mr. Negative-Self-Talk is accompanied by Mrs. I-Do-Not-Give-A-Fuck, my oldest friend Self-Doubt Susan and her newest lover Impostor Syndrome tag along. And dangling on the arm of No-Purpose Nora is Fear-To-Fail Fred.
They are having a blast. Toasting with self-deceit-shots and indulging in no-return-nachos.
I am having a nightmare- seemingly endless.
Clearly it is in my power, and mine alone as the owner of the house to step in and put an end to this re-make of Project X.
The awareness is there but the taking action part is comparable to climbing the Mount Everest with Flip Flops. Even hygiene seems to serve no real purpose since I am not intending to leave the house anyway. Why should I? Everything is senseless and I am the pinnacle of needlessness.
Changing habits is more than changing patterns in your daily routine. Sometimes these customs are more engraved inside you than your personality traits. Even after putting in consistent work and having an awareness of these conscious coping mechanisms. The trigger might still be hidden underneath a pile of garbage that you cannot locate, let alone knowing that the trigger hides underneath it.
And let us be honest here- being spiritually acquainted does not automatically transform that pile into some halo, especially if you are not aware that the accumulation of these unwanted (and frankly, un-called for) things even exist in the first place.
What is a human to do in this case? When there is no purpose and no strength to sit up and affirm, meditate, practice yoga, cook healthy or attempt on taking care of ones bodily hygiene?
It could be that I stand alone with this issue. Deserted in a pool of spiritual masters, contentedly surfing on the wave of life without any fluctuations sweeping their board away underneath them. Forlorn in a land of self developing heroes, beginning each day with a nourishing morning routine involving yoga, meditation, prayer and an exemplary kale-matcha smoothie for breakfast. Solitary on the winding path up the mountain of self mastery with all its side tracks into the undergrowth of doubt and desperation.
But I don’t think so.
Which is why I want to reach out to all of those human beings. Yes, those who are still human beings and do not illustrate a never-ending story of clear skin, ecru coloured Yoga-pants meditating on a beach.
Alright, that is unnecessary- if I could do it as well, I would.
Bringing me to my question if that could be done in the first place?
Is the Dalai Lama sometimes human, waking up and feeling like watching spiritual TV all day? Or is his environment providing him with the nourishing surroundings he needs to maintain his healthy, spiritual habits. Do we all need to work towards the Dalai Lama way of living?
Effortlessly I would Wu-Wei my professional life with a smile and frictionless I would balance my ambivert personality to accomplish the hike of life.
Fast forward three days. I had a meet-up with a friend and my introvert did not get the upper hand this time. The party of unwanted guests was raging until six in the morning when they finally called it a day (or morning in that case) and let me roll into bed. Stuffed with the most unhealthy things in a quantity that makes me want to bow to my body in awe for handling it that well. But I can’t bend, I am too full. Also my head aches from eight hours of non-stop senseless YouTube. The worst kind - shorts about celebrities or talented people.
You know, the ones that lead the life I will never accomplish because I am too busy watching them.
The morning after starts with a delicate dialogue:
Introvert argues that we have a body image dilemma and overall a self-worth crisis, therefor better not leaving the house at all and risk exposure of weak spots to the outside world.
Extrovert won’t tolerate that, counters with a provocative smile to honour body positivity, embrace the relapse as part of the healing process and raising the index finger to the impenetrable, winning fact that this is our one and only time to meet up with said friend (due to travelling).
They settle on the compromise to not do a healthy Yoga morning routine and dress in a very loose Shirt and Jeans, saving Introvert both from compromising herself with a lack of fitness and the exposure of a totally imagined wobbly mass of a body. Extrovert gets to see another human being.
Morality of the story: The change of tapestry and connection to another human being got me out of my daily grind.
Admittedly the morning after seeing my friend, the gang still was in the house, trying to get the party started. But, the efforts were half-hearted- the moment had come where everyone was worn out. I imagine them chilling in the living room, one last joint making its round (although I have to say: drugs are bad, so please do not try this at home), no talking, gentle sounds from the TV but no one pays attention, some absent-mindedly staring out of the glassed veranda door or up to the white ceiling, reminiscing their excesses or thinking about nothing in particular.
Shyly I tried to be compassionate and diligent with myself.
Still, I felt like drowning, nearly giving into the impulse of continuing my day exactly the same way I had spent my previous ones. It is so easy, isn’t it?
Escapism, unhealthy escapism.
I could not bring myself to do Yoga, I took one step at a time.
Tea first. A cup of tea.
And I can simply start my Laptop, no pressure whatsoever. Just a cup of tea and the Laptop, maybe start with the mails. There were a few I wanted to write.
That sounds easy, slow. It is a beginning, isn’t it?
Step by step.
And here I am twelve hours later. Done Yoga, done a walk in the woods, meditated outside in a field of grass, eaten a healthy, nourishing, wholesome bowl of freshly prepared food, worked on my future goals, advanced on my paid client work, given a Yin Yoga lesson to someone else (meaning two times Yoga today, where did that energy come from?!), written the first full-on article in months.
It feels great. I feel great. This day feels great.
Why is it then, that there are days in a row when I eschew this well-being? Why is it that I abandon good and flourishing days in exchange for a downward spiral of negativity, unbalancing food and waste TV time? Why?
Because I am human. And because all of the things I do for a deeper and hidden sentiment.
Junk food and sweets keep me safe, they symbolise comfort, known territory, connection to early memory indulgences when I felt secured by family’s intimacy. I can escape that lack I feel in these situations. Escapism.
Reality TV or YouTube Shorts because I get to live in a different life without needing to do anything, I do not even need to think. I get to see other worlds, I can forget that I have things to deal with, things to process, things that threaten my existence, my way of living. I can escape the need to take action in order to overcome something in my life that seems too big, too high, too threatening to take on. Escapism.
Negative self-talk empowers me to stay right were I am. Why getting up and taking care of spiritual practices? It is indeed senseless. I am a failure anyway, aren’t I? Why going through the effort? Also, I should enable myself some down time, it is self-love if you give in to what you need isn’t it? Don’t listen to the thought that this feels unhealthy, you are safe and sound by not moving an inch from this Laptop or TV. And do not stop eating, by any means, it would be your downfall. If you stop eating you will feel fat and ugly again. Generally speaking no one loves you anyway, so pamper yourself with all the stuff you usually don’t spoil yourself with. Go on, you useless, unloved, ugly loser. These thoughts will only stop if you throw yourself into your escapism mechanisms. Escapism.
Finishing on a high note here: Healthy Escapism.
As long as you know that there is another way, as long as you give yourself a time out once in a while and find back to that healthy lifestyle, I say that I allow myself to be human. I guess the environment impacts my behaviour, I won’t blame everything on me. If there is nothing healthy to eat and no stimulating communication to be had, well, then it is even harder to stay on track with healthy goals.
Nonetheless I am proud if I am able to get out of the misery and find back to what feels good and wholesome again. Always considering where I was in my life and where I am now is healing as well. Which takes me to exactly the one thing that hides behind every struggle I encounter: The Art of Balance.
True balance is in my opinion something that cannot be achieved for a long period of time at once. But what can be achieved is finding out what balance feels like. To me balance feels like flowing. Smoothly running with the flow as often as it comes into your awareness equals practicing the art of balance.
So, here we have it: Practice Makes Balance.
Or something like that.
I wish you all balance, my beloved souls, and thank you so much for reading and supporting me throughout my journey!
Love and light,