Monday, December 30, 2013

The art of balance

In martial arts balance is the foundation of power as it allows you to move with minimal effort, freely and in control. It is not so different off the mat – living in balance is akin to emotional freedom. There are no easy, step-by-step formulas to a balanced life.  You must find your own unique equilibrium.

Identify the things that seemed to be pushing or pulling at you as an opponent on the mat would.  Life can place you off kilter from many directions; some come from within, thoughts and feelings, fears and desires, and others from outside, personal relationships, the workplace and so on.

I suggest that you begin by balancing your internal and external dispositions. Ask yourself, are you a person who is so inwardly focused that you minimally engage with the world, or are you so engaged you never have the time to look inside?

To be active in the world is a good thing, but not to the exclusion of exploring the inner workings of your heart and mind.  On the other hand, while it is good to analyze your emotions and the ways you relate to others, too much of that kind of thinking creates its own stress and takes you away from being fully engaged with life.
 
Do not work against your nature, instead bring your own unique nature to good use.  Your ideal point of internal/external balance is your very own.

If you feel yourself to be a doer and short on introspection, work the doing into your being read a good book on the subject, find people you can talk to, and act out your contemplation.  You might want to try yoga or Tai Chi. If self-analysis takes up a large part of your day, introduce more doings into your life by finding activities that speak to you – it could be gardening, bird-watching or simply going for a walk. 

It takes introspection to discover what you need to adjust, but then you must act to make those adjustments.

We are all martial artists and our greatest opponent is ourselves.

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