Motivation Monday with Brittany: I just finished reading Into the Wild (about a young man who gives up his worldly possessions and seeks solace in Nature, but meeting an early end in the Alaska bush), which naturally gets the wheels in my head turning. I see many parallels to this young man, who some may consider an ideological dreamer, and myself. I see his perspective, trying to deny material objects, human rules and to survive on his own-challenging himself and boundaries, discovery truth. I feel like he may have been lacking balance. The book paints a picture (at least how I interpret it) of him escaping intimacy (although I believe at the end he came around to realize the importance of love and service). I’ve been exploring solitude myself (making my own little adventures into the wilderness), and what I’ve determined is balance is needed. I like to take solo adventures to test myself and push the boundaries of this character ‘Brittany’ that I’ve been conditioned to be. The difference I feel is that I’m not trying to escape and sometimes in cases like McCandless’ case people seem to be fleeing from life or looking for meaning in solitude and nature. I’ve already determined that I love people and have been aware of working on my relationships the past year, but I do see the value of times to oneself. Time alone (hiking is my favorite activity for this) allows one to reconnect (reboot, recharge, recenter, whatever word usage you prefer) with their true selves. I also find that time apart from people makes you appreciate the time you do get to share with them more (think about it when you’re completely engrossed with someone spending every waking hour together they get on your nerves at some point really. If they or something is always present then it’s easy to take for granted). This got me to thinking about other aspects of life and I realize that all of life is a balancing act. We try to juggle ample time between family, home, career, health, extra-curricular activities, sleep, and on-and-on. We tend to suck though, and often are extremist, seeing things only in black-and-white. Addictions run wild. We’re addicted (or obsessed) to alcohol, sex, drugs, love, shopping and material possession, to eating (this is me) and not eating, body image is constantly on our mind and in our range of thought with constant reminders on tv’s, magazines, etc. Just look at t.v. we’re addicted to all kinds of things! We can’t just have one drink, we have to have the whole bottle. It’s not just one bite, but the whole pie. Then we try to correct the behavior by acting extreme in the other direction. We eat too much so we compensate by exercising too much or starving ourselves not eating anything. Balance. Balance. Balance. In my field this is the key to health. It’s about balancing hormones (portioning the right amount of protein, fat, and carb for one’s own body composition), balancing sleep, stress and proper amounts of exercise but not too much exercise. Everywhere I look in life, however, I see this balancing act taking place and we’re always teetering on the brick of success, but sometimes we tip it in the wrong direction!It’s a skill that needs to be practiced just like kettlebells and proper eating. cognisance and awareness are the first step and then repetitive thought and I’ll be on my way towards balance. Like one of my favorites, Thoreau (consequently he was a favorite of McCandless too) said:
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
Are you balanced in life? Start striving for balance today! Best of wishes! Enjoy the journey, like the Tao teaches:
The giant pine tree grows from a tiny seedling.
A tower nine stories high starts with a single brick.
A journey of a thousands miles begins with a single step
Embrace every step along the way (each new awareness, every pound lost, every day without a drink, every day where you love more and stress less, every hour of sleep gained- all strides towards balance in your life). BALANCE!
BE, Love, Illuminate