Finding Balance For Body, Mind & Soul
Finding Balance For Body, Mind & Soul
Sjana Elise Earp
Like most teenagers, I tried to alter things about myself in the midst of my teenage years in an attempt to give myself a sense of fulfilment, definition and purpose.
Some things I changed to conform (consciously or not) to social norms and expectations. Other things I changed to intentionally become DIFFERENT from others. These things ranged from dyeing my hair, befriending certain groups of people, acting in certain ways through to things as drastic as changing my religion, beliefs and diet. I CONVINCED myself these would give me a persona no one else had. Or that it would somehow make my life meaningful and fulfilled. And at the time, I believed my own lies.
Overnight, I turned Buddhist and vegan, I dyed my hair a few times in order to “change” — to become a “new me”. I started changing things like the way I dressed, people I chose to hang around with and what my hobbies were. I even recall changing my bio on my mySpace, Facebook/ social media pages constantly because I believed these new things did actually define me. By publicising it as something ‘about me’, I then felt the need to stick to it. I introduced myself as a vegan or as a Buddhist, creating a challenge for myself. If I said I was a Buddhist, but behaved differently, I wouldn’t be practicing what I preached and would therefore be a liar.
I felt by defining myself by these changes, I was forced to continue to stay that way. Because I thought OTHERS expected it of me, not necessarily because that’s what I was.
After a year, I grew a lot within myself and decided to be honest with myself. I wasn’t living a fulfilled life any more after these ‘changes’ than I had been previously. I had become so obsessed with just one part of my life that I completely forgot about the value of balance in my life. The balance I was always taught to live by. This obsessiveness came across as very selfish and arrogant almost – I became someone unpleasant to be around simply due to me letting my beliefs define me as "more" or "better" than others.
The main thing I learnt from that year is that the changes we put ourselves through AND the changes we unwillingly go through, do not define us. I also realised it wasn't because of other people’s expectations on me — I had set the bar so far out of my own reach all by myself. And I learned that I do not need to go to any sort of extreme to be healthy, vibrant, energetic, happy and positive. However I choose to "be me" is fine.
Nowadays, I choose to live with balance in all aspects of my life. I am willing to change in the ways I need to, and more importantly, I am open to change again and again. I am living a balanced but dynamic growing life, in a dynamic growing world. I believe in Yin and Yang and the constant flow of energy between the dark and light aspects of life. I value curiosity, communication and compassion. I value, respect and cherish all the differences within and between us all as individuals.
So, "What do you eat each day?" and "Are you vegan?" are not the questions to be asked of me. The answers do not and should not matter to anyone but me. THE REAL QUESTIONS to be asked of me, or of anyone are: “Have you found your own balance in this perfectly imperfect world?” and "Do you do what you need to do, to create within you a healthy balance for your body, your mind and your soul?"
Dreams, plans and goals are okay to have as long as we are rational about them, we can source some of that motivation for good from them, but we should understand that life isn’t just about that one thing at any given moment. And although it would be lovely if it was, we can only do the best with what we are blessed with in the present.
Dreams can be dreams forever — they never HAVE to be realised.
Dreams fuel our curiosity and our motivation.
Dreams reflect our conscience, values and our wants and wishes.
Dreams aren't plans or goals.
Dreams aren't something set in stone that we must achieve.
They are just like a moral compass or guide, or a direction we are heading.
Build your understanding, your tolerance, your knowledge base.
Try moderation in all aspects of your life.
Remember: balance is key!
Balance in your life AND in your outlook on life.
Wishes for health, happiness and harmony,
* Results from BAM may vary. Strict adherence to the program is required for best results.