We get to understand balance when we experience what it feels like to be out of balance
Last Sunday morning, I sat down in front of my computer to write my blog for my weekly newsletter.
30 minutes went by and nothing…
I stepped away from my desk, and prepared my breakfast and lunch and then sat back down in front of my computer, still nothing…
It felt like I had no more thoughts in my head. My brain went on strike.
Monday was a repeat. I spent the whole day feeling anxious and depressed. What was going on with me? I had work to do!
It felt like I was DONE. I was done thinking, talking, stratigizing, creating!
By Tuesday morning I realized that I had to stop resisting what was happening and I made the decision to take the week off.
If you don’t stop, you’ll be forced to stop
If you’re an entrepreneur or even a full-time mom, you know how HUGE that is!
But it occurred to me that the last time I took a week off, was last December when I was in bed with the flu!
And then I reflected on my whole entrepreneurial life… and noticed that though I took my yearly vacation to be with my family for 2 weeks, the only other times, I took a break was when I got sick!
Like my body literally had to STOP me!
With all my talk of balance and health, I still get caught in the fallacious idea that I have to be productive for my life to have meaning.
Can you relate to that?
Are you too a victim of this fallacy?
Well guess what?
We can only get so far out of balance.
Until our bodies and our minds will rebel in the form of symptoms!
The Yin and Yang Dietetic Model
When the pendulum swings to one end, it will inevitably swing to the other end!
The sages of old understood that perfectly and devised philosophies to remind us of balance.
Chinese philosophy talks of the balance between the Yin and Yang energies.
When I was training as a Holistic Health Counselor, I learned about the Yin and Yang Dietetic Model.
Basically, when you eat too much of one type of foods, like eggs, red meat and cheese, you’re going to crave the foods on the opposite side of the spectrum like sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.
Through our cravings our physiology tries to create balance. Of course the goal of the Yin and Yang Dietetic Model is to eat foods that are right in the middle of the spectrum so we maintain balance at all times. Click this link to see the model here.
Yoga and the integration of our active and receptive functions
In Yoga philosophy, health and balance, the premise of spiritual awakening, happen when the subtle energies of Ida and Pingala are in perfect harmony.
Renown Australian psychologist, Dr. Swami Shankardev of BigShakti.com and my meditation and yoga psychology mentor, writes:
“Ida and Pingala point to two basic modes of function on which all our bodily and mental processes work. Each and every cell of our body, every organ, the brain, the mind, everything is polarized and interconnected at both the physical and subtle levels.”
“And this allows us to think, speak and act in a concerted, balanced, synchronous manner, every part working to help every other part.”
Ida and Pingala, the Receptive and Active Modes
“Modern psychology describes the two main modes of man’s being as an ‘active’ mode and a ‘receptive’ mode. Yoga calls the active mode Pingala and the receptive mode Ida.”
“Our active mode, Pingala, is designed to ensure survival and the receptive mode, Ida, is designed to ensure rest and recuperation of energy in the endless struggle for life and existence.”
“Though we may think of ourselves healthy, most of us spend our lives in an unbalanced state. We tend to spend increasingly longer periods in active, left brain, sympathetic dominant mode as we grow out of our childhood.”
“This is probably a major factor in the spiraling incidence of psychosomatic disease today, triggered by a state of chronic stress.”
For true and sustainable health, we have to have equal time of activity and day-dreaming
As a business woman I know how challenging that can be! Yet think about it, if my body and brain break down as a result of my imbalance, who’s going to take care of my business?
Soooo, I’ve decided to regularly schedule time off in my calendar. A day, a week when I don’t do anything business related! And yes, it’s a bit scary, but I will remember something that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say:
Do less, to accomplish more.
Now one last note on what I said earlier about spiritual awakening.
Sustainable health and balance are achieved when these two modes, energies, flows, whatever you want to call them – ‘active’ and ‘receptive’, Pingala and Ida, can be made to function simultaneously. When that level of integration (which is what the word yoga literally means) happens, then we’re able to live in the wholeness and fullness of our true spiritual nature.