What does a balanced life look like to you? When I hear the word “balance,” I feel the word “peace.” In my mind’s eye, the two are inextricably linked. And on some deep interior level, I know that if I can just find a way to bring some balance into my life, peace is sure to follow. But balance is hard to come by in our all-or-nothing world, and so we have to strive to be counter cultural, to look for ways to even out the highs and lows we typically traverse, to learn to be present wherever we are, even when where we are isn’t so hot, and to find beauty there.
As we delve into chapter 6, it’s time to take a closer look at ways to bring more balance to our lives. What makes you feel UNbalanced? Is it an overbooked schedule? A kitchen counter piled with clutter? The laundry overflowing the hamper? A work project looming in front of you? Where can you begin to make a dent and tip the scales back in your favor? I think that starts with recognizing that our lives will always seesaw back and forth in major and minor ways. The balance will be found somewhere in the middle of it. Balance doesn’t mean evening out every problem and glitch, but creating an interior space that allows us to stay centered even when things are tilting to one side. Prayer — as always — is key.
For the past week, I’ve been far more committed to a meditation schedule, missing only one morning in about eight days, and, boy, can I feel the difference. The rough edges of my psyche seem a little smoother. The things that grate and gnaw have lost some of their sting. Life seems to be on more of an even kilter. Balance. All of the outward situations are the same — same job, same stresses, same family commitments, same everything. Only one thing has changed: my willingness to sit down in silence for 15 minutes at the start of every day and listen for the Spirit. That one thing is making all the difference. Can I stick with it? Sure. Will I stick with it? It’s anybody’s guess. We don’t always do what’s good for us. But I crave balance, and I can see how the silence creates balance which creates peace, or at least peace of mind.
Where are you finding balance these days? What’s working for you? What’s not working at all? Share in the comment section and let us know how you’re doing.
This week, when you’re looking for a practical way to help make the Cravings changes more concrete, find just one thing you can do to foster balance. It could be silent prayer, or it could be a good old-fashioned closet cleaning session. Trust me, clearing out the garbage in your closet or drawers or desk will go a long way toward clearing out the garbage you hold inside. Open things up, clear a space — literally and figuratively — and watch how things begin to balance out.
Here’s something to get you started: today’s reflection from one of my favorite little books of daily readings, Peace in Our Hearts, Peace in the World.