Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Robert Fulghum

The combination and intertwining of body, mind and soul or spirit is what makes us uniquely human. It is also what makes us, more than any other creature, susceptible to being out of balance. Being out of balance is often the trigger and cause of physical and mental disease. While we may not be able to fulfill Robert Fulghum's model of balance every day, we can find ways to consistently reach the middle ground.

1. Get enough rest : Sleep is important. Naps are great. Taking a vacation, even if it is only to your backyard, should not be considered a luxury, but a necessity. Our body recharges and rebalances itself when we rest.
2. Eat well : This cannot be overstated. We literally are what we eat, so find time to nourish your body properly
3. Exercise: Run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk then do stretches in your seat. Get the blood flowing. Move those bones. This not only will benefit your physical body, but your mind and soul as well.
4. Slow down and do what you are doing: When you are eating, then just eat. Smell the food, look at it and capture the feeling of it on your tongue. When you are reading then read. Stop multitasking. You will make less mistakes and be more efficient.
5. Train your brain: Read good books. Learn a new skill. Take a class in something completely foreign to you. Find a mentor. Redirect negative thinking. Your brain is a muscle. Don’t let it atrophy.
6. Share your life and your love: A wife, a husband, girlfriend, lover, best friend, your neighbor, your dog, a stray cat. Find a living breathing being to spend time with and embrace them with the love that resides in your heart.
7. Laugh a lot …and don’t be afraid to cry: Learn to laugh. Not the self conscious, half hearted chuckle kind of laughter, but the “Oh God, I think I am going to pee on my pants” kind. Do it often. But also allow yourself to cry and grieve. Preventing yourself from grieving is like forcing yourself into make-believe happiness. When you prevent one, you stifle the other as well.
8. Be honest : First with yourself. Be honest about your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Both are visible to the world anyway. Be honest with others. Not the kind of brutal honesty also known as criticism, but the kind that will allow you to be who you really are. You’ll sleep better at night, knowing you don’t have to remember to keep up with your lies.
9. Apologize: Admit your mistakes and say sorry. You earn a great deal of respect when you can admit that you were wrong.
10. Finally…Respect everyone, including yourself: Your respect for people is a reflection of your respect for life. Disrespect life and you will always be unhappy and unbalanced.
Have any other ideas for living a balanced life? I’d love to hear them!


  1. #10 - Very important! Last night I did a presentation to teens on this very subject. Respect must begin within - and then it can shine OUT... Glad we connected! Happy Thursday to you! For balance, I would also add - TAKE time JUST for YOU... everyday - even if it is only 5 minutes ... do something to nurture your soul! :) - pray, read, walk, call a friend, bake ... whatever it is - do it!

  2. Good addition. I'll have to remember that, especially for myself!