So last month we explored how to live in a conscious manner. Part of living in a conscious manner is about creating the balance we need to be successful in life. This can mean many things. It can mean balance with mind-body-emotions-spirit. It can also mean spirit-work-family-self. It can even indicate balance with inside-outside-divine. When you are feeling anxious, out-of-sorts, depressed, poor health, overwhelmed, stuck or even just lost, this could be an indicator that you are somehow out of balance.
So how does one develop balance? Part of developing balance is to let go. Realize what you hold onto at the detriment of other things. Is it your job? Perhaps you spend all your spare time meditating instead of spending time with your family. How about your hobby? Anything can be a block to your being in balance.
How about keeping track of how you spend your time? Write down the time you spend at work, school, driving, playing, praying and so on. At the end of the week, count up the hours you spent doing each, then make a “pie” out of the pieces. If you don’t like what you see, you have the power to start changing it.
Emotionally, one of the big ‘suckers’ of time is fear or anxiety. Underlying anxiety can be a major cause of imbalance in your life. And, actually cause what you most fear to pass. Jung first brought up the idea of a shadow self. The self we are unconsciously afraid to look at. People often come into my office wanting help, yet are afraid to open up that Pandora’s Box. Just as in the story, they are afraid of what they will let loose into their conscious world, their experience, and the work they might need to do to change those thoughts; or are even afraid they are unchangeable and make them monsters. They are often fearful and condemn these thoughts as their own personal evils and feel, besides the fear of the unknown, fear of others not liking them, judging them, besides their own guilt, worthlessness, and judgment.
All of us have this shadow self, we are all connected and Jung even pointed out these thoughts and feelings in the “collective unconscious” which includes everything we like and most dislike about ourselves. And, that some of us even project this negative shadow self onto others in the world around us… remember that mirror of you that I’m always talking about? Here is another example of how the world is a reflection of you! The things you don’t like in your world are mirrors of your inner self, the self that is out of balance, the shadow self you want to hide.
Part of being in balance is to look at and explore your fears. I have a client whom I discovered worked over 60 hours a week in an unconditioned building, in order to provide for his family. As a result, he was too tired when he was home to enjoy them and so laid on the couch just zoning out. That resulted in his family thinking he didn’t care about them, resentment grew, and he almost landed up with a divorce. And, what was he afraid of deep down? That he’d lose his family and be the type of father he had, emotionally distant. Can you see how the imbalance, once looked at, could act as a wake-up call to be balanced?
He did slowly wake up. He started working slightly less hours, said hello and goodnight to his family, watched less TV, played games more, took them on trips, and did not have to have his arm twisted with guilt to attend family and school functions. He even made time to go on dates with his wife.
Looking at the imbalances in his life lead him to look at his shadow self, the one that felt unworthy of love and so earned it by working so hard, while avoiding intimacy with his family. Was it worth it to take stock of how he spent his time? Was it worth it to look into his shadow self? He thinks so, and so does his family.
It also takes a lot of energy to keep the imbalance, to ignore the shadow self and suppress your emotions, your own inner knowing. And, on an emotional level it created immaturity and lowered the ability to love. On the intellectual level, it results in concrete and stuck thinking, difficulty learning new things. With the spiritual level, well, you are stuck! How can you allow yourself to connect with your Higher Self and the Creator if you don’t even know and accept the all of you? And then, as your experience of the world is a reflection, you will have ample opportunities to encounter that shadow self and work on it, heal it anyway; the universe always has your best interests in mind, and at heart, how can you be your very best self, your actualized self if you don’t accept and heal all of your self?
Just as like attracts like, have a little humor as you look at the imbalances in your life, and at the shadow self that helps create them. Once looked at and accepted, they often lose any power they have over you and just go away like smoke from a chimney. It is only your fear of them that keeps you trapped. With humor, you can become friends with your shadow and create balance in your life, in a conscious manner. So have some fun creating conscious balance in your life!
Love and Light,