Balance. It is what we are all striving for in any practice, diet, or lifestyle that we lead. Searching within ourselves to see what suits us best, but often we become entangled in the expectations and beliefs of others rather than listening to our own needs. The impulse to follow the crowd tends to overshadow our own feelings, leaving us further confused.
Balance is not just the physical aspect of steadiness, but an emotional steadiness as well. We must yearn to listen to ourselves, deeply recognising that we have the ultimate answer to our needs. It is where trust and knowledge meet, creating inner wisdom.
This is a simple sweetness in life, which allows us to live fully rather than the turmoil of stress run by the constant overthinking of what we need to do to be healthier and happier. Peace comes from within ourselves, it is where we find balance.
There are many conduits for this information to finds its way to us, from the gross (physical) to the subtle and energetic. We can access it through movement and motion, through food and diet, through stillness and conversation. Learning to contain our senses from excitement and eliminate the desire for a “quick” fix, understanding that anything that is determined quick will cause only further struggle and problems down the line. This is not easy work, in fact it is likely the hardest thing you will ever have to do, to listen to advice from friends, mentors, experts and books with a discerning ear, recognising them as potential, rather than definitive. Taking the extreme out of some of these practices and finding something closer to flexibility within yourself.
I do not have distinct answers for you. Sometimes we crave sugar because we need a cleanse, other times it is because we need it. Sometimes we want a cheeseburger and eat a salad instead, throwing our body into a whirlwind of confusion as to why we did not give in to the meat it was asking for.
Sometimes the resistance to do what our body is asking for or what we want is worse than the act itself. You see what I mean, life is not this definitive. It is subtle and fluid and we must take into consideration the consequences of our previous actions rather than another person’s experience, also honouring our stress levels and needs.
I have always utilised yoga to find my balance. It has taught me to slow down and listen to my body and pay attention to it on a daily basis rather than as a generalised whole. I should say that I also have gone through the extremes of food and exercise as well, beating my body far beyond its ideals, and I hope to use this knowledge to better assist people in their own discovery. It is also important for me to tell you a little bit about myself with food. I say this because I do not follow the norm and I think that it is somewhat freeing to think that you do not have to eat just salads forever for your body to thrive.
Remember that you are your greatest teacher and what we all seek in life is balance. Take other people’s opinions with a grain of salt and take the time to be still with yourself and listen. You will find the answers you seek… after all, peace comes from within.
I recently had to have some blood work done for the sake of checking for cancer and immune system issues, and when I received the call from the nurse saying “Your blood work looks amazing, you must have an incredible diet as I have not seen someone looking this healthy in a long time” I had to laugh out loud and confess. I had been living in Thailand for 2 years, eating fried chicken for breakfast, drinking coffee every day, ingesting more sugar in my food than is desirable, consuming MSG, high protein and low vegetable, while I would juice a few days a week and walk on the beach for exercise. Not the ideal diet right? But I ate what my body craved, I watched whether I was really hungry or emotionally hungry, and most importantly I LOVED MY FOOD.
I gave deep appreciation for the food fried in palm oil and dipped in copious amounts of sugar chicken because that is what was available, and I savoured my bites. Now I am not saying that you should go out and eat anything you want, what I am saying is that there is possibility that you can enjoy these things and not let them consume you. I am saying that you do not have to go to the extremes of the master cleanse to be healthy, you just have to slow down and listen, to be conscious, and to be aware, and to be confident that you do know best.
The final point that I want you to consider is that stress is a major issue, and a cleanse is yet another type of stress; so is extreme exercise. And to go against the norm again I am going to tell you that if you are currently extremely stressed and you jump into another form of extreme stress you are being counter-productive to your own process. You need the time to relax before you take these steps to wellness, because the body responds better when it is not stressed.