“A little bit of this, a little bit of that,” was sung loudly in my head one day as I struggled to think of what went wrong when trying to heal a bladder infection. I was in so much pain that I overtook an herb called Uva Ursi. It had started clearing it up, so I figured taking two instead of one, every six hours instead of eight, would work that much faster. I completely ignored the manufacturer’s instructions. As I slept, my kidneys became inflamed and I woke up with an aching lower back and extremely painful, swollen gums.
It was then that I remembered the story of Buddha from the movie, Little Buddha. Buddha and some followers loved the feeling of meditating and connecting to higher realms so much that all they did was meditate. Most of the hours of the day were spent sitting and meditating, completely ignoring other needs of their physical bodies. They did not get the proper amount of water, food, sleep, exercise, or time spent talking to friends and family. They just meditated.
One day, Buddha saw a music teacher showing his student how the string on his instrument needed to be tightened just right. Too much tension and the string would snap. Too little tension and the bow couldn’t slide easily over it, creating an off-key tone. Buddha crawled over to a young boy and asked for a bowl of rice. He ate the rice and drank water from the nearby river and felt instantly refreshed. Buddha went back to his followers and excitedly shared his new discovery. Living a life of balance was the key, not simply meditating. The followers scoffed and continued their meditations while their physical bodies deteriorated.
Although, the previous story is a very simple tale of how balance is important, simple can be extremely powerful. Addicts are characterized by their extreme personalities, and don’t have to just be addicted to chemical substances. We can observe addiction in everything in life. Too much exercise. Sun worshippers. Workaholics. Overeating. Too much technology or television. Etc. Etc. We’ve all done it at one point in our life or another.
When we are out of balance, it shows. Too little sleep. Eating too much meat and not enough plants. Workaholics. Couch potatoes. All of these things throw us out of balance. When we are out of balance, we are not in ease. And when we are not in ease, this is when dis-ease manifests physically.
It is important for our proper growth, development, and let’s face it, sanity, to be as properly balanced as possible. Giving equally to our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies should be our goal. This will take you up the steps to spiritually awakening safely, happily, and at a pace that you can maintain.
When we are overworked, overpromised, and try to take on too much without downtime for meditation, sleep, hot baths, long walks, or reading, we become like the string that it too tight, and eventually snap. I won’t name names, but I’ve observed it a time or two with celebrities, as well as friends and family. Yes, one can argue that they have more material possessions than I do, but I’ve found I have exactly what I need, when I need it, without the stress, psychiatrists, and anti-anxiety medication.
The bottom line is, you will awaken when you awaken. Your spiritual gifts will develop as you consistently work on them. There is no need to throw yourself into a bipolar mania to hurry and get things accomplished. Balance and moderation in all things will keep you grounded, consistent, healthy, and happy. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy your spiritual awakening, and don’t worry that you’re not going fast enough. Enjoy the ride!