Sometimes I do a reading for someone and the issues that it raises can make me think for some time afterwards. I recently did a reading all about the need for rest as well as activity and how valuable both states are. I thought I would share what I have learned about this important issue.
From the most ancient of times, it has been recognised that the way to health and happiness came from having a balanced life. At the sacred oracle at Delphi were two inscriptions: ‘Know yourself’ and ‘Nothing in Excess’, I really feel that these words are as excellent a guide now as they were in Ancient Greece. The lesson of balance and not being excessive is one most of us have to learn.
There are two main ways that human beings live – doing and being. It is very important that we make the most of our lives by ‘doing’ - being active and making the most of our opportunities, friends and family. However we also need to balance this with times of just being. A time where we can just relax, contemplate and think quietly. As the saying goes ‘ we are human beings not human doings’.
Many people find that meditating every day even for just half an hour can make a dramatic change to their health and mental well-being. It is all about taking built up stress levels back to zero and allowing the body, mind and spirit to recharge. This is especially important if you are very busy or have many demands placed on you.
While this might seem like a waste of time or a self-indulgence – especially to someone who is balancing work, home, family etc, most people find that they have more energy and get better rest from their sleep when they are calmed through meditation and relaxation.
Sometimes you just need some quiet time to digest and process the events of the past so that you can put them in perspective and find your inner wisdom. In the Tarot this is symbolised by the Hermit card. In this the person retreats into their cave (home or bedroom etc) and is very quiet and settled listening to the inner voice and learning to trust their own wisdom and experience. It isn’t the best time for being social but can be invaluable in getting very clear on what you want and need and in laying a solid foundation for the next active phase.
Often when we are very busy or there is a crisis we are so focused on getting through and looking after others’ needs, that we don’t get the time to assimilate and digest what this really means. A quiet reflective time is when we can let the events be sorted and filed away, thereby setting us free from the burden of carrying it around in our subconscious.
The other side is that of activity and being proactive. This is also important and can be invaluable in setting and achieving goals and fully enjoying life. Sometimes it can be hard to get started but once you do you will feel like you have achieved something and can only achieve more.
Even if you can only make a small start, making lists of things to do and making sure you do them is really great for self esteem and self empowerment. One of the most inspiring clients I ever had recovered from a serious illness during which she gained 30 kg, by simply being focused on making healthy eating choices and going for a 2 hour walk every day. In 12 months she was fit, healthy and had lost all the weight. The best thing was that she had achieved a major goal and could recognise herself as her old healthy self when she looked in the mirror. This helped her emotional and psychological health enormously. And all she did was make herself go for a walk – it didn’t even cost anything!
Getting all the parts of life in balance can be a challenge (I was a working single parent for some years and I know!) and most people never manage it perfectly or all the time. But it a healthy, positive thing to focus your daily life around and will bring many benefits.