For nearly eight years we’ve talked about keeping things balanced, grounding ourselves.
Today, I’d like to review what we’ve learned over the years about keeping things on an “even keel.”
How To Ground Yourself
Communing with nature has been a recurring theme on Courage 2 Create.
But it is true that the natural environment always serves to ground us, balance us and remind us just how silly and inconsequential our human lives can be in the grand scheme of things.
As I’ve shared with you often: I believe that our creativity and courage can be energized and activated by nature. I don’t think it’s just because our creativity comes from the natural world, but also because creativity is our nature, and when we commune with nature we are realigning with our innate creative impulses.
Creative inspiration will literally pour down on me whenever I take a walk in the woods.
Courage is also our true nature.
When we connect with the natural environment, we may marvel at how every creature is equipped with everything they need to survive, and even if they don’t, they demonstrate a remarkable–at times miraculous–ability to adapt and change.
Nature is courageous. We, as natural beings, ought to be encouraged by this.
It’s in nature where we can recall how courageous we truly are. This life is hard, but we may be humbled to see just how equipped we are to handle every challenge and just how blessed we are with the capacity to adapt and change in order to keep going.
Balancing The Chakras
One of the most important lessons I have learned over the eight years of this blog was about balance: first of all, that the pursuit is always an imperfect one.
Rarely is everything in our lives in perfect balance, something in our life is always messy, as if to remind us to stay humble and not get too full of ourselves.
Balance is key in life, but we must also understand that being too overly obsessed with balance can actually throw us off balance.
The best tool I find is simply to be aware: check in with Mind, body, spirit, Community often to see what is needed and what is lacking and try your best to fill those holes. But don’t distress over lack of perfection, there’s always going to be something amiss.
I think that we take a misstep if all we rely on is our logical minds and ignore our spirits, but we also tend to reap heavy consequences if we are overly whimsical and have no common sense whatsoever. We benefit from a healthy body but if we’re too emotionally immature it can damage our relationships; finally a healthy emotional maturity but a weak body can lead us down a dangerous path as well.
So: we must balance. No one part of us can be neglected at anytime because, rest assured, the neglected aspect of you will stick you with quite the punishment when you’re not paying attention to it. A neglected body gets sick, a neglected heart lands you depressed, a neglected spirit renders you lost and anchorless, and a neglected community bids you goodbye and abandons you just when you need it.
You lose the parts of you that you neglect.
Therefore the healing balm, the key to balance, is attention. Attention must be paid to all aspects of you, especially when they call on you.
No, you needn’t be perfect, you just need to keep your eye on it. In other words, all your cups don’t need to be overflowing but please god don’t leave a single cup empty.
The empty one is the one that should go first actually, fill that cup before all the others and you will see just how greatly the others are impacted.
All parts of you are part of one continuous stream and the parts of you that are empty is where the stream has stopped or is being slowed down–you control the stream so you can redirect your time and energy at the parts of you that you feel need your attention. When you do so, you may be shocked at how the rest of you opens up like a flower: this is because all parts of you are interconnected with the other parts of you.
Strive to just connect deeply with one aspect of you and you will find that other parts of you are nurtured as well: this is the second key to balance that unlocks your treasure: if you don’t know where to begin, just begin at any spot, and go deep with it, and the rest of you will open up–this is because it’s all interconnected!!!
Divine Feminine And Divine Masculine
Another key to balance is embracing both your inner feminine and your inner masculine. Within, we are both man and woman.
The Divine Feminine is open, receptive, powerful in just being, while the Divine Masculine is active, persistent, assertive–a doer rather than a be-er.
Both have to be balanced within you in order for you to feel like you are grounded. If you have spent many months or years in being, time to start doing. If you’ve been busy doing, time to relax and open up to a flow that comes to you without a single effort.
I find that we do not need to overthink it: a natural feminine quality arises in us when it’s time to rest in the feminine; and a natural masculine energy is channeled through us when the masculine is meant to be channeled through us.
The problem arises is when we are too much in one principle and not enough in the other: we may stagnate our growth or even make things worse if we’re overly in the masculine principle; and we may fall into the trap of spiritual laziness or egotism if we are too much in the feminine principle and believe everything can be done without any active effort.
Balance work and play. Doing and being. Being active and being reactive. Don’t stay too long in any one principle, and you will master the balance of the feminine and masculine principles.
Light and Shadow
There are whole schools of spiritual thought dedicated to the light, attracting abundance, generating wealth, cultivating joy, play and adventure; others are completely focused on overcoming struggle tragedy, adversity and suffering.
The true spiritual teachers, the ones worth their salt, teach and learn from both the shadow and the light.
There is something to gain and learn from your Dark Night of Soul as much as your “year of Miracles and Manifestation.”
You can’t be someone who ignores working on your shadow because that shadow will rise up to bite you when you least expect.
The key to balancing your light and shadow is humility: understanding you will always have a blind spot that you need to be made aware of and heal.
The spiritual teachers who have lost themselves are those who believe that life can’t teach them any new tricks, and they’ve mastered everything, and they are no longer a student.
This is egoism, plain and simple.
Good spiritual teachers teach but recognize they are always the student as well. They accept their inevitable ignorance and imperfection and don’t try to cover it up and hide it like it’s something to be ashamed of.
If you trust the light to show you the way, you must also trust that the darkness will show you the way, too, for both are different shades of the same god.
Let Your Spirit Be Your Captain
The final key to balance is letting your spirit be your captain. What does that mean?
It means that, in every decision, allow your intuition to lead the way.
It should not be the sole voice in all decisions: no, all parts of you ought to be in total agreement. But do allow your intuition to be the leader of all aspects of your being because your soul can see the 360 view of your current situation in ways the other parts of you cannot.
For centuries humans have allowed our logical minds too much power over our collective decisions, but our minds see division and illusion and only focus on what our senses can see. This has led to carnage the world over. What ought to lead us is an aspect of us that can cut through our divisions, our illusions, our five senses and through to the reality of our nature–to our infinite oneness.
What ought to lead us is the part of us that recognizes that all is okay, all is peaceful, all is loving.
From this place of infinite oneness and okayness, this soul part of us can keep us grounded, stable, aligned with something higher.
Even through the worst of storms.
I have made it through some of my darkest hours by following the light of my soul, and I’ve never strayed from the path.
Ground yourself in spirit. Let your soul lead the way. Though the tumult be strong, your deep connection to a higher power will keep you afloat.
Exercises For Balance
1. The Four Elements
In quiet meditation meditate on all four elements: Fire, air, water and earth. Feel each in your body. Activate each element. Ask yourself: are you too much in air? Too much in fire? Not enough water? No earth at all? All four elements ought to be balanced within you.
2. Balancing The Chakras
Pay attention to each chakra. (If you don’t know the Chakras review my post Chakras 101.) Notice how they feel. Is there anything blocking them? Are they flowing? Are they closed or open? Do you not feel them at all? Imagine a gold light from the heavens cleansing each chakra, healing it, removing all the blocks. Imagine the debris floating to the sky or disappearing into the earth.
3. Kundalini Activation
In meditation, call forward the kundalini energy that is coiled up at the base of your spine. The kundalini is a spiral-like energy, like a serpent, that represents our divine sexual/creative power–it also represents the balance of our divine feminine and masculine principles. Allow this energy to be activated and for it to clear out your system and balance the divine feminine and masculine in you.
Mudras are hand and finger poses that allow for the balance of the Chakras and energy centers in the body. Look some of them up and practice the different mudras in meditation. Don’t feel the need to be perfect at it, just play with it and see how you feel.
Go to a Yoga class and participate. Some Yoga classes are heavily focused on the physical but I want you to be aware of how Yoga is affecting your emotional state, your mental state and, too, how the others in the class interact and affect you. Yoga is a holistic practice that forces us to deal with all parts of us at once, and it’s true magic only reveals itself when all of that is brought to our conscious awareness. Avoid Yoga teachers who try to rush through the class, or are overly focused on challenging you with extreme poses: Yoga is not a competition or an extreme sport, it’s a powerful meditation.
6. Light and Shadow
Spend a week in blessing, and then the next week working on healing an emotional wound you’ve been carrying, then the following week do something creative that you love, then the next week: face your greatest fear.
In truth, this is how life is supposed to be lived: a balance of light and shadow.
Balancing light and dark in your spiritual practice helps you be flexible and not rigid. This helps you move forward with greater ease.
7. Intuition Day
Take a full day off for yourself where you don’t plan anything,you just follow your intuition the entire time. See what wonderful unexpected adventures spirit takes you through as you learn to make your soul, and not your mind, captain of your life.
Get yourself some paints and a canvas. Put on some meditation music and just splash on the canvas whatever comes through you. Channel the energy moving through you to create the art. Don’t try to make art, let the art flow through you, simply trusting and letting go, in complete surrender, will open up the magic of your soul and again make you recognize why it can be trusted to lead your life.
9. Balance with friend
Meet with a trusted and loving friend, or a group, and work on balancing each other. Promise that you will help each other identify any blind spots you each have, and any areas that you can see are not balanced. Finally begin work on addressing those blind spots or unbalanced areas.
10. Buy a drum / get a mantra
Buy a drum and begin to drum every morning after you wake. Find a good mantra, chant and affirmation and repeat it over and over again. I find drumming incredibly grounding and balancing. I also have begun to find chanting and mantras to be very balancing as well. Rashmi Khilnani’s books The Divine Mother Speaks, Buddha Speaks and Shiva Speaks have some great mantras and chants you can use. I also found Matt Khans book, Whatever Arises, Love That to contain some powerful affirmations that help release past karma and restore your balance.