Balance

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“Balance, Daniel-san!  Must have balance!”

You read that in Mr. Miyagi’s voice, and that’s a good thing.  That lesson is eternal, the most enduring part of Pat Morita’s legacy.

And by balance I don’t mean a donut in each hand, although that technically is a well-balanced meal if you alternate which one you bite.

The Ying Yang symbol represents the ever-changing dichotomy of nature: order and chaos, masculine and feminine, creation and destruction.  Whenever one dominates over the other for too long everything moves out of balance and the universe attempts to correct the situation, a dynamic system that tends towards a mean.

Many of us have crushing responsibilities: businesses, families, and others depending upon us.  We do what we have to do in the stressful situations that seem to come in wave after wave.  That’s called life.  But like Daniel kicking the waves as he trained, there needs to be an ebb and flow that we adjust to so we don’t drown.

Here are several techniques I have adopted to help balance my fifteen-hour days so that I don’t burn out. Some of them might help.

  1. Set an alarm on your phone for midmorning and midafternoon.  When it goes off set a timer for one minute and just close your eyes and breathe, slower and deeper. 
  2. Eat your veggies.  Seriously.

3.    Create a morning routine that includes:
a.    Saying thank you for another day

b.    Thinking about those people you really love

c.     Read something for your mind/spirit.  Every Day Excellence is a good one, just saying.

d.    Spend a few minutes awakening your body.  Stretch, walk, calisthenics, whatever works for you.

e.    Don’t skip breakfast!

4.            Smile at people whenever you can.

5.            Schedule a date a week.  Could be with your partner, could be with yourself. 

6.            Read something (not directly work related) for 15 minutes a day.  I use audiobooks to take advantage of windshield time in the car.

7.            Talk to (or at least message) a friend every day.  Maybe send them something funny, because this will help both of you.

8.            Take a walk.  Every hour or so stand up and walk for a few minutes to stretch your legs, get the blood flowing, and reset your eyesight.

There are times when we need to push ourselves very hard, and times when we need to get rest so our mind and body can recover.  There is a rhythm to the season, be it the natural ones outside or the work environment.  Pay attention to the signs to see if you are getting out of balance.

During the tournament, when the prize was in sight, Daniel suffered a horrible injury.  He came to grips with it, understanding the need for balance with his quest, with his relationship, and most importantly with himself.  We have all faced the devastating injury, even if not physical.  The question is, do we learn to have balance with our selves and heal?

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