I used to hear people discuss trying to achieve "balance"
and I had no idea what they meant. I wasn't very busy, wasn't
married, didn't have numerous commitments to numerous people,
didn't have a mortgage, and wasn't even getting paid much to do
what I did.
That's all changed now. I have many responsibilities - a wife,
a mortgage, several jobs, many career goals, half a dozen informal
"life" students, patients to take care of, people I
don't have time to catch up with, friends I haven't seen in a
month, readers who want their questions answered, kittens who
meow and need lots of love, and one day there will be children
Now I know how they felt when they pined for that elusive balance.
The question of the era is: How do we get all our work done,
satisfy our loved ones, make our dreams a reality, exercise our
bodies, engage our minds, have fun, relax, spend time, stay healthy,
serve others, refresh ourselves with solitary time, stay connected
with God, read new books, expand our horizons, feel good - how
do we fit all that into the week without feeling overwhelmed and
We know the answer to that question is balance - somehow we must
put the right time and energy into each one - but how can we find,
achieve, or improve on that elusive balance?
Obviously everyone is different. Some of us are great at spending
time with loved ones but not so efficient at work. Some of us
meet all our career goals but neglect our loved ones and never
exercise. Some of us do family and career well but are quite unhealthy.
So, we all start where we are. But where do we go from there?
Since everyone is different, what works for one person may not
work for another. What you need is a comprehensive map of how
health, love, fun, enjoyment, achievement, and efficiency all
fit together. You need to know how a deficiency in one area can
impact the others. You need to know how to overcome your weaknesses
with your strengths.
This map of life must integrate mind, body, and spirit - it must
explain how our emotions can get in the way, and how we can make
them healthy- it must show how bad mental habits lead to physical
problems. It must give remedies for our habitual imbalances. It
must suggest viable strategies for improving our health, our habits,
our abilities, and ourselves.
You know where you are. Balance is where you want to go. You
need this map of life to get there. But who has such a map? Where
would you find it?
Chinese medicine has a mind-body life map that acknowledges your
uniqueness, explains how everything is connected, describes imbalances,
and suggests remedies for them. When you fail, it can explain
why and what to do next.
This Chinese medicine map of life is quite forgiving. You don't
have to be or live perfectly. It's better if you improve, because
you prevent disease and save money, but if you mess up, and while
you are making progress, you can take advantage of remedies that
return you to balance, increase your energy, relieve stress and
pain, improve mental function, and smooth out your emotions.
This is essential, because then we are not thrown miles off course
with every mistake or surprise - we get back on track immediately
- we don't make the bad decisions or plans that come from the
disturbed emotions of someone who's been thrown off track. Thus,
we get where we're going faster, and save time and grief.
Since life is always a journey, always a learning experience,
hardly ever an arriving or stopping except for a short rest, Chinese
medicine is an indispensable guide and companion for the confusions
and vagaries of the adventure.