Finding Balance in Berlin
Sometimes you can feel so out of balance you may as well be a fish out of water. What defines us, what we each want, and more importantly what we all need is completely individual. But the essence is the same, feeling unbalanced is disjointing and disruptive to a harmonious and productive lifestyle, in whatever context one’s harmony exists within.
Finding balance is much like Finding Nemo. In the search for this thing there are undoubtedly going to be distractions, times when life is dangerous, and times when it is all too much, but it is possible. Much like Nemo, tell me not to do something and I just wanted to do it more, and do it far more than ever necessary. You could say I also got lost, but I prefer to say I just went an alternative route, for to say I was lost is to say that an entire period of my life is potentially wrong, and I do not believe that for one second. Getting ‘lost’ so to speak is part of the beauty of this adventure we call life, a perfectly normal part of it.
You can do anything, but not everything.
Learning to pick and choose my battles, focus on smaller things, and work towards what I can achieve has probably been the biggest learning curve of recent years. I have always been my harshest critic (and I have definitely had more than a few critics over the years), and have struggled greatly with learning how to not beat myself up for choices, actions or a lack thereof in either case. Much of my anxiety stems from a lack of action, which in turn has often been the result of intense self-doubt or an inability to calm my brain enough to focus on just a few things. Fear can leave you stuck, paralysed even. All the help in the world is great, but ultimately just like Nemo learnt in the fish tank it is you yourself who must get unstuck (or out of that suction filter).
This is the beginning of anything you want.
For me getting sick last year (and not initially by any means) but after visit 5 (or maybe was that number 6) to the emergency room, did I begin to put conscious effort into balance. I recalibrated myself. I cleansed my mind and body with a strict pattern of clean and nourishing foods, more sleep than I have ever remembered having, and no more medication. No pain meds (long a favourite of mine), and none of the countless other little coloured pills that were prescribed to fix whichever side affect the other presented me with.
I also finally quit smoking, my favourite, to say I miss my old friend is an understatement, but it had to go. It was not part of this quest for balance. Nothing about it was easy. Old patterns are easier that much is true. I am a determined person (ultimately just depends what exactly it is I have put my determination into) and I was determined to not spend any more months in hospital, so I decided to change and seek a better life balance.
In stripping back my world to focus on healing my physical health I inadvertently created an environment that has allowed me to heal other areas. Understanding nutrition and inner wellness started as a necessity to prevent more pancreatic attacks, but has become an absolute passion and a driving force behind so much of my life. For someone with a mind that struggles to stop, I have found meditation to be incredibly helpful to reduce stress and allow myself to focus better. I just have to make time instead of excuses some days.
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.
I haven’t got it all figured out yet. But I have worked out some of the things I need.
I need fresh produce. It fuels my body & heals from the inside out. I don’t feel well without it.
I need animal proteins. My body lacks nutrients without them, even when consuming large amounts of plant based proteins.
I need me time. My mind needs the solitude, and more than that I really enjoy my own company.
I need to help others. It’s something that I have always done, and I feel a sense of inner alignment when I am helping. But I have learnt to be more cautious with who I put time into, and also learnt I do not need to do everything for those people. It’s okay to say no.
I need to exercise. I struggle with what to make a regular part of my routine, especially whilst travelling. I enjoy running, I should really return to swimming (a childhood love, and perfect low impact for my temperamental body), and am attempting to build Bikram into my life.
I don’t have it all worked out just yet, but I am working on it.
While I try and make sure these are a part of my life (at least a nice 90% of it) sometimes life happens, or in my current case, travel happens. Where I would normally beat myself up for losing my balance I now know I can re-balance myself, I just need to stop and push a reset button. For me rising before dawn and finding a spot to watch the sunrise is the perfect reset. I get a sense of clarity, a stillness washes over me and I find the entire act incredibly empowering and motivating.
I still get it wrong, or as I prefer…still make alternative decisions at times, but they are fewer and further in between. I no longer try to be everything or anything for someone else, I have started to learn how to be me. Just me. It might not be BALANCED in the conventional sense, and I for sure will fall over at points (I tend to trip on a flat road or up the stairs – yes I said up!), but life feels balancing and that is something.