Life in Balance

Life in Balance

Life in Balance. Love but let go. Set boundaries, but let others in. Spend time alone but also with family and friends. Do things for others, but also take care of yourself. I find these words profound in our crazy modern world existence. Being in the middle of a pandemic certainly exacerbates the situation. The world as we know it has changed forever.

Depression and anxiety are at a all time high in both adults and our children. The impact of social media has changed the way we communicate and it is good and bad. Human interaction and communication is vastly reduced. Social media bullying is at a all time high and has a huge impact on our children/teenagers mental health and self-esteem. We all spend way to much time on our cell phones. The only big plus is how technological advancement has allowed us to continue to work, educate and communicate during the pandemic especially during the lock down. What would we have done without zoom and teams.

To much of one thing is never good. Everything needs to be in balance or moderation. The recommendations for a good and healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy balanced diet, balancing all of the food groups equally, no smoking, drinking in moderation or not at all. Avoid or protect yourself from the sun. Exercise enough not to little or not to much. Do your health checks regularly before you become ill. Get enough sleep, balance work life with down time. Spend time and connect with your loved one’s, connect with nature. The list goes on and on.

So often it takes a major trauma or the shock of a serious illness or the loss of a loved one, to wake us up and realise how much we need this balance and so often it is to late. A perfect example would be a cancer diagnosis. The shock and fear, suddenly you are thrust into a world you know nothing about and you face mortality. This wake-up call changes you so much mostly for the better and gives you a whole new perspective on how valuable, precious and fragile life can be never to take things for granted and not to sweat the small stuff. As humans we lust after money, power and fame but so often this leads to our downfall. We strive for perfection and to be the very best, so often at a huge cost. Take some of the top Hollywood actors/actresses so many are depressed, have broken marriages, abuse substances and we always ask why ? when money, fame and beauty is never a problem.

Something close to my heart. World class/elite athletes/sportsman and woman. To be the best takes huge sacrifice even if you are hugely talented you have to put in the training. Nobody is unbeatable. The ups and downs of winning and losing, the fear of injury or illness, the commitment is huge and so often your life is not balanced. Winning becomes everything and the only thing again about money and fame. An interesting stat only one percent of the world’s population will make it to the Olympic games, but at what cost. The mental impact is huge and the adjustment to normal life when you have finished competing is extremely difficult often resulting in depression, promiscuous behaviour and even substance abuse.

Two of the worlds greatest sportsmen Tiger Woods (golfing legend ) and Michael Phelps (swimmer) one of the greatest athletes in Olympic history. Both have such sad stories to tell. The intense pressure and high expectations from parents, coaches and the general sporting public. Delighting in their victories as well as their defeats, leading to depression, substance abuse, promiscuous behaviour etc. Phelps in particular in his documentary the Weight of gold speaks of his ongoing fight with depression and how athletes need more support throughout their careers in the handling of the mental aspects and pressure of being a world class athlete and how to transition to normalcy post competition. Again all about balance a very fine balance.

Some words of wisdom – Live with compassion, connect with others and nurture connections. Wake up, mindfulness, greater awareness, paying attention, this changes every facet of your life and in every way. Live deeply – to live deeply and in a way that you become keenly aware of the precious nature of life. Change yourself, change the world. When you look for the good in others, you discover the best in yourself. Embrace death, death is often taboo in western society, we do everything we can not only to avoid the subject but to pretend that it doesn’t exist. The reality is this is very unfortunate and in no way helps us to lead better lives.

A true appreciation for life in balance can never be fully realised until you come face to face with your own impermanence. Understand the nature of giving – giving is more than the art of giving Christmas and Birthday gifts, its also about those gifts we give each other every day which we don’t typically see as gifts at all. Realise non-attachment, materialism, this refers to renunciation which simply means turning away from the causes of dissatisfaction – the recognition that worldly attainments do not provide enduring happiness. Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

Nicole Fuller
Author: Nicole Fuller

I am a former elite/springbok distance runner, Oncology Patient Navigator, Breast Cancer Exercise training specialist, speaker and Breast Cancer Survivor