A Balanced Life Body Mind and Spirit

Worklife balance is so important

The writer at sixty.
The writer at sixty.

In Body Mind and Spirit we mostly know about the body

How do we lead a balanced life, a satisfying life, especially the juggling of worklife balance, one that covers all of our needs, all our desires. We’re informed that we are made up of three parts: body, mind and soul. If this is the case – and I believe it is – then we have to meet the needs of all three.

Mostly, we know about the body. I’m talking here of our physicality. Despite our knowing, however, we do not necessarily behave in ways which we know are good for it. We’re told over and over again that we should eat good, nourishing food; that we should exercise regularly, that we should get adequate relaxation, rest and, in particular, ‘a good night’s sleep.’

Balanced life ? Does this mean a dull, uneventful life?

Are you doing these things? Good. Does this mean a dull, uneventful life? Some might think so. What! No scrumptious full English breakfasts with eggs and bacon, sausages and ample buttered toast? No staying up late to watch the grand final of our favorite football code? And does this mean a five-mile jog and three-times a week at the gym?

No it doesn’t. Mind you, the exercise regime might be just what you do need if you’re over-weight yet still young enough to endure it. As for the English breakfast, fine – so long as you don’t have four or five of them a week. And if you’re a shift worker who regularly does nights, how are you going to get a ‘good night’s sleep,’ on a regular basis? It isn’t easy.

My wife and I in 1959
My wife and I in 1959

Remember worklife balance: life is for living, not sleeping

Point is we have to sensible about these things.  A worklife balance is important. I did over twenty-years of shift work. Much of it involved quick turn-arounds, changing from, say, four night shifts, two mornings, three evening, back to mornings, then nights – real erratic stuff. Yes, it does knock you around. The secret here is to take maybe two rests in one day, one when coming off straight after the night shift, that is, straight after breakfast when you get home, then a couple of hours between, say 8-30pm and 10-30pm before you head off for that 11-00pm start for a second time. You need to get enough sleep so that when you do get that two-day break you don’t spend most of it catching up on sleep. Life is for living, not sleeping.

In finding a balanced life, listen to your body. It knows what's right for it.

In body mind and soul balance give all three parts of yourself equal emphasis.

Enjoyment without becoming overly addicted to too much of it. The body knows what it needs. Listen to it. Yes, and that includes sex! Deliberate and sustained sexual abstinence can be devastating to both body and mind. What the body misses out on, the mind dwells on. You can enjoy life to the full. And you’re meant to. So in looking after the needs of that first third of us: the physical body, we need use our common sense. As youngsters we can ‘burn the candle at both ends’ providing we don’t keep it up for long periods of time. As we mature our bodies themselves tell us – by just how long it takes to get over a hangover – that we should modify our behaviour, take it just that much more easy. Bungie jumping’s for the young! So is skate-boarding. Mountaineering can be pursued well into the seventies and swimming until we’re too old to get out of bed.

No high rise at Coolangatta, Queensland in 1969
No high rise at Coolangatta, Queensland in 1969

The mind is to difficult to encapture in one word

Our second part: Mind. There is a lot of rubbish written about the mind, simply because it is such a difficult concept to encapture in one word. But if we are talking about intellect, then we need be aware that, just like a physical muscle, if it is not used it tends to atrophy. So how to use it?

It comes down to motivation. In a word: will. If we are motivated to undertake what we believe to be a worthwhile project, the chances are we will endevour to learn all we can about it. Such undertakings could take place because we’ve taken up a new area of employment and need to familiarize ourselves with it. That’s one reason changing jobs, careers, avocations, frequently helps keep our minds fresh. Still, we might feel a certain aversion to this, simply because we despise the work we’re obliged to do. Nevertheless, going into completely new areas does wonders in ‘broadening’ our minds, in that we pick up the specialist languages of these new areas. Study medicine and you learn a lot about its language, take up driving heavy vehicles and you learn a lot about the language of the truckie. Thomas Carlisle, the famous Scottish philosopher said, “That man is most original who can adapt from the greatest number of resources.” What Carlisle was saying is that by straddling a wide array of knowledge bases, we become far more creative and innovative.

In considering our worklife balance, don't ignore the soul - our continuity

We could go on about the mind, but these hubs are meant to be kept reasonably short, so to the Soul.

Soul is our so-called Third Part. Actually, it is who we are in a continuing sense Body perishes. Many things of mind fade. Our souls survive the ‘Vale,” passing on to another dimension. Oh, and do not confuse the soul with spirit. Spirit is eternal. Spirit (as I interpret the word) is another name for The All Mighty, Infinite Intelligence, God. It is the essence. Soul can be regarded as a sense of “ I am” in as much as one being a separate entity from The Whole. Spirit is the Whole, for it is the consciousness, the life which is within what we so often regard as ourselves: our bodies, feelings, and the contents of our minds. Spirit both pervades and is the Whole Universe (or Universes) both manifest and unmanifest.

Tweed Heads, NSW-Qld Border in 1969.
Tweed Heads, NSW-Qld Border in 1969.

Our souls need nurture, too.

The soul needs its nurturing as much as the aforementioned body and intellect. Our soul cries out to us to find such answers to our lives as “What am I?” and “What is the purpose of my life?” “Teach what you know.” Our soul is the real decision-maker in our lives. Our ego is that which reacts from our conditioning. Ego might seem to decide, but in a battle between soul and ego we’re well aware which of these is the realer us And our spirit? Our spirit eggs us on to become what it is: unconditional love, infinite joy, and infinite compassion. Our spirit urges our soul to re-unite with Itself

And so, in our leading a balanced life, using, enjoying what Nature or God has given us, in all three areas of our lives – which are really only facets of the one us – we find that we are able to enjoy as we grow, So remember: worklife balance. Be kind to yourself, and give equal attention to all three parts of what is you: body mind and soul.

My wife and I in 2010
My wife and I in 2010

A balanced life - body mind and soul

I hope that you gained something from the reading of the above. And I hope that you realize the importance of having a good worklife balance. Time for each part of that which makes up ourselves.

May you treat yourselves well and enjoy the good things of life.

Keep smiling

Tom.

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