When "finding balance" feels like one more thing on your to-do list...
I swear, when someone tells me I need to find "balance" in my life, it feels like a curse word. I mean really, who has time to meditate for 20 minutes twice a day? Sure, it's great that Deepok Chopra is able to get up at 5:00 in the morning to sit in silence, but let's be honest; most of us aren't going to do it.
And, no, most of us just aren't going to find the time or discipline to do a 90-minute yoga class twice a week. Or volunteer on the weekends. Or remember to say our daily mantras.
Does that mean we're not as spiritual as those who do? That we won't be able to reap the benefits of a more spiritual life now? As we are right now? Do we have to wait for our next lifetime when we've somehow figured out how to be less busy and overwhelmed? When we have time to sit under the Bodhi tree all day and contemplate life?
Is the pursuit of spirituality and calmness only making us more stressed out?!?!
What if the Buddha were a bartender?
Let's just accept it. In this day and age we are way too overworked and over-connected (If a tree falls in a forest but it wasn't on Facebook, did it really fall?). There is hardly room to take a breath, let alone sit in meditation without the phone ringing or the kids wanting something.
And if we're not interrupted, we're worrying about getting interrupted, so we can't really get "into" the meditation. And then we're stressed out that we're not doing the meditation "right" so we just forget about the whole thing and go do something on our list. At least that way we get to experience the satisfaction of crossing something off.
It's time to give ourselves a break.
Even Buddah couldn't meditate living in his castle. He had to leave everything and everyone to go out on his own. Even he had to get away from his own hustle-and-bustle to have 5 seconds alone to think (or not think, if we're being technical).
So if he couldn't do it, why do we think we should be able to? What if Buddah had to take care of kids or go to his bartending gig every night? What if he were stuck in a cubicle trying to meet his quotas every day? Would he be able to meditate regularly? And more importantly, would he be any less spiritual?
Why do we think we have to do something to be more spiritual?
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. There it's done. Whew! We don't have to do anything else.
Things like meditating and doing yoga are choices we can make to go inward to connect more deeply with who we really are; spiritual beings.
It's easy to think that this human life with its lists and bills and appointments is the whole story, but if we can even take a second to come back to who we really are, that's enough. Just closing our eyes, taking a deep breath, and saying "Thank You" can do the job. It may sound like a cliché, but smelling the roses as you walk down the street can be a spiritual experience.
Or simply walking on the other side of the street that you go down every day will give you an entirely new perspective. You'll see things you don't normally see. Stopping to watch the hummingbird outside the window can fill us with awe and delight. Remember delight? It's not down there on your phone, so for God's sake, look up. You'll be glad you did, and it might even make you more spiritual!