When I was 18, I suffered from a rare disease by the name of "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", a condition of profound fatigue and severe muscle pain that made my body so weak to a point, where for a second I lost my desire to live. The healing process, supported by my mother, turned out to become my life introduction to "balance." Because of my illness I was able to take a break from the life that I used to have as a classical musician and start off with a clean slate. I changed my music career direction to pursue my happiness; I moved to New York all the way from Israel to play and study the music that I love. I had to start over from scratch and in the next ten years managed to create a new career and win many distinguished awards including a Grammy. Although I have been living my dream my personal voyage for the balanced life has never really matured. Indeed, it is so difficult in this modern world to find the so called "balance"!
Allow me to give you a simple example: many of us get upset almost every day over literally nothing. Sound familiar? Sometimes people get so upset, to a point that you cannot help but ask yourself: is it really worth it?
The bad news is that it happens to many of us. More bad news; sometimes we are those people who get upset and thrown out of balance, and as much as we all strive to maintain our composure at all times let's be honest; how many of us have truly reached the Zen state of mind?
Recently I have been working on a new campaign dedicated to "Tikkun Olam" focusing on balance and sustainability. "Tikkun Olam" is a Hebrew phrase that means to heal and repair the world. According to the Jewish tradition, it is our humanity's shared responsibility to make our world a better place. My campaign concept is based on the premise that our social, economic and environmental systems are in constant interaction and must be kept in harmony and balance. I wanted to start off the campaign by interviewing people about some of the social, political, and economic challenges faced by humanity that threaten the "balance."
On a beautiful summer afternoon, I took my camera team to Washington Square Park in NYC and interviewed New Yorkers to get their personal perspectives on some of those issues. My first two questions were about balance: "Name one thing in your life that keeps you in balance and one thing in your life that throws you out of balance." While creating this short video and meeting some of the park's regulars, a few things became clear to me; achieving inner balance is indeed, a very personal journey and what throws one person out of balance sometimes can bring balance to another. When it comes to our society, our responsibility is to be able to keep our personal balance without disturbing the balance of others.
I would like to invite you to check yourself during the course of one day and see what situations throw you out of balance and how they affect you, your life and your surroundings. I know it may sound almost "pathetic," but some people spend their precious time interfering the balance of others, for the sake of being "right." It could be your coworker, your parents or even your ex-husband or wife. Terrorism is the same behavior on a much larger scale: the use of fear and violence to interfere with others balance.
Here is another exercise that I would like for you to do: name one thing in your life that throws you out of balance and try everything in your power to avoid it by not engaging. You should address only one challenge at a time so it's not too overwhelming. If you feel that you have achieved the balance with this one challenge you may move on to the next challenge. Sometimes we find that we cannot remove those balance interference's out of our lives, however we can change our attitude and make them less meaningful and less important. Our attitude alone will not allow those challenges to throw us out of balance.
When it comes to sustainability: If balance is the key for the survival of living things in their environment, how in the world are we supposed to keep the balance in the environment, when there are so many societies in our world that are out of balance?
Perhaps a good place to start would be to find the balance within ourselves. I hope that you find this exercise as helpful as I did! Share your personal experiences and thoughts, which could be very helpful and inspiring to all of us pursuing balance.