Lately I've been stretching. A lot. I climbing regularly and my body has taken the toll. My wrists hurt and I can't lie on my side when I sleep, because of my shoulders. I've been doing better, with a combination of pilates, stretching and strengthening neglected muscles I've mostly mitigated (I hope) long term damage. This process has made me think more and more about life in general. Life is all about balance.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
If I spend a lot of time contracting my muscles, I need to spend time relaxing those same muscles. Otherwise they'll be always tight. If I work too much on my biceps, I need to work out my triceps (the opposite muscle) to keep my arm in a healthy balance. This metaphor also applies to life. You can't work 12 hours a day without suffering the mental and physical consequences. You need rest, you've been contracting too much. You need to relax.
Physically you can't sit all day and expect to be limber and healthy. The more you sit, the more exercise and stretching you need to do to compensate that sedentary lifestyle. Everyone knows this. Everyone feels healthier, more pumped and motivated when they incorporate exercise into their lives. It creates balance, mental and physical balance. It just makes sense.
Also, it doesn't necessarily mean that you need to be doing lots of stuff to be happy. I think the monks have figured something out. They keep out of the way of everyone and live simple lives. Their lives are in a balance, a simple one, but a balance all the same. It is in this simplicity that one can find balance more easily. There's just less stuff to worry about. However for someone like myself, who always is interested in pushing myself in several different things, I'm cursed with juggling multiple stresses on my life. Which means I have to stay more aware to keep my life in balance. I need to know when things aren't feeling right and more to correct it.
Back to the example of muscles: I've begun to 'sense' the imbalances in my muscles. My body gives me feedback on what is painful and needs rest. In fact it's always given me this feedback, but I've recently learnt how to listen to it. I can feel when I need to stretch or massage out a muscle or when a muscle is weak and needs strengthening. This can apply to other parts of our lives as well. When you're unhappy, or when you've been working too much or playing too much, your mood changes, you start to feel the stress of overworking or lack of progress. Whatever it may be, you need to listen more, be more aware of your own feelings and really really listen. And once you feel what's happening, you act on it and create more balance. And with that balance we can be:
What more could you want?