September 2012

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. – Thomas Merton

As I write this month’s newsletter, my heart is brimming with gratitude and appreciation for my wonderful family and the adventures we shared this summer.

I’ve just returned from a beautiful holiday with 50 of my Goering relatives. Every other year, my father’s siblings and their spouses, children, nieces, nephews, and every other familial relation all gather somewhere in the contiguous United States to reminisce, catch up on the latest from each other’s lives, play games, hike, sing, eat, and simply enjoy each other’s presence.

This year we gathered in Logan, Utah. The family congregated at a local hotel and enjoyed great food, numerous games of Scrabble and Taboo, lively conversations, and one heck of a talent show! Despite all this, I think the highlight of the weekend was the 7 elders sharing memories, insights, and stories from their long and colorful lives. We’ve been reuniting like this for the past 34 years and are fortunate that all of my father’s siblings are still living. At 92, my father is the oldest of The Magnificent 7. I feel incredibly blessed to have such a loving and fun-filled extended family!

Earlier last month, my daughter and granddaughter flew out from Kansas to spend a week with me. We headed up to Tahoe where we enjoyed swimming, shopping, and hiking. We even found a little time for relaxation too! In addition to this girls-only reunion, just a few days before I left for the family reunion, I spent a fun filled weekend in Carmel with a group of friends. So it’s been a delightful summer filled with loved ones and I’m not quite ready for it to end!

Whether it is the love and support of good friends and family, rewarding work, strong faith, or good health, we all have aspects of life to relish and be deeply grateful for. These things also take investment and with that, balance. This month’s article is about finding that balance so that we may have enough to give to each part of our lives, with enough left in reserve for our selves.

With love and kindness,

Rachelle Goering, M.A., F.N.P.

It’s All About Balance

With fall Equinox nearly here, it seems fitting to talk about balance. In the Northern Hemisphere the sun is now rising later while nightfall comes sooner. This week will mark the Autumn Equinox when day and night are approximately equal in length. From then until the Winter Solstice, the days will gradually become shorter as the nights grow longer.

We’ll shift from spending more time outside, to the more contemplative season indoors. But until then, get out and enjoy the last golden days of summer because it will soon be over!
Just as the Earth requires a balance of light and dark, heat and cold, death and rebirth, the cycles and various aspects of our lives must also find a balance. What does being in balance really mean? And how do we create balance in our lives?Most of us are very good at doing, but not so well-practiced at being. In this To Do world, we are in the habit of doing something or thinking about doing something from the moment we get up in the morning until our heads hit the pillow at night. Right from the start, we are already out of balance.
Usually our bodies will give us a clue (or two or three) that things are out of balance, and if we pay attention, we can change what we are doing and shift things. For instance, too much doing can cause fatigue, headaches, depression, anxiety, digestion issues, unexplained body aches and pain to name a few. 
To help your mind and spirit find balance, try having a daily “being” list, as opposed to just a “to do” list. For example, commit to spending a few quiet moments each morning with no agenda but sitting, focusing on your breathing, relaxing your body, meditating, sipping on a cup of tea, and expressing gratitude for your life. Wayne Dyer writes that when he wakes up each morning the first words and thoughts he expresses are “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!”

When it comes to your body, being in balance means a number of things. For one, when your body is in balance, it is in homostasis and homeostasis is necessary for health. Your body naturally gravitates toward balance and it will do what ever it can to bring all systems into harmonious function. Those uncomfortable symptoms of dis-ease mentioned above are your body’s way of trying to get your attention, to tell you things are falling off the rails somewhere.

To give your body what it needs to achieve balance feed yourself a fresh, healthy diet of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Balance exercise with rest, pleasure with work, and quiet time activity.
Living in balance looks different for each person. You have to find out for yourself what your life looks and feels like when in balance. With daily practices like a “being” list, proper attention to the needs of our physical body, and setting good boundaries when it comes to external commitments and obligations you are well on your way.
Some of the benefits of living a balanced life include:
*Better health and more vitality
*More self-confidence and sense of purpose
*More happiness and peace of mind
*Positive relationships
*More Positive thinking (which leads to more positive outcomes)
*Better budgeting with some savings
*More self-discipline increasing the likelihood that you will achieve your goals
*Less stress and living in a relaxed manner
*Living in harmony with nature
*Better time management
*Living a more fulfilled life
*Balancing work and family results in being happier at work and happier at home
*More joy, peace of mind, better health
No question, I think these benefits are worth the energy it takes to make a few changes, if that’s what’s needed to bring more balance into your life.
Think about one or two things you can do today to bring about more balance, at a minimum set aside time for “being” rather than doing, and treat your body to the physical conditions it needs to be healthy and strong. From here just wait and and see what positive changes show up!