I am somewhat made of extremes. As much as I adore living in my hometown, having the comfort of family and friends close by, the local hangouts and routines, the stability of a trendy job and familiar terrain, I also have a fervid desire to abandon all things acquainted and live in a way I have never experienced before. Rugged, uncomfortable, chaotic and most importantly, uninhibited. These parts of myself can be at odds with one another sometimes on a weekly if not daily basis. I indulge in high calorie, salty foods like cheese, antipasti and red wine, and then counter act these actions the following week with a 3 day juice cleanse. I run errand upon errand, put every single item in its place, organize, create color-coded to-do lists and enjoy checking each and every item off of it, watching TED talks and reading non-fiction, feeling in complete control. However, the following month is spent losing every bit of that discipline: drinking way too much, staying up unnecessarily late, allowing piles and piles of clothes and unopened mail to accumulate and doing things that require zero intellect. I am embarrassed to admit that I social media stalk people I don’t even care about, watch re-runs of Friends episodes that I have seen 40 times each and yes, read tabloids.
For this reason, I have realized I have one, and only one major weakness in my life that in turn affects most everything else: finding BALANCE. This is my deepest struggle and comes from levels within that are unknown even to me thus far. And I know that I am not the only one out there, I see this struggle to varying degrees with most everyone I know, even the most disciplined of humans. The Id will drive us all at some point or another in our lives, the challenge is how to know when it needs to be tamed, and how to keep those adventurous, indulgent parts of ourselves satisfied.
For this reason, I have admired the Balinese culture and philosophy increasingly so for the last six years. In recent months, this actualization has manifested itself in the most plain and clear message: balance = happiness. As a constant, and I mean CONSTANT reminder to myself of the minute-to-minute, week-to-week and year-to-year practice I want to follow, I have gotten my very first tattoo.
The Balinese Om is one that has always made me feel close to another realm. It immediately leads my thoughts to a higher entity – I envision the calmness of rice patties. A lone temple with a thatched roof, bamboo floors and no walls. A cool, sweet breeze. A stone statue. Bare feet, palms open and eyes closed. This is my happy place, my Zen realm, and this symbol connects me to it any time, any where. This is the symbol I had tattooed on the back of my neck a few days ago on a trip to San Diego and to me, it is exactly what this blog represents:
Globally inspired. Mindfully aware. Soulfully rooted.
To have this powerful symbol at my brain stem, or on my Vishuddha chakra, spreads this sentiment throughout my mind. Live in this world and also in that Zen realm, and let that sense of calmness and balance echo throughout your speech, your thoughts and your actions.
I have my weapon for when the Id takes over and I hope to only allow it to fuel the drive one has to live a basic, instinctual, adventurous and fulfilled life. I hope to shed those things that don’t serve a purpose, the heavy and weighty relationships and the negative thoughts and actions, and I hope this blog can provide a space to follow that practice and journey of balancing mind, body and soul.