Finding the 'Just Right'


Finding balance in our lives can often seem elusive - a little like being Goldilocks as we try to find the chair that's neither too large nor too small, the porridge that's neither too hot nor too cold, the bed that's neither too hard nor too soft, but 'just right'. Living a life of balance leads us to find the middle way - the 'just right' -savoring each moment as the gift that it is.

As we move about our daily life - eating, sleeping, working - our amazing bodies work to maintain a delicate balance of temperature and blood chemistry, which if drastically altered, ends our life.  And not only does our survival depend on balance - so too does the quality of our life at all levels - body, mind and spirit.

If gravity is the glue that holds the universe together - balance is the key that unlocks its secrets.  All things exist in a state of balance - the interplay of opposites: high and low; in and out; hot and cold; fast and slow; loud and soft.  And between the polarities rests a balance point - a center.  Achieving balance in even one area of our life can make a significant difference in our effectiveness.

Within our psyches live archetypes and values of the puritan and the hedonist, the believer and the skeptic, the social butterfly and the lone wolf.  Sages from every culture have advocated the middle way, the golden mean, the straight-and-narrow path.  Even in the world of nature most humans thrive by avoiding the extremes of desert heat and arctic cold, finding our lives more comfortable in the temperate zones. But balance does not always depend on avoiding the extremes.

Balance also embraces the ability to explore the extremes at times - paying equal attention to both sides to keep the pendulum in balance.  For example, sometimes we may want to play the hedonist - staying up late and celebrating, indulging our senses; other times we may express a more puritan or spartan disposition - eating well and exercising.  Sometimes we overwork - other times we over rest.

Over time, we remain in balance as long as we work both sides equally and return to center. What constitutes balance differs somewhat for each of us, due to our different temperaments, dispositions and constitutions.  Some people tolerate and thrive on more exercise than others - and even our own needs change over time.

Each of us needs to find our own middle ground, defined by our unique physical and psychological qualities and needs - not by someone else's values.  How much to exercise?  How much to eat?  The answer is "whatever is 'just right' for you."

What does it mean to find the middle way?  It means not getting caught up in a tangle of drama but consciously choosing to walk through life (rather than pushing it away), and allowing ourselves to see all sides of any matter.  In doing so, we make greater choices and pave the way for living with a sense of peace.

Once we find the middle way and walk it, we live positioned in the center of our lives -   giving us a panoramic view that allows us to see all that is possible.  This leads us to an authentic experience of balance rather than one that is limited and capable of being thrown off at any moment.  The old paradigm of balance seems to be influenced by external forces rather than a powerful internal response.  It takes awareness, practice and tenacity to live the middle way.

Meditation Musing:

"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on." - Havelock Ellis


Get ready, get set, it's time to write!

Journaling SPARK: Questions to ponder - take your time...

  • What brings balance to your life?
  • When you reflect on balance in your life, what do you discover?
  • What sustains balance in your life?
  • What one action could you take to have more balance in your life?
  • Tell a story about a time when you were living in balance and harmony.
  • How does living in balance expand your life?
  • What are you willing to do to live a life of balance?

Blessings on your path,



There's No Place Like 'Om'

Are you searching for that place, somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high, where skies are blue and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true?

Have you been looking for a place outside of yourself hoping it will magically fulfill your longing?

Well, search no more.

Meditation is the magic carpet that will carry you where the clouds are far behind you and troubles melt like lemon drops. You, like Dorothy, have the power within to go 'OM'.  It's easy and fun. So put aside your expectations about meditation and don't worry about doing it 'right'.  There are infinite possibilities and no fixed criterion for determining the right meditation for you.

"You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour." ~ Zen Proverb

Slip on your ruby slippers, click your heels three times and remember these zen commandments from Bethela, the Good Witch.

Find that special place

If possible, this should be a dedicated place for meditation.  It can be at a table in a corner of a room, a special spot in front of a window, on the floor at the foot of your bed.  Keep it comfortable and fresh and fun. A ritual will get you in the right mood for meditation. Anything that tells your mind that this is what is on your agenda will be helpful.  Engage all your senses.  Light a candle, burn some incense, use essential oils that are pleasing to you.  Sit on a satin cushion or velvet pillow - something that feels good. Honor this sacred time and space. 

Same good time

Dawn and dusk are particularly good because the world seems to enter into a special tranquility at these times.  More important is to give the mind notice that at a certain time you are going to meditate.  And setting aside 10 minutes every day is better than 1 hour once a week.  The length of time is less important than the daily practice. 

Shhhhhh - quiet please

Eliminate as much noise and as many potential distractions as possible.  Turn off the cell phone, lock the door.  Don't worry about those things you can't control.  

Comfort is key

Sit comfortably with your spine reasonably straight.  this allows the energy to flow freely up the spine which is an important aspect of meditation.  Leaning against a chair back, a wall, headboard, etc. is perfectly all right. If you're sitting in a chair, place your feet flat on the floor.  Arms relaxed, shoulders down. Place your hands in any position that is comfortable.  

Joy to the world!

An attitude of joy in just sitting, in just being -without expectation - is essential to meditation.  In China and Japan the meditation posture is known as 'sitting like a mountain'.  This gives the feeling of solidity and stillness with the body well connected to the ground and the mind reaching to the heavens.  When you sit, having this image will be very helpful to your practice.

The hardest part about meditation is simply sitting - seriously!  But once you make it part of your daily routine, it becomes a very powerful tool always available to calm your mind/body/soul and enter into the blissful state of oneness - where bluebirds fly.  Okay, maybe not every time you sit - but there will be times - I promise. 

Welcome Om!

Meditation Musing:
Breathing in, I calm body and mind.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is the only moment.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Challenge of the Day:
Find 10 minutes to meditate today - here are some unique ideas if you don't know where to start...

Build a Cairn - Balancing stones is an old Zen technique of examining the mind. Flat pebbles work best for this meditation- start with the biggest ones on the bottom and build your way up, paying close attention to your breathing as you complete the tower.

Watch Water - This is a great meditation alternative if you live near the water. Remove your shoes and walk slowly along the beach, feeling the sand shift beneath your feet. Stop at the water’s edge, and watch how the waves flow and crash. Let the sounds of the ocean return you to a place of peace in your mind.  If you like to stay at home, you can simply observe the ripples that a drop of water creates. in your bathtub.

Mindful Movement - Take 10-20 minutes and completely lose yourself in a moderate physical activity. This could be anything from swimming laps to shooting baskets to yoga. Just breathe deeply and allow your mind to concentrate fully on the activity at hand.

Blessings on your path,