Life is often good, but do you sometimes feel there should be something more? Would you like to know why at times you feel exhausted, or stressed, or lacking motivation?
This is an area for which people have sought answers since the beginning of time. And there are answers, for those who have been informed enough and determined enough to point themselves in a good direction.
One way to look at this, based primarily on Eastern wisdom, is as a matter of harmony between insight and energy, or awareness and action. To lead a stable, happy, and fulfilled life requires growth in and balance between insightful awareness and energized action.
As we open ourselves more thoroughly to awareness, and are able to express ourselves more fully, we naturally become more kind and compassionate to others and to ourselves. And as we are able to be more kind and compassionate to others and to ourselves, we become more aware and able to express ourselves more fully.
What is insight, and what is energy?
In my experience, the two words “insight” and “energy” are a representation of the two primary aspects of human nature and human activity, and their balance and vitality determine how we feel in our own “skin”, as well as the quality of our relationships and our success in the workplace.
Are these two sides of a coin separate, or are they aspects of a single coin?
Strong insight naturally leads to expression of one’s human nature, while fully energized expression of one’s human nature in one’s thoughts and actions, and in relationships, leads to insight through deepening of experience. The two sides are one coin. Or, one coin has two sides.
Are you too quiet and introspective?
In life, if we focus only on insight, trying to know ourselves fully, but avoid finding a way to express the unfolding insight, we hit a wall. We can experience transient moments of seemingly great insight, but those moments do not have staying power in the real world of interactions with other people, under the stress of the daily life most of us lead. Too much quiet and self-protection can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.
Are you too active (even for good reasons)?
If on the other hand, we focus only on energy, and allow ourselves to be addicted to our daily goals and activities, even when doing “good deeds”, we can easily lose our own inner sense of peace. The physical world and our actions in it do not nourish our being unless we find a way to connect to our deeper self—our insight—while in action. Too much action without connecting with one’s deeply felt experience can lead to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.
Where is the balance?
When we walk, is it the left leg or the right leg that is walking? When we drive, is it the left wheels that are turning, or the right wheels?
The answer is, we can only walk or drive when both legs are walking or all wheels are spinning!
In fact, we are walking as a whole person, with our intentions driving all aspects of our movement, so “left” and “right” have little meaning; we have one brain that manages all of it. In the case of an automobile, the engine moves the whole vehicle and all four wheels are engaged. We want to use our most fundamental determination in each moment, without arbitrary divisions into up, down, left, right, and even inside or outside.
We can live as a whole human being with our insight and energy working together, for a better life. Living in harmony each day leads to a sense of well-being, better relationships, and more success in daily life.
There are ways of living that allow for grounding ourselves and expressing ourselves more fully and productively. And it is not only the common suggestions of meditation and mindfulness, as helpful as those can be. But that will be in the next article!
If you want to discuss any of this and have a deeper conversation, confidentially, please feel free to contact me at (718) 229-2609. Your comments here are also welcome!