We have entered a new era of how we think about life balance, health, and well-being. The fast pace of daily life, lack of exercise, poor food choices, and environmental risk factors are being recognized as factors in stress and disease. Each of us has the requisite capacity for achieving balanced integration of our human potentials. B is for Balance: 12 Steps To- ward a More Balanced Life at Home and at Work offers many opportunities for self-reflection, self-assessment, self-evaluation, and self-care; it provides the framework for how to gain access to inner wisdom and intuition and apply it in our daily lives. As we take responsibility for making effective choices and changes in our lives, we place ourselves in a better position to clarify our life patterns, purposes, and processes.
How do you define health and wellness? Health is a person’s experience of a sense of well-being, harmony, and unity. It includes honoring health beliefs, values, and one’s worldview. It is a process of opening and widening personal awareness and consciousness to new possibilities. Well- ness is becoming aware of how to reach our highest potential. In order to increase states of health and wellness, we can make wise choices and decisions about how we reduce risks factors that lead to disease, illness, and injuries (Dossey, Luck, & Schaub, 2014).
Today we recognize that life’s balance, health, and well-being are a discovery process to be more creative, more resilient, more hardy, and to learn how to reduce anxiety and fear around life’s challenges, as well as when confronted with chronic disease and stress-related illnesses (Dossey, B. M., 2013). Health and wellness require that we recognize that life is a continual change process, and as we reflect on life’s meaning and purpose that leads to healing. Healing is a process of understanding and integrating the many aspects of self, connecting to our inner wisdom, and em- bodying this daily in a way that results in balance and wholeness.
As we take time to enter into balance and harmony each day, our consciousness, our capacity to react to, attend to, and be aware of self and other is enhanced. Consciousness subsumes all categories of experience, including perception, cognition, intuition, instinct, will, and emotion, at all levels. This includes those commonly termed “conscious,” “subconscious,” “superconscious,” “unconscious,” “intention,” and “attention,” without presumption of specific psychological or physiological mechanisms (Dossey, L., 2013).
Raising our consciousness is not a concept or a random technique some- one thought up for self-improvement. Rather, it is a basic principle of how to be a human being and experience the integration of body, mind, and spirit. As we explore the foundations for balance, health, and healing, we mature and exercise our human capacity to go beyond individual identity and evolve to our highest potential, the transpersonal self. Understanding the dimensions of the transpersonal self is a major force leading to our daily balance. Yet, knowing states of the transpersonal self is not an end point, but a continuing, never-ending process.
We are able to be self-reflective, and this opens us to the experience of something greater than one’s individual self. An impressive body of evi- dence reveals that consciousness is nonlocal[md]that is, it is not confined or localized to specific points in space, such as brains or bodies, nor localized or limited to specific points in time, such as the present (Dossey, L., 2013). The emerging picture of consciousness is that it has no spatial and tempo- ral boundaries or limits. As such it is infinite in space and time, therefore immortal, omnipresent, and, ultimately one. Thus, our consciousness has transpersonal dimensions. “Transpersonal” implies a personal understand- ing that is based on one’s experiences of temporarily transcending or mov- ing beyond one’s usual identification with the limited biological, historical, cultural, and personal self at the deepest and most profound levels of expe- rience possible. These ordinary ways of experiencing the self are recognized as an important but only a partial manifestation or expression of this much greater aspect of our being, including an expanded concept of our origin and destiny. It is a majestic vision of who we are that transcends the limits and boundaries of the individual self or ego. This recognition is empower- ing; it makes it more likely that we can achieve the balance and harmony that are Weinstein’s premise in this remarkable book.
So, in order to achieve balance in life, it is useful to explore our world- view. A worldview includes those set of beliefs each of us holds about how the world operates, why things happen the way they do, the rules they follow, and how we fit into these patterns. We usually ignore what our worldview actually is, but it is invariably a powerful, guiding force in each of our lives. We cannot escape the effects of our worldview. We put our worldview into action as we begin each day with family, significant others, pets, entering the workplace and so forth. Do we believe that we have control over our life or do things happen by? What is the purpose or meaning behind myriad events that emerge each day? Do we have choice in health and illness, or is our body entirely “on automatic”? Our world- view is a source of answers to these complex questions. The more conscious we become of the assumptions we make about our worldview and “how things work,” the more effective we will become in our interactions with self and others and the more likely we will be to achieve the balance that is this book’s theme.
How can you become more conscious about your worldview and your choices in life? To be present for yourself or another, you must honor your personal needs or you will risk becoming a physical and emotional wreck. What are the current circumstances in your life? What are you willing to accept, and what should you consider changing? In the pages that follow, you will learn to cease obsessing about the things over which you have no control. You’ll learn to honor yourself each day with a variety of strate- gies such as relaxation, imagery, music, meditation, or prayer. You’ll see the value of creating an exercise program, taking relaxing and energizing hot baths or showers, eating nutritious foods, eliminating excess caffeine or junk food, exploring your dreams, and asking others for help when it’s needed. You’ll learn to honor your effort by telling yourself over and over what a good job you are doing, and repeating it until you believe it.
Bridges can be created between different persons that are transpersonal, as with distant healing intentions, intercessory prayer, shamanic healing, so-called miracles, and emotions such as love, empathy, and compassion. These approaches involve profound transpersonal experiences of being. They elevate our experiences outside our local self and ego. Through self- reflection, we deepen our capacity for healing that lifelong journey into wholeness, out of which harmony and balance can grow in our relations with our family, our community, and all sentient life.