Feeling overworked or like you have been overdoing it a bit lately? Do you feel like you need to slow down, take some time to recover, and find some balance again?
It’s time to let go of the to-do list, stop working so much, and find some balance in your life. Af
A little-known fact about me: I am a classically trained pianist and I have been playing since I was only 4 years old. I grew up with the piano and while I didn’t always appreciate the lessons and studies as a kid, as an adult I am eternally grateful for the connection to music. It is one of the ways that I express myself creatively and is also an important stress management tool for me as well.
Since I love all kinds of music, once I began exploring the yoga lifestyle, I became interested in learning Indian music, particularly the harmonium. Probably because it is so similar to a piano and fits the way I understand music.
I played for several years off and on and then became immersed in work. Many things that I found balancing and helpful fell to the wayside, and the harmonium was no exception. It sat in the corner, collecting dust, and my piano gradually became out of tune.
I have always been on a continued quest for balance and health. Having cancer at 30 years old is a huge wake-up call. It shows you how easily we can lose health – and how awful it feels to be without health. After that experience, I decided I never want to feel that way again, nor do I want others to have to experience that kind of health trauma, and I have dedicated my life to finding and maintaining wellness for myself and others.
But I falter sometimes too. I am certainly not perfect. I am competitive and an achiever and I can get easily sucked into working too much. And as an empath and a highly sensitive person, I can also get stressed very easily if I am not careful.
I practice a lot of intuitive self-care (learn how to do that here!), so when I notice I am becoming unbalanced or overwhelmed, I pull back and redirect my efforts into doing the things that keep me healthy.
Recently, I realized I was overdoing it again. In response to the stress that I was feeling from everything that is going on in the world, I was getting lost in work, not sleeping, and just feeling drained and overwhelmed. I realized that one of my therapeutic tools, music, had been missing from my life in a big way and I decided to get my instruments tuned and get back into playing regularly. Music is such a big piece of who I am, and to have that part missing for so long really impacted me in a negative way.
When I went to my new harmonium teacher, I asked him to check my harmonium and see if it was working ok and if I needed to invest in any maintenance.
He took it apart and played with the keys for a bit. After a few minutes, he literally said to me – “Its’ fine! You just need to play it more regularly, otherwise dust and air get trapped and make the sound a little funny. Regular playing will prevent that completely.”
And I was relieved – a simple, easy fix that didn’t require a large investment of time or money.
But as I reflected further, I realized, wow – there is really a powerful lesson to take away from that exchange.
When we don’t tend to our instruments, they can become out of tune.
And to avoid this, all we have to do is tend to them. Play them.
Our bodies are no different.
If we ignore what our bodies are telling us and avoid practices that keep our bodies tuned, we can easily fall out of balance. And we are perpetually out of balance, that can lead to long-term health consequences that are much more costly down the road.
But the good news, is just like instruments, when we feel out of balance, a quick tune up and getting back into our regular practice can go a long way.
When it comes to the process of finding balance and healing our bodies from “overdoing”, Wind is a vital component. In Chinese medicine, Wind is a mobile and light element – it is essential for the movement of energy (also known as “prana” in Indian medicine and “Qi” in Chinese medicine), helping life flow and move throughout the body both physically and emotionally.
In Indian medicine, Wind is power. It gives us stamina and energy. It inspires us. And things flow naturally and effortlessly. We have a strong capacity to work and perform.
When the Wind element in in balance, the natural rhythms and cycles of the body flow effortlessly throughout the day and night. Things like sleep, digestion are balanced. We are able to perform, but we are also able to rest.
When Wind is unbalanced, we can overdo it. We can work too much, become obsessed with to-do lists and performing, spending long hours in front of screens, and try to multitask our days away.
We forget about balance. About the natural rhythms of our bodies. And how we need our rituals and routines for our health.
If you feel the Wind element is out of balance for you, here are some simple practices you can use:
- Saying “No.” Remember, when Wind is out of balance, we can overwork, overdo, and overcommit. Establishing boundaries, reducing your work schedule, and clearing your calendar a bit are all helpful ways to establish some more balance in your life.
- Heart-opening yoga postures. The Wind element is associated with the Heart Chakra, which is located in the chest and is associated with love, freedom, and mobility. Consider adding simple postures like Cat/Cow pose and Cobra pose to your daily routine.
- Breathwork. The breath is one of the most powerful ways we can move Wind through the body. Breathwork is key in balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system and calming the body. So much like how the sound in my harmonium can sound a bit off if air gets stuck from the keys not moving regularly, if we are not practicing breath control, energy can get shallow, stagnant, and even stuck. Air helps energy move, and breath is one of the tools we can use to do it. To learn more about breathwork, check out this post.
Remember that as healers and empaths, it is so important to be aware of our energy imbalances. We absorb so much energy from our clients / patients each day. We take on their suffering and their pain, and if we aren’t paying attention, it can get stuck in our bodies and causes us harm.
How do you use natural elements to balance your mind, body, and spirit?
PS – Looking for a community of healers, empaths, and wellness professionals to connect with? We are here for you! Come on over to the Mind-Body-Spirit Balancers Facebook group and join in on the conversations – we would love to hear from you!