1. Let go of the belief that humans are better than, smarter than, or more important than any other living being. Stand in humble awe of the reality that humans are but one of many living wonders, all of whom are equally valuable and necessary in the world.
  2. Many hands make light work. Open to see ways to help others and receive help when offered. Modern western culture is bound up in the cult of independence, which makes everyone carry more than necessary. The cure is generosity and reciprocity.
  3. Trust the body. If we reign in the mind’s chatter and whims, the body will share its honest feelings and needs. Eat well, sleep plenty, move about in good ways, enjoy the sun, share affection, be in the present moment.
  4. Don’t hold back when it’s time to bloom! Be yourself, shine your beauty, give it all you’ve got!
  5. Sometimes it’s time to move, and sometimes it’s time to rest. Yesterday, within an hour, I saw cows both laying down in the wet grass just resting, and also hauling ass across a muddy field, faster than I’ve ever seen a cow move! It’s important to connect with the true needs of the moment and situation, and not get caught up in auto-pilot or inertia. Authentic and necessary response to life is a beautiful practice.
  6. Tune into the rhythm of the body. Trust its needs, knowing, and rhythms. In modern culture, we try to supersede that much of the time, and then indulge in “guilty pleasures” and toxic behaviors that are an attempt to make up for it. Our religions, our busyness, and our relationships are so often based on the ethic of getting shit done according to Protestant work ethic, and relegating slowness, pleasures, and rest to the realm of laziness. Nature knows best – taking our time, slowing down and paying attention, and being in the present are our natural rhythms.
  7. Cultivate wise discernment to know when to fight and when to walk away. Sometimes it’s totally necessary and worth it, and sometimes it’s not.
  8. Unstructured time is necessary for contemplation, creativity, and rest. Resist the temptation to fall into the belief that constant busyness is a virtue and restfulness is a sign of laziness or lack of motivation. The stillness that comes in this unstructured time allows for deep listening, bringing inner realization and clarity.

Principles of Balanced Living

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