Every time I go to this place in the Arizona Desert, I bring home some esoteric new gift to add to my lifestyle toolkit – this trip, it was the idea of balance.
I’ve long been interested in the idea of balancing body, mind and spirit, but I never really thought about it in concrete terms – it was more of a hazy idea; something to do with moving my body, keeping my mind sharp and finding my own way to spirituality.
This trip, something clicked on a deeper level. I wrote not long ago about using prayer flags to balance air, space, fire, water and earth for harmony in the community and in the self. I learned this past week that there are many other ways to balance those elements – through the ways we move our body, the foods we eat, the way we connect with the planet and the intricate dance of all those things against our personal nature or way of being in the world.
It means I have a lot of studying to do – some subtle refinements to make in terms of food, movement, spirituality and more. I wish I could have captured the Canyon Ranch spirit in a little bottle that I could open each day, maybe take a drop or two under the tongue for a quick/easy balance boost, not to mention a daily shot of strength and inspiration!
Barring that, I will be working to balance my fiery Pitta constitution (an Ayurvedic term that somewhat describes my nature of being – click here to find out your own “dosha”)…
- limiting airy things, like leafy greens, crunchy fruits and carbonated beverages; running or fast/flowy forms of exercise; and airy forms of leisure, like online media and television… or at least balancing the airy things with grounded things
- working on grounding with earthy foods, like rice, beans and root veggies; Earthing and rooted types of exercise (walking, strength work); and grounded play – painting & collage, writing (by hand, on paper) and singing or reading aloud
I should say, this “prescription” is purely my own concoction, based very loosely on different lectures I attended at the ranch. And, truthfully, I fear I’ve barely scratched the surface of how to find a balanced lifestyle – I’ve ordered a couple of books to help guide my way… “The Perfect Balance Diet: 4 Weeks to a Lighter Body, Mind, Spirit and Space” by Lissa Coffee and “Being In Balance: 9 Principles for Creating Habits to Match Your Desires” by Wayne Dyer.
It’s sort of funny, I started this trip with an intention of playfulness – and I definitely took time for play (Zumba and Bollywood dance classes!!) but balance turned out to be my key focus and perhaps the prize that came home with me. Of course, as I type this, I realize I’ve spent the entire day working. Guess it’s time to go cuddle up with a good book and a couple of kitties!!!