* Originally posted on ElephantJournal.com
Balance isn’t just a number corresponding to the digits in our bank account, nor is it just a number on the scales indicating how light our body is.
Balance is not about how steady and how long we can hold a headstand.
Balance is something we constantly create in the world and adjust according to a feeling we reflect from deep inside.
We hold more power to positively affect this world than we think we do. Here are a few ideas of ways to create more balance in the world:
All that food that’s left over from a dinner party and may or may not be eaten in the next few days. Go and find that old hungry man who is less fortunate and hand him a bag of chocolate cake and chilli con carne.
If it stays in the fridge, we know it’s just going to end up in the bin in a few day’s time. How about that apple that’s not quite fresh or the banana that’s on its way out? A hungry person would really appreciate some healthy home cooked left overs. Don’t worry, we won’t be sued for showing them care, love, thought and compassion. We don’t need to believe the scare tactics the government sells us. We’re all still human beings.
That wooly jumper worn just once last winter, those jeans that don’t look quite right anymore, the three t-shirts we keep for the day we might need to paint the apartment walls—how about keeping one and giving the other two away to someone who doesn’t have any?
And that old pair of spare trainers we wore just once last year? Do we really need all those spare clothes and extra accessories?
Do they make as much of a difference to our life as they will to someone who barely has the minimum? If we are brutally honest with ourselves and take a good, long look at all the contents of our closet and drawers—how much of it is useful to us? It could be really useful to someone else, we’ll feel a lot lighter for having a clear and clean closet of essentials.
That guy we walk past most days and plays the guitar, rain or sun, brightening our day, adding a beat to our step, hand him a few coins.
Show him how much we appreciate his desire to brighten our day. No matter how little I have, I always empty my purse and pockets for the musicians and artists that are adding beauty to the brief moments our paths cross.
Do we really need all those books we’ve already read, that are collecting dust or taking up space in boxes or in storage? How about decluttering? Not only will it make for an easier time cleaning, it will also declutter our minds and someone else will actually find more use and appreciate what we no longer use or need.
Have a huge clear out. A really big one. Regularly. The more we do it, the better we’ll get at deciding what’s useful and what’ll be more useful to someone else. The feeling of accomplishment that follows is worth facing all that procrastination.
Give time and skills freely to those around us that need it.
I massage and teach yoga for a living and I’m fortunate enough to be generously valued for my time and effort. This allows me to give up my time and skills to those that can’t afford to treat themselves to some TLC.
It means I have time to donate to those who wouldn’t usually, like the lovely baker downstairs whose shoulders give her constant pain or the person who simply can’t afford to pay me my usual rate.
I also have time to arrange fundraisers and think of more ways to create a bit more balance, in my life and in the lives of those around me. What can you give away?
Boycott the big chains.
They have enough. Realize that the premium we pay for a big brand ends up paying for mansions, flash cars and private jets. Support your local independent café who took a risk to bring us more quality. Take the time to go to our weekly, local farmer’s market. Not only is the produce more fresh, covered in less plastic and full of more nutrients, but we’ll also be supporting our local community. Scout out the independent businesses and give them a reason to keep going.
We are all guilty of greed in some form or another, wanting to collect and create a false sense of security hanging on to all those “just in case” or “for the day I might” and we are all equally as responsible and powerful to bring more balance and fairness into our immediate surroundings.
You have the power to create more balance in this world.