In my last post I wrote about the importance of balancing mind-body-spirit (MBS) to achieve well-being. Nature provides a good example of the importance of balance.
I confess to being a data nerd. My family will attest to that. When we bought our lake cabin back in 1999 I took a blank journal and marked off the 52 weeks of the year with the intent of noting weekly changes in nature. For instance, I noted the week yellow swallow-tail butterflys returned and the week large alligator snapping turtles layed their eggs in our gravel driveway. I also noted air and lake water temperatures. I did this for ten years and then stopped. Why did I stop? Because after ten years it became clear that the same things happened at the same time every year. This amazed me. Previously I thought temperature was the primary driver of natural cycles, but temperatures vary from year to year, spring sometimes comes early and other times arrives late. For nature to display consistency, something more was at play.
Back in the days before smart phones told us everything, we had an indoor/outdoor wireless thermometer at the cabin to record temperatures. Our thermometer retained the highest and lowest temperatures in memory. One year I noted a high of 91 degrees and a low of 35 degrees below zero, a 126 degree temperature range. Yet the natural rythmn recorded in my journal for that year was unaffected. Think about that for a moment. For a person in the Northern US, 91 degrees is almost too hot to be outdoors and thirty-five degrees below zero is too cold for anyone to be outdoors, regardless of where you are from. Yet, the natural cycle of plants, animals and bugs was unaffected.
This got me thinking. Maybe if I spent more time on life balance, namely mind-body-spirit (MBS), maybe I would get better at handling life’s extreems. I put this to the test and here is what I discovered. When I made a concerted effort to balance MBS, I was better able to weather bad times at work or serious medical problems at home. I also found that when I got lazy and neglected MBS practices, even smaller things would set me off. This revelation didn’t come out of the blue. Remember, I am a data freak. In addition to my nature journal I keep a personal journal noting important things I read, discover, or simply how I am coping with life. My journal didn’t lie. When MBS practices were consistent, my well-being improved. I am trying to keep this in mind.
Harmony is hard-wired into nature, we would be wise to listen.