Friday, February 1, 2008

Balance, and no this does not involve an gymnastics beam!

Something I think every human should try to achieve is balance. In life, be it physical, mental or spiritual. It’s vital.

Studies have shown that many of our modern “illnesses” are due to an imbalance of lifestyle. Nutrition has suffered, we eat “ready to eat” junk food, and suddenly society in the west is plagued by obesity and malnutrition. We work to hard, and stress (generally mental in nature) causes us to loose years off of what should be a higher life expectancy. We feel disconnected with the world (somewhat a spiritual issue) and society stops being societal, and we become individuals in the worst sense. This leads to people like the Unabomber, serial offenders in violent crime, or just a plethora of sad individuals that make society hard to maintain!

For a Warrior, balance is vitally important. As we deal with conflict as part of our path, we need to be able to “decompress”. Studies during the second world war onwards showed that soldiers (yes I know not always a warrior) who could not take a break, suffered mental “issues” at a higher rate than those who took a break. I think the most startling of this is the residents of Stalingrad (considered the longest siege in history, as it was pretty much 24/7 for months, while Medieval sieges would stop (generally) at sun set) had a life expectancy at least a decade less than those who were not there. The stress was constant, thus they could not ever relax!

So a warrior needs to find something that they have a passion for that is not warrior related. Art, poetry, whatever, but the warrior needs to be able to not be a warrior at times.

So for those of us on this path, even though the idea of “being vigilant” is there, there also has to be the idea of “doing it for yourself’ sometimes, because we are of absolutely no use to our community if we can not function at peak performance when needed. Worse still we may go off the path of the Warrior onto other less acceptable paths, and may never find our way back.

No comments: