Well-being is the result of a dynamic balance between various aspects of ourselves. It automatically flows into our lives, when the spiritual, cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioural parts of our lives are integrated, balanced and working well. In what follows, we touch on several simple methods for opening up and producing desirable states of integration and balance. We are acutely aware in doing this that there are many more areas of life and many other techniques that can contribute to our well-being. Also, we deal with each area only briefly in what follows. For more information and discussion, we recommend that you purchase the Personal Well-being Course Notes that are available in the COURSE NOTES Department in the Public Shop.
Important Ways of Supporting Well-Being
There are several practical approaches that you can take to support your own well-being. Each is important in itself, while all of them together contribute an important balance that is not there if any is missed omitted. Using the easy techniques that you can learn, so you can follow each approach, need take very little extra time. This is very important to busy people.
Approaches to six areas are needed. The areas are:
rest & relaxation exercise good nutrition
integrating, and balancing thoughts and feelings
making and evolving decisions
goal-setting, manifestation and one-pointedness
Rest & Relaxation
Virtually everyone needs to take regular rests on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Having an effective technique for relaxing at any time is very useful. It is necessary in the modern world to be able to stop and let go, so our systems can recharge, integrate experience and mobilise our restorative and healing resources. The Relaxation Meditation is ideal for this. (See in the MEDITATIONS Department in the Public Shop, where you can purchase this recording.) You can learn to relax easily and naturally using this method. As you learn, you can find it easier and easier to relax. This is of great assistance when we face many demands, or when we only have a few seconds to concentrate on relaxation before applying full attention again to what we are doing. Also, our general styles of living can become a relaxed. We can experience everything in a relaxed, open and accepting manner.
Our bodies are designed to thrive on exercise. It is imperative for on-going health and well-bing. If we move our bodies, exercise them as they need, they stay younger, more vital and alive, and keep all their functions, for very much longer than if we do not exercise. With exercise we need to take a sensible approach. We can both overdo it, or do too little. The average person needs five to eight hours of exercise a day. The kind of exercise that is important includes the full range of possibilities between any movement like walking, bending, or reaching and any very demanding exercise, such as, running, swimming, and cycling. At least two to three hours of this recommended daily quota of exercise needs to have total body involvement. We have total body involvement when we move the whole body and move its various parts in relation to each other, such as in walking while swinging our arms, lifting, carrying, and bending.
We need to balance our diets with how much we are doing, when we are doing it, and with the needs of our bodies. These three types of balance are important, regardless of our dietary preferences. Each of these three aspects significantly influences what we need to be eating and drinking.
First, the quantities we eat and drink need to balance with how energy we need to drive our bodies. Food and drink make up the body's physical fuel supply. If we have too little for too long, the body will waste away. If we have too much for too long, the body puts on unnecessary weight. It is striking the balance that is important.
Second, we need to balance the time at which we eat with what we are doing at different times. So if we are busier during the morning than during the afternoon, we need to eat more in the morning. If we are busier during the evening than in the morning or the afternoon, we need to eat more in the evening. We also need to eat throughout the periods during which we are awake and not lying down. When fairly inactive, we may not need to eat very much, even so, while awake and no longer trying to sleep, the activity that usually accompanies this takes energy and will require that we replenish ourselves. Usually, three meals a day, of appropriately varied sizes, and snacks between meals, if the meals are separated by more than four hours, is a good general pattern to adopt.
Third, we need to ensure that all the nutrients our bodies require are supplied in the foods and drink we ingest. Everyone needs protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water. We need to ensure that we have them in the amounts required and in the forms in which our bodies can absorb them.
People who balance their diets as indicated find that many of the problems they used to experience simply dissolve. This is because dietary balance is so fundamental physical balance and, in turn, to emotional and cognitive balance.
Making & Evolving Decisions
Life is full of decisions. If you understand that every act includes a decision, we make them during every waking moment. It is most helpful in life to develop the capacity to make decisions easily and with confidence. We at the Network find it helpful to distinguish between two types of decision-making processes: making decisions and evolving decisions. People who are capable to using both processes generally seem to have a much easier and more fulfilling time in their lives.
Making Decisions: This process involves the capacity to choose between clear options that face us. These decisions are like arriving at a T-intersection in the car and deciding where to go next. We can stop, reverse, turn right, turn left, go straight ahead (and take the consequences). There are, in other words, a number of relatively clear choices. In this process, we assess the consequences of each decision in relation to our own and other people's goals, then pick which option we will take.
Evolving Decisions: This process enables us to evolve decisions in those situations and under those circumstances in which the choices are not clear, or the relative merits of the choices are not clear. Many situations in life are highly complex, many choices involve multiple feelings, priorities and consequences. The way to evolve a decisions is to give some expression, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, to our ideas, urges, impulses, changing views etc. We do this so that our energy will flow outwards in relation to the issue, rather than get caught within and remain hidden. As we flow with some aspect, it is revealed to us, then the next layer or aspect of what is involved can emerge. We then do the same thing with that. We do something to express it. As we continue with this process, quickly or eventually, what is true deeply inside us, although this may have been hidden by all our other responses, desires etc. previously, comes into the light of our awareness. At this point, we will know what to do. Take a very simple example: we want to go shopping, so we express that by starting a small list of items; we then find that we do not want to go shopping and express that by reading a book. Generally, we would use this process for life-changing issues, such as, changing jobs, or spouses, or moving to another country to live.
The decision we will make emerges gradually as we go through this process. Until it has emerged, we just keep using the process. We will know we are finished when we have an inner certainty about the best thing, whether it is comfortable for us to do it or not. We know that we have reached a decision when we have no doubts left and we have a relaxed certainty about the best thing.
Integrating, Balancing & Releasing Thoughts & Feelings
Our thoughts and feelings are body-based and involve body-related processes. Personal physical balance is a deep and important influence on both. The natural bodily process of Grounding is a potent means of maintaining and establishing cognitive and emotional balance. Grounded people release what is past, are free to make decisions in the present and can relate to the future with an openness to all that is possible without inhibitions from the past.
The Grounding Meditation is an ideal means for learning how to become well grounded and for how to become well grounded when we are facing very intense experiences or challenges. (See in the MEDITATIONS Department in the Public Shop, where you can purchase this recording.) Grounding intensifies ease and well-being, dissolves and releases discomfort and distress, and brings us into the "I AM"-Here-&-Now directly and easily. These results mean that we have heightened awareness of the "inside" and the "outside". This is an asset under most circumstances. It also means that we can decide what we will do with maximised awareness.
Goal-Setting, Manifestation, One-Pointedness
Great security and optimism arises when we have a secure method for looking ahead and being able to set goals that are practical, adventurous and achievable. We benefit from a process that enables us to give ourselves the best chance we can for realising what is important to us in life - whatever that may be. The way we set our goals is crucial in this. The process of doing it can, itself, determine our success or otherwise. The best approach seems to be to imagine that our goals are already achieved. The goal then becomes the state that will exist when we have what we have set for ourselves.
Once we have set our goals in this manner, the thing to do is to achieve or realise them as quickly as possible. We are greatly served in life, if we can do this reliably. Many have found that they can do this by aligning themselves fully with the outcome they desire. To do this, part of what we need to do is to imagine the goals are fulfilled already. Although we do this in advance of the actual manifestation of our goals, the reason for imagining that they are already realised is that this completes the goal much faster than if we imagine they are still to be realised. The difference this orientation makes is astounding at times, so much faster and easier does the process become. A simple way of doing this is to formulate an affirmation that commits to this state, for example, "I have all the money I need in life", "I am a touch typist", "I have many friends with whom I share my life", and "I have already sold my house".
The best results come from our becoming one-pointed in relation to our goals. We will do best if "internally" we call on those resources that support our success, as we also deal with those aspects of ourselves that may hinder that success. One-pointedness helps us both to use "external" aids and to deal with "external" hindrances, too.
The Creative Release Meditation is a simple means of taking all these steps. It can help you to learn a process of goal-setting, manifestation and one-pointedness quickly and very simply. (See in the MEDITATIONS Department in the Public Shop, where you can purchase this recording.)
Our systems ebb and flow naturally in all sorts of ways. Much of nature is like this. Think of the ebb and flow of the tides, the changes each year with the seasons, and the cycles of the moon. Our bodies also have cycles. Breath moves in and out, our hearts contract and expand, we are awake and asleep by turns, and women go a full menstrual cycle each month.
Our energies ebb and flow, too. The energetic cycle has two basic phases. In one phase, our energies flow outward from our cores to the edges of our bodies and then out into the world. During this phase of the cycle it is easiest for us to be active, interventive, actionistic, analytical, and to go out to meet life. In the second phase of the cycle, our energies flow from the outside of our bodies into our cores. During this phase of the cycle, it is easiest to be receptive, slowed down, drawing things to ourselves, integrative and reflective. The first phase makes way for the second, which in turn paves the way for the first. The process repeats continually.
An analogy with our breathing illustrates what is occurring well. With our breathing, we need to breathe out so we can breathe in. Also, need to breathe in so we can breathe out. Overdoing either aspect means that the one that needs to follow is not as complete, nor, usually, as comfortable. Remember what it is like when you keep trying to breathe out after all the air is expelled from your lungs. Remember, too, what it is like when you have breathed in all you can and you keep trying to take in more air. Our energies follow very similar patterns. If we keep acting in ways that are consistent with the outwardly directed part of our cycles after our cycle would naturally have turned to the next phase, then we create difficulties. It is similar if we continue to act in ways that are consistent with the inwardly directed part of our cycles after our cycle would naturally have turned to the next phase.
To live easily we need to take account of the ebb and flow in our energy systems. Life can become very much easier and more relaxing, when we learn to live in alignment with these repeating cycles. To do this we adapt the way we do what we are doing to suit the phase in our cycle. During the outwardly directed phase, we can be busy, active, interventive and lively. This type of response comes naturally at these times. During the inwardly directed phase, we can be introspective, slowed down, receptive, and relaxed. These kinds of responses come most naturally at these times.
Two overall approaches lend themselves naturally to these patterns. The first is that we can organise our lives as much as possible to fit in with our cycles. Many people find that this is possible because their cycles are fairly predictable. For example, many people have about two complete cycles per twenty-four hours. The idea is to choose to be busy during those times of the day or night in which your energies are moving out. Choose to be slowed down and introspective, to do things that do not require a lot of output, during the times in which you energies are moving in. The second is that we can adapt our styles of doing things to suit the phases of our cycle, even though what we are doing may not entirely suit the phase we are in. So, for example, if we are having to be busy during an inwardly flowing phase, then we can do what we do in as relaxed, introspective, quiet and slowed down manner as we can. Similarly, if we are having to rest or do things that require introspection during an outwardly directed phase, we can do this and accept the expressiveness we experience while we do, without expecting ourselves to be able to move into the receptivity as much as we would at other times.
All that we need to do to take advantage of this approach is to recognise the ebb and flow in our energies. This only requires that we learn to monitor what is going on and we can do that by both grounding and by learning to notice the direction of the flow. Just stop regularly throughout the day and evening for the next few days. When you do, notice what is happening physically in your body and around you. This helps you become more grounded. Then notice the direction of your energy. If it is not clear, ask yourself the question: What would I most like to do at this point? If you would like to be active and would find that easy, then you are probably in an outwardly directed phase. If you would like to stop, sit down, rest, or go to sleep, you are probably in an inwardly directed phase of your cycle. If you have now particular desire either way, then your are probably at a transition point. As soon as you have a sense of what your energies are doing, adjust the way you are doing to align with your cycle. Notice how much fresher you are at the end of the day and how much more relaxed.
We need to water the root of our being. If all our activities are worldly, then we wither and die, because we are not accessing regularly the life force on which life and well-being rely. To live balanced lives, we need to go "within" and be with our-Selves, with the "I AM' that each of us is, preferably every day. This requires that we stop for this purpose each day.
As we do like this, when we have a method that works, we are flooded with wonderful life and energy, love and beauty, transparency and harmony. We progressively become transformed and transmuted into something different from how we are in the beginning. At the same time, we discover that we become more clearly the same as we have ever been. We become who we are more and more fully.
Some form of meditation is perhaps the best way of doing this. Regular meditation provides "food for the soul". There are many different meditations that you can practise. Mantra Meditation is one of the easiest for many people, because it can be done anywhere and requires very little in the way of special places or people. (See in the MEDITATIONS Department in the Public Shop, where you can purchase this recording.)
Meditation is a vast area for you to explore, if you are interested. You will find much more on this in the Meditation Directory directory in the General Directory.