The Balanced Mind

Have you ever had the experience of driving your car, ending up at work, and not really remembering how you got there. People call it "autopilot." It is a strange feeling to stop being aware and in tune with what is around us. But this is often how we treat our lives. Imagine driving a car, only looking forward, never turning from side to side or to check your rear view mirror. Now imagine driving a car, only looking behind you. (Don't try that by the way) Proper driving is about keeping your eye up ahead and checking back often to see who is behind you or to the side of you. It takes balance and intention to remember all the things involved in driving your car to work. 

Some therapists will tell you to look towards the future and have a vision. This is what will motivate you in the present. Others say, learning to be in the present is all that you need. While other therapists heavily emphasize the past. I would say you need all three. There is a living in the present moment, a moment informed by your experiences of the past and your hope for the future. Awareness of these three things is much like driving your car, being present with what is going on around you, what is behind you and what is in front of you.

Some clients will try to meditate. After 10 minutes of breathing they become frustrated, as if it should be so easy to balance their mind. The complexity of our minds is nothing that can be fully understood in brief efforts of meditation. It is something that requires compassion, time, and understanding. If you have a relationship that is struggling. You can't just push through to the future without understanding how you got where you are today. Having compassion for your struggle reduces the anxiety and stress and allows your mind to be more balanced in understanding the relationship as a whole.

So before you get in the car again, set an intention to be just a little more aware and balanced. You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself and the world around you.