Mental and emotional balance is one of the most elusive yet desired states of being for humans. No other lifeforms on this planet have difficulty obtaining this state of being. One could say that this is due to the makeup of the finned, furred, feathered, or crawly members of our world. All that being said, humans, due to their own makeup, are constantly striving for what will bring them mental and emotional balance. Each human has three aspects that are constantly working together or in opposition to each other. These are the Physical, the Mental, and the Spiritual.
In most spiritual and energetic healing disciplines it is well known that dis-ease is a reflection of a disconnection between the energetic source of our selves and our physical body. Western medicine admits that some physical symptoms are a sign of “mental” issues. An individual that suffers from chronic stomach issues may be over stressed at work or at home and is manifesting an excess of stomach acid that is resulting in gas pains and problems voiding wastes. If it gets serious enough the walls of the stomach may erode and produce an ulcer or laceration in the stomach. A western doctor will prescribe a medication that neutralizes this acid and hence take away the symptoms. A shamanic practitioner asks, “What is causing the person to stress?” This is similar to the western psychologist’s view except that the shaman is looking at the situation (w)holistically and knows that there is indeed a physical component to this particular dis-ease and looks to treat the entire framework.
In the situation of stomach gas, the shaman will spend time with the patient talking about the work and home situation and help to understand the root causes of the physical manifestation, they may use journey cards or perform an actual journey to the Otherworld to speak to the guides, helpers, and others who have information for the particular information. Once this is complete, they will return, help the patient to understand the root cause and facilitate a self healing. In this way the dis-ease goes away and allows for ease.
The mind, like the brain, has two parts. Where the brain has a creative, subconscious side and a conscious side; the mind has an emotional and cognitive side. These two sides are called bodies, though they have no physical form. The emotional body is shaped by our life experiences, hopes, fears, and desires. When one has suffered the loss of a loved one, the mind through the grieving process may determine that to love another is not possible and convince the body. The person may be fine for a while, but then, after a time begin to feel cut off from the world and manifest depression, anxiety, and a disconnection from the world. When a person suffers an automobile accident they may be “afraid” to drive for a while, and be very cautious even if they do get in an automobile again. Even seemingly less traumatic experiences, determining to end a marriage or leave home for the first time may lead an individual to make choices that are good and yet for the wrong reasons.
The spirit is whatever we hold as divine. Whether it is a deity, universal consciousness, nature, or even some indefinable something that you do not actually touch. For our purposes it is that which we use to integrate how we see the world and how we act in the world or our guide to manifesting our own reality. Our spirit is the consensus builder that allows us to move together all our access
As we see, if we respect the body, mind and spirit then most of our decisions will be more informed, and help us to lead fuller and happier lives. This is called the integration of the three.
For our purposes we will define the mind as the collective aspects of intellect and consciousness and balance as a desirable point between two or more opposite forces. So, by combining these two terms we come to the definition of mental balance: a desirable point within the collective aspects of intellect and consciousness. Using this as the starting point we see that mental balance is the balance point between intellect (cognitive) and consciousness (emotional and spiritual). As humans, our intellect is influenced by our society, friends, desires, and hopes. These influences help us to create our own worldview and how we perceive the world around us and also ourselves. If we give too much credence to others as determining our state of balance, then we can set ourselves up for a life of imbalance, and dissatisfaction with ourselves and our place in the world.
Personally, it was only after years of struggle, that I shook off what my peers, society, and family knew what was best for me and what I knew was the perfect balance between my intellect and my consciousness. Once, this was obtained, I became a balanced individual.
Now being balanced does not mean you are unemotional or unflappable. Yet, you will be more able to choose and understand what and who you are, where you are in the world at large, and be accepting and happy with the gifts you utilize, the outcome of that usage, and have little care for how others perceive it.
I exist, and follow the societies rules, mores, and norms without compromising what I have built to define ME, Alfred Willowhawk.
So, how does emotion fit in? Emotion is your friend and enemy. Wait. I don’t mean that we become UN-emotional. That would be a horrible way to be balanced. As before, let us examine what the dictionary says about emotion. Emotion can be defined as a mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings, thoughts, and behavior. Emotions are subjective experiences, or experienced from an individual point of view. Emotion is often associated with mood, temperament, personality, and disposition. People often behave in certain ways as a direct result of their emotional state, such as crying, fighting or fleeing.
The key here, is that emotion is subjective. This means that it is affected by the world around us. This includes, society and people. Think on how you respond to the driver that cuts you off on the highway. Does this person really hear you if you are wont to give them a gesture or honk your horn? Could it be that they really didn’t see you due to their own emotional or mental state? How about when a spouse or significant other says something that “sends you over the edge”? Do they actually reach into you and do something or is it your own emotional state that allows you to respond in a certain way?
Notice again in the definition above that behavior is a direct result of emotional state. In reaching and working toward mental and emotional balance one controls one’s OWN behavior through self examination, and the ability to think objectively about ones own responses and turn them into ACTIONS instead of REactions.
Mental and Emotional Balance
Therefore, as one finds the “perfect” path for oneself, whether it be traditional psychotherapy, spiritual coaching or counseling, or connection with the divine within oneself, a person can become more mentally and emotionally balanced.
THIS way, you can be all you can be.