Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Keeping the Balance

For the past year and a half my energies have been channeled into the challenges of producing work for my fine art degree, along with all the other demands that come with it. I do not like to do things 'by half'. I have recognised that it is within my nature when deciding to do something it is with a determined 'all or nothing' attitude. The desire (with a little obsessiveness!) to do the best I can, drives me to push myself to achieve what it is I have in mind to accomplish.

Before starting my degree this need to drive and push myself, along side an unhappy state of mind and the need to run away, was channeled and released through physical exercise. By taking part in challenges that required me to train my body to perform and execute what these events demanded, I pushed and pushed until  my body had had enough.

I am learning that life is about balance. Having spent time studying, having to read and reflect, not just on what has been read but how it relates to life, my mind is being opened to many ideas and thoughts that I have not considered before. I am giving my mind a chance to be informed and the opportunity for it to develop. I am being creative too, which is an essential part of being a whole person. The want and ability to create and express through inspiration (spirit) is within us all. Whether it is through using paint, photography, words, wood, stone or metal or whether its creating an abstract object, a tool of use, mending, building or tending to the plants in the garden.

Through discovering, acknowledging and celebrating these different elements of me, I feel myself growing as a person and I am accepting who I am.

So, during the year and a half of studying and creating I put the physical challenges to one side, they hurt me and I didn't need to be doing that to myself anymore. However, being a lover of the outdoors and feeling physically connected to nature I never gave up walking or the running and cycling but I started to learn the meaning of 'moderation'!

Now that life is a more balanced affair for me, I have come to the conclusion that being physical is a part of me, even an inspiration, as is being creative, learning and trying develop spiritually. I believe I can now go back to doing the occasional  physical challenge without hurting myself. The focus will no longer be about trying to win, trying to go as fast as I can, no longer about push, push, push!! It is now about the experience of doing, enjoying and taking part. We are spiritual beings but that does not mean we can not savour the pleasures of being physical, the body being designed to move and use as a tool. Unfortunately many people actually take better care of their cars than their bodies...but that is another story! What matters is the intent behind the action. The balance between the mind, body and spirit can be achieved.  

My physical experiences inspire my ' art work'. The focus and passion to create, is parallel to the passion that fuels the drive to push the body to the outer limits of its normal existence.....so I have decided to take part in some running races again and also a 100m cycle ride, the reasons and focus now being a very different motivation, the biggest challenge for me will be making sure the old state of mind doesn't creep back in encouraging the obsessive nature of over training!

10 weeks to my next challenge........and it started today with a 40 mile ride..........

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