Have you ever noticed that whenever you eat something very salty, you crave something very sweet afterward? It’s no accident that this invariably happens. It’s your body’s way of trying to balance the food you eat. My entire program is predicated on the concept that your body is always seeking balance.
The relationship you have with food and your ability to understand its effects on your body will greatly impact how well you are balanced both in your diet and as a person. Throughout this book, I will describe this constant theme of balance because, to me, not only is that the real purpose of this book (helping you to live a more balanced life), but it is the way I seek to live my own life.
My entire program is based on the law of nature that everything in the universe vacillates between two major forces, expansive and contractive energy. These two forces are complementary opposites, and everything exists in a constant state of flux between these two forces. For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. This is a law of nature. It cannot be changed.
You may have heard the terms “yin” and “yang” to describe these opposite forces, but you can use any number of word combinations to describe the same principle: up/down, cold/hot, light/dark, female/male, push/pull, passive/active.
All these combinations describe the same phenomenon known as yin (expansive) and yang (contractive). Everything in the universe exists between these two forces of nature. There is nothing that is set in a fixed state. Everything is constantly moving. Because life has so many fluctuations, it’s better for us not to live in the extremes, but rather more toward the center of those extremes. Life is crazy enough as it is, so if we try to live in the extremes, we live in an erratic state.
The feast-or-famine, all-or-nothing syndrome creates more chaos than order. Nature will always strive for a balance.
It is as if there were an imaginary pendulum swinging between the opposing forces of nature. Imagine living your life in Room A, which is consistently between 68 and 72 degrees, compared to living in Room B, which constantly fluctuates between 100 degrees and 32 degrees.
In Room B, just when you can no longer stand the heat, you are grateful for the sudden drop in temperature to 32 degrees. You actually crave freezing temperatures — until that becomes unbearable, and you then crave abnormally high temperatures. In both rooms, a balance is reached, but Room B puts the body through unnecessary stress and exhaustion.
How we do everything in our lives can be compared to this. All things try to become balanced. For the most part, we choose how we go about finding that balance: thrashing back and forth between extremes, or mildly rocking back and forth close to life’s fulcrum. One keeps us stressed and tired, the other keeps us energized and nearly stress-free. Not all things in life are our choice, though. We can’t always do everything near the center.
We are forced to deal with extremes that are beyond our control — job deadlines, being fired, divorce, a death in the family.
If we have filled our lives with the more centered behavior that we do have control over, we will be much better prepared (more energetic, level-headed, etc.) to handle the extreme elements in life that wedon’t have control over.
It’s up to you to decide how far you want your lifestyle pendulum to swing. Do you want to live your life in extremes (a drug addict or a hermit), or aim for a more balanced (not necessarily boring) life? Living in extremes takes its toll.
The show business world I live in can be very extreme at times, but trying to remain centered as a person helps me cope with all the ups and downs and twists and turns. We all know people who are so set in their ways that they are unyielding to the slightest change that might rock their world.
Then, of course, there are those people who float through life with their heads in the clouds, completely unaware that life is going on around them.
Think about the people you know who fit these descriptions.
How would they handle a good or bad event like winning the lottery or losing a family member?
How well do you think they would be able to cope? These extreme types of people probably won’t do very well at dealing with extreme circumstances.