The Coffeelicious
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The Coffeelicious

THE GOOD LIFE

The 4 Cornerstones of a Balanced Life

Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

There’s so much talk about leading a balanced life — why it’s important, what it looks like, how to get it. But a balanced life isn’t a castle in the sky. It has to have something underneath, something that powers it.

There are many ways to describe this foundation. Some of them are complicated. Here’s one that’s simple:

Love. Work. Play. Rest.

Love nourishes your soul

According to Agni Yoga, “Love can create universes.” And what can be truer than this? Love expands who you are. It connects and sustains you. It does things you don’t have words for.

Loving another person is what we desire and strive for, but if you think there’s no other kind, you’re missing out. You can love anything you give yourself to and get back something good. You can love your dog Buster, your backyard rose garden, your passion for helping foster children — any thing of beauty, anything that deserves your devotion.

Work is for survival and direction

You may rail against the work you have to do stay alive, but life without work leaves you adrift and without purpose. Could you visit a theme park all day, every day? Tour the world for the rest of your life? It’s been said that work is the only thing you can do eight hours a day, five days a week. Maybe that’s a good thing.

Play connects you to the lightness of being

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” according to an old adage. Play ignites immediate joy and light. It cleanses the pallet of the mind and provides relief from the heaviness of daily life. Aren’t you enraptured watching a child lost in play? In play, you can find your way back to such joy.

Rest restores both body and mind

You can’t live intensely all the time. Your body needs rest as much as it needs food. Your mind needs to digest what has happened and refresh itself for what comes next. As Shakespeare put it, “Sleep knits up the raveled sleeve of care.”

A balanced life is not that hard, really.

Love. Work. Play. Rest.

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Gregg Williams, MFT

Gregg Williams, MFT

Retired therapist. Married 25 years. Loves board games, deep movies. Boundless curiosity about everything. Over 13,600 people are following my articles.

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