Green Suburb

Harmony: The Elusive State


What does ‘Harmony’ mean to you?





It’s a word used in so many contexts, but the essence is the same. The perfect bringing together of many often complex, pieces, to form perfect ‘balance’. From voices or instruments, to our communities and workforces; when they’re in harmony, ‘magic happens’.


There are many such definitions in the Cambridge dictionary, but one that I came across seems most appropriate in the wider lenses that I’d like to share.


There are many such definitions in the Cambridge dictionary, but one that I came across seems most appropriate in the wider lenses that I’d like to share.

'An agreement of ideas, feelings, or actions, or a pleasing combination of different parts.'

From my studies of Eastern and Western philosophies, one common thread is our search for that permanent high. When once, great Rishis and Philosophers would spend hours, days, months and even years in quiet contemplation and reflection, today we look for a ‘quick fix’ to soothe that uneasiness within, a series of sticky plasters. We know they’re just a temporary fix, but we all do it.


We live in times when we:

· Have more wealth than ever but are endlessly borrowing to satisfy our desires.

· Own more gadgets and gizmos than ever, with boxes and cupboards filled with items discarded way before their time.

· Have thousands of ‘social’ connections, but have fewer meaningful relationships

· often taking them for granted when we get ‘bored’.

· Pursue bigger and better houses but have emptier homes, interacting more with the outside world, than each other.

· Have an abundance of food; living to eat, instead of eating to live, while millions are still starving.


I’ve learned over years that until we stop and reflect, we cannot really address the root causes that disturb our harmony, our peace. Our ‘world outside’ is a reflection of our ‘world within’. The pandemic forced us all to ‘slow’ down, forced us to see things we perhaps didn’t want to see. To acknowledge things about ourselves and our relationships that we had been ignoring. But there is hope, because it is only when we see clearly that we can start to address the imbalances.


I believe that with the right set of lenses, we can all find our harmony. I’ve had a little play with the word to help us perform an audit of our lives so we can tune in and find that ‘harmony’ or ‘balance’ we seek.


H.A.R.M.O.N.Y


Health

Physical, mental and spiritual health. Yes, I did say ‘spiritual’. For the vast majority of us, of ‘faith’ or ‘no faith’, deep down know we that we are connected in some way. Connected maybe to the universe or our environment, but certainly to the people in our lives. Just as we check our physical fitness, we should check in on our mental and spiritual health. If you find yourself going through a rollercoaster of emotions, feeling ‘weighed down’ or simply feeling ‘blah’, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Take a break from the latest drama unfolding through social media and the ‘fake news’ and draw new lines with relationships that are bring you down.

Feed your mind with positive thoughts and your life with people who lift you up.


Authenticity

Don’t try and be someone else. Many years ago, a great friend and mentor gave me the freedom to be ‘me’. I had doubts of what I would have to say that was of value to an audience of highly successful people. His advice is something I pass on, ‘just be yourself’. That is at its most powerful when your values and beliefs translate into your words and actions. If after looking at yourself, you don’t like what you see, change!. It’s incredibly empowering.


Reflect

‘Antar-Dhrishti’ – or ‘looking inside’, is a practice that I was taught as a young boy by my Mentors. Each night, I reflect on the day. Looking for what went well, even little victories, and acknowledging them, even of the day’s battle was lost. Also using 20-20 vision, I look to see what I could have done differently or better so as to learn. Finally, to accept and discard any aspects that were out of my control as there is no value in carrying the weight of that into the next day.


Mindfulness We have such busy lives, filled with things to do, people and deadlines to meet, that life can become just one long blur… We’ve gone from ‘where did the weekend go?’, to ‘where did the year go?!’

Through the toughest of times, whether in business or life in general, I’ve found myself ‘turning off the noise’ and focusing more and more in the moment. It is where I have found my strength, turning my senses inwards. Whatever the drama, taking even 10 mins out of your day to simply be ‘still’, to focus on your breath and gradually slow it right down is powerful. Do it somewhere where you won’t be disturbed and see how this helps you ‘cope’.


Ownership

There is nothing as Empowering as taking ownership of our Thoughts and Actions. When we can detach from the ‘ego’, we are able to take every experience as a ‘feedback loop’. A ‘neutral observer’, who uses every experience as an opportunity to learn. Not wearing success as a ‘crown’, nor setbacks as a ‘weight’. Anything worth pursuing comes with its risks, so ‘own’ your choices and give it everything and don’t look for someone to ‘blame’ if it doesn’t work out.


Nothing is permanent

'This too shall pass’ – nothing in life is permanent, not even life itself. Whether the worst of storms or the deepest blue skies, they eventually pass So, whatever be the challenges you’re facing, focus on what is important and use the experience and insights to help you grow.


You.

Ultimately, it’s about You. The only world you can control is Yours. Your physical, mental and spiritual health – feed it with the right stuff. Be honest in reflection and use these lenses to find your balance, your harmony.

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