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  • Writer's pictureHazel

The Sweet Spot

The Thinker in Eden, my first self-published book, was basically a philosophical conversation I was having with myself. I aimed to establish a foundational understanding of objective morality through the context of the seven deadly sins. I was going through a spiritual awakening at the time and, growing up Christian, I found solace in religion. The true calling for writing this book was to promote change within society. Since then, however, I have expanded my repertoire of things to believe in and the meaning of "society". I've realized that the vast nuance of the human experience could not possibly be whittled down to one little book. As much as we'd like that to be true. Human perception is one hell of a mind-altering substance. In any case, one of the most valuable things I have learned thus far is the importance of balance- both spiritual and physical balance.

It would be irresponsible to talk on these topics without mentioning the godfather of wu wei himself, Mr. Alan Watts. Alan Watts was a key character in the development of my spiritual exploration. Namely because he did a magical job of marrying eastern and western philosophical thought for the modern day. Wu wei is the buddhist concept translated in English as "the middle way" between "right" and "wrong", "yin" and "yang". It is the art of not forcing. It is in this space that we enter the "flow state" or the zone of proximal development.

Let me preface this by saying that each person will find their own methods of getting into the state of wu wei. It is in this state that we surrender resistance to what is and simply be. Far too often we try to control our circumstances and the environment around us in hopes of some semblance of understanding of the natural world. Truth of the matter is, we will never be in control. Even the folks we deem as the most powerful, with the most influence and control, have absolutely no idea what they are doing. Control is an illusion. In Arabic there is a saying, "Trust in God but tie your camel". We do what is on us to do and leave the rest to the Most High. Majority of the time, your breakthroughs come when you let go of the illusion of control. For all the Sam Harris fans out there, I have already entertained the idea that there is no "Most High" to trust in. That the intersection of faith in Divine order and work ethic is not dependent on there being a God. It doesn't work. Trust me. You need to believe in God/Higher Power. Keep that in mind when trying to find balance.

Balance is the key word today. Finding it, maintaining it, and keeping it. Want to know if your life is balanced? Take a look around. What is the state of your interpersonal relationships? Matters at work? How's your health? Sleep? Eating? If you teetered too far one way or another, there will be a significant lack in another area of your life. I found the most practical way to move within this world is to find your sweet spot in the metaphorical teeter totter. I have my own unique language to speak with my Creator. It was through this connection that I learned I need a healthy dose of Mother Nature, exercise, human connection, and prayer/meditation. I was neurotic at a point reading the Words of God and finding meaning in every Holy Book. That was not wu wei. Stressing too much about losing weight and eating healthy is also neurotic and also not wu wei. Spending too much time trying to make money or being consumed with the culture of consumption is definitely not wu wei.

Balance is alignment. Alignment is when your words match your actions and your actions produce desired results. Balance is understanding that your ego is simply a vessel for the God-spirit to move through you. Balance is the deep knowing that you are one with the Creator and you owe Him as much as He owes you. That's what "finding your purpose" means. In Arab culture, we have a term "wajab"which often gets misconstrued to mean "I have to invite this person to my wedding because they invited me to theirs." Wajab is an obligation to God (for the collective). This goes much deeper, and maybe one day I'll write a whole book about it, but for the sake of this post, I'd like you to remember that wajab is your obligations to God through the collective. That means charity, good deeds, and raising your tribe. The balance here is maintaining a healthy level of self optimization while contributing to the greater Good.

I mentioned Mother Nature earlier, and, I think it's fair to note that in today's technological society, it is imperative for us to maintain a healthy balance with the earth we inhabit. "From dust we were formed and to dust we shall return" means that the natural planet is quite literally a part of our very essence. Remaining grounded in nature is yet another way to maintain a sense of balance throughout our day to day lives. Getting out of the whirlwind of thoughts in our mind and being present with the oneness of our meat suits and the natural planet. Feeling the cold ground between your toes and listening to the symphony of animals singing their songs for you. That is how to maintain physical balance. The realization that we are nothing but a spec in the mural of life and everything all at the same time. That is wu wei.

In order to move with the flow state, you must relinquish the desire to control outcomes. We are formed in God's image, yes. Which means we really don't know the extent of the human capacity to create and succeed. It is at this exact point that we must introduce balance through remembrance of He who created us. To thoroughly understand that we did not get wherever we are without the intervention of some divine entity. Statistically speaking, being alive itself is the miracle. That's spiritual balance. Moving with the flow state of the natural order of the Universe is the only shot we have at actualizing our potential. Mind body soul alignment. Blessings be, fam.

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