Blog 25: A Philosophy for staying and feeling alive What gives purpose, motivation and energy Part 4

Published: Thursday, 23 April 2020 Written by Jim Sheehy

Stay in Balance - body, mind, spirit

We sometimes ignore the simple.  We are very special as a species in that we take a lifetime trying, and often failing, to juggle the three elements that need equal attention. 

With the body, we can become obsessed or neglectful with sleep, exercise, food and drink.  There are specialists who make a living advising us how to sleep enough hours, shape and weigh our body mass, caution us as to what we allow into our organs like stomach and liver.   

The mind specialists analyse our thoughts and actions and either medicate or reshape our neural pathways in therapy.

Religions and cultures promise peace and purpose in your spirit if you follow their guidelines.

So, it is as simple as juggling three balls in the air but each day the balls are different in size, shape and colour. And therefore, you have to learn different speeds, heights and sequences to get it right. The body, mind and spirit requirements change with age, gender and environment.  So, at 18, male and attending college the body loves pace and interaction, the mind harmonises career and relationship while questioning identity and self-belief, the spirit tries to rest for quiet moments in the frenzy.  Or 45, female and single when the body is flabby and resisting the gym, the mind asking how I arrived alone in this flat, the spirit questioning the purpose of continuing.  

What have we in common?  We all find this juggling tricky, the art of being good at juggling body, mind and spirit is learning fresh skills, meeting new support people and being kind when we slip back.

Scarcity and abundance feed each other

Most of us have had times in life when we had little money, few possessions and prospects were bleak.  Many of us saw improved circumstances, a few in spectacular ways.  Our world is like this.  Most have very little, many are comfortable and a few incredibly wealthy. 

Scarcity is colliding with abundance and the results depress us.  Voices of teenagers seeking to save our planet’s beauty are dismissed; governments are elected more and more on the basis of ‘our national interest comes first – always!’; media only broadcast poverty and oppression if ‘newsworthy and entertaining’, pulling our emotional heartstrings.  I write this as a pandemic in every country reminds us that right now, whether millionaire or homeless, we are the same.  We just want to stay alive.  This is a reminder that scarcity is good when chosen, to take time out from ‘the normal’ and wonder could we imagine and bring about ‘a new normal’. 

Like anything, I can only be responsible for how, in however small a way, I choose to give generously from my abundance, to sit and share with someone I know has scarce resources. 


 Reality is living in the present moment,

informed by the past and excited by the future

And so we come to the final plank of the platform that I wake up to and stand on each day.  In many ways, I could live by this life-approach only. 

We all have a past, present and future, all valid worlds that we dip into more or less depending on our mood. 

Some love their history and remembering warms their spirit.  Others never refer to the past and lock it away.  The future zone gives us hope and lets us dream but the hope and dream can be a fantasy never possible or, alternatively, a plan that will materialise with belief and commitment.  The present is a zone I am content in or dislike – how I am right now in my mind, body and spirit.

Living in the present moment usually represents 70% of our focus and energy when we are in good shape.  We dip into the past to remember and learn (15%) and hop into the future to anticipate and imagine (15%).

Why is this balance important?  The present moment is the growth point where we are accepting where I live and work, with whom I engage and making it as positive an experience as possible.  Part of my present moment might include remembering better times in the past and dreaming what miracles might cross my path in the future.  But, and here’s the growth, I breathe the messiness of the present moment and stay with it.  Sometimes, there is precious little I can change about my situation, other times there are options for changing it.  Whichever place you find yourself, you can experience and display huge courage and generosity.

Final Note

So, there are the reasons I get up and live my day.  You have your own.  And we can bounce off and learn from each other.  Many thanks for sharing this time of reflection. 

Warm hug,





Contact me:

Jim Sheehy M.Ed. MIACP
Co Donegal 
F94 WV99

087 2137922


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