Those of you who have signed up for my newsletter (and thank you, it’s had a fantastic response!) will know that I’ve been musing recently about finding balance in our lives – between work and play, between the things we have to do and the things we want to do, between effort and ease. Well, I had a couple of encounters this week which made me realise I’d missed something out.
Over the last few days I’ve run into some people from touring who I haven’t seen for a while, and it’s been lovely to catch up. We chatted about what we’ve all been up to, they asked me about the RocknRoll Yogi concept…. and then they nearly fell over when I suggested a coffee. They were really surprised to learn that, whilst my body is certainly no longer a mosh-pit, neither is it a temple of absolute virtue into which no caffeine shall pass.
Balance. Moderation. The Goldilocks zone. Call it what you will – in yogic philosophy it’s ‘Brahmacharya’, in Buddhism ‘the middle way’ – it all amounts to the same thing. That there is a path between extremes, where we can find a place of sustainable comfort and contentment.
I eat super-healthily, because it makes me feel strong and energetic and full of life. But a few years ago on tour in the States I met a Reese’s peanut butter cup for the first time, and once in a while, only they will do. (I thought I was safe back in England, but then they starting exporting the damn things!) But that’s ok. I feel that as long as I am giving my body all the fantastic nutrients it needs on a daily basis, it’s alright to have something a bit cheeky once in a while. A little of what I fancy.
I drink a ‘Disgustojuice’ every day (max-out on the green veggies and raw beetroot, fresh turmeric and ginger – tastes grim but makes me feel like a superhero) and I always have my water bottle with me to keep hydrated. But I do drink coffee in moderation, as well as tea – not, if I’m honest, in that much moderation. (Look, I’m from Yorkshire, it’s genetic.) And I’m still partial to some red wine or a Guinness – just not every night and not to excess.
I do practise yoga asana every day, go for long walks and do HIIT training…. but when I’m absolutely knackered from work, sometimes the kindest thing I can do for my body is lie back with my legs up the wall and let it completely relax.
And I do meditate every day, no matter what. I use meditation and breathwork as my go-to coping strategies, and they really help me. Does that mean I never get angry or frustrated, that I am totally Zen at all times? Uh, no…..
The fact is, extremes of anything rarely lead to contentment – total abstinence from worldly pleasures just leads to feeling deprived, and I reckon life is to be lived and enjoyed. Overindulgence gives only fleeting pleasure and leaves you feeling deeply dissatisfied with yourself.
Those wise souls Patanjali, Buddha and Goldilocks, they hit the nail on the head – it’s all about equilibrium, harmony, balance.
And besides…. peanut butter cups are mostly protein… right?