“Are you going to remember that question?” “I will, after I write it down,” He wrote, and said it aloud as he did, “Is this going to serve me for where I am going? Such a simple question, but it’s so penetrating.” “Yes, it applies to everything.” His coach let him soak it in. “The answer is not always no,” she winked. He began to work it out in his head. “There are times when I really want that peanut-butter-chocolate-cream-filled cupcake, but I know if I do I’ll be on the way to having a half pear side profile, which I totally don’t want, and having diabetic feet, which I also don’t want.” “But the question applies to more than that, doesn’t it?” “Yes,” he reflected, “I can ask it about anything I’m about to do, it’s the first and only check in the box on a checklist before action.” He leaned forward and waited for more, and she leaned forward to teach him more. “Your quest to have balance is first begun with a desire. You don’t need a map or a goal, just a desire to feel right with yourself and all around you. To there, everything flows in, then you process it all and project out, manifesting in word and deed. In order to achieve outwardly, you must be whole inside, thinking with clarity, acting with the rhythm of life inside you and around you, seeing with not only your eyes but with your heart. In that state of clarity you will develop your maps and goals. First learn to listen to what your body tells you that it needs, and when it needs it. Sleep, food, water, then the right kind of food - how much and when - the body tells you all that and if you connect your mind to it you will hear. That is what listening with your heart means. Now take that outside yourself. We are all connected. You are connected to life around you, locally and globally, and the rhythm of that life will tell you what it wants. If you can listen to your body with your heart then you will hear life with your heart - all life.”
Later he sat on a couch next to a fountain at a crowded outdoor mall. He listened to the sounds with his heart. Not the sounds people made with their words, but the ones they made with their thoughts. Some wanted to share the joy of taste with a loved one, some wanted to eat to satisfy need, and some just to eat. Some wanted to acquire for pleasure, some for need, some for attention. Some just wanted to be seen, and some just wanted to see. Everyone was in a place in their lives, and although they were sharing the same outdoor place, they were all in a different place. They all had different needs that were all equally important. They were all, whether they knew it or not, searching for balance, reaching for it on the shelves, looking for it in the glances of their companions, lovers, or total strangers, outwardly seeking that balance which grows from within, or with him, inwardly seeking that balance which manifests without.