Harmony is derived from the Greek word "harmonia" meaning "a joining," which itself is a take-on from the word "harmos" or "joint."
One of the earliest uses of the word, harmony, was with reference to music. In this regard, harmony symbolises a collection of notes which when played together, sounds a melodious musical chord. Harmony, thus, represents a coming together of parts, or notes, to form an agreeable, melodious whole.
When we refer to harmony in our daily lives, it is often not in such a romantic connotation! Instead, we may speak of how harmonious our personal and professional lives are, either within themselves or when put together. For instance, harmony in our professional lives depends on the quality of our relations with colleagues, the merging of our personal work plans and goals with what is expected of us by those we serve and so on.
Harmony in our personal lives depends on healthy relationships - with our partner, children and extended family. It also requires meeting our own aspirations. Harmony between our personal and professional lives has a lot to do with the way we balance our time and energy bet-ween each.
Agreement from within
Are you happy with the quality and quantity of time you spend with your family? Do you find time for yourself - to do your own thing? If not, your life is probably not as harmonious as you would like it to be. As a result, just as in the larger picture, a lack of harmony or agreement between nations or between states forming a nation, causes conflict, so too a lack of inner harmony causes evident or subtle unrest.
Conflict may be external or internal. You could liken external conflict to ripples created on the surface when an object is thrown in a body of water, and internal unrest to currents flowing beneath the surface. While the former is easily experienced as disagreement - leading to stress, squabbles or bickering - the latter often goes unnoticed.
Sometimes though, in living life, we feel a tinge of regret, or a nagging feeling, inside suggesting that all is not well in our inner world. Such thoughts or feelings are indicative of a lack of harmony within. For example, your work may not satisfy you. Instead, it may leave you feeling you have achieved nothing worthwhile. You may feel that time is slipping away and your goals - what you were slated to do in this life - require a complete, or partial change of direction.
Aspirations, what they mean
Harmony follows an alignment of real life with desired purpose. A child may grow up and fulfil his/her parents aspirations, yet neglect his/her own feelings in the process. Harmony will only manifest when personal desires are played out. Their suppression will always cause lacunae within and/or a feeling of conflict that we may actually not be aware of. We may even hide them for fear of ridicule or, more simply, just not have the time, or energy to think about.
What do you need? What do you desire? What would it take for you to move from where you are, to where you would like to be? Answering these questions will help you get a grip on reality and also help you deal with issues that prevent you from living harmoniously now.
Deal with it now
Meditate now! Procrastination is, after all, not wisdom. This will mean you continue living without harmony in your life. Conflict - whether external or internal - gives rise to bitterness. This affects your health and wellbeing. For instance, carrying a grudge, say against a parent who pushed you into a profession that was not of your choice, can cause deep emotional and physical distress to you and people you interact with.
Meditation will help you let go and feel free to pursue that which gives you happiness.
This explains why harmony entails a measure of forgiveness and understanding - that we all act and react depending on the experiences we go through in life.
Meditation will also give light to your way forward. If your desired path is no longer practical, it will give you the strength to enjoy what you are doing. If you lack the confidence to make the switch, it will encourage you. Because, the very essence of meditation is giving your whole-hearted energy to a certain thought.
Harmony is yours for the asking - if only you are willing to ensure that you have your hands firmly set on the right notes. The emanating sound will, thereafter, be music to your ears, especially, to those who hear you play a certain instrument called life.
What Lies Beneath?
We are often not in touch with our inner selves. Instead, we live in a flurry - just in contact with the surface of our minds. A lot of unresolved issues and unmet desires rest in our subconscious minds. They need to be brought to the fore, before we can decide how best to realign our priorities.
Establishing a connection with the deepest recesses of your hidden mind is best done through meditation. Meditation can help delve beneath the surface - the whirl of thoughts making up your waking life. Meditating for this purpose entails travel within - to search for answers in your mind.
Sit down in a comfortable position and think back to your childhood and youth. Questions regarding your purpose in life, causes for deep-rooted conflict with partners, or friends, are often answered in this time period, when characters are formed and impressionable minds are indelibly imprinted. The idea behind this exercise is to reconnect with your old aspirations, so as to find out why your current occupation, or relationship does not satisfy you.
You must believe that you have not been scarred for life, even if you have undergone trauma in your life. Remember - all conflicts are resolvable.
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