Balance: Idea or Experience?
Mar 14, 2012
Ever since my childhood days at the bar in ballet class, the idea of balance has always been of great importance to me. And without the help of the ballet bar to provide unwavering support in my adult years, I’ve needed to find a different kind of balance to sustain me. In my current profession, and especially in this world of ours, BALANCE is definitely a word that is thrown around - a lot!
But, have you ever taken a mindful-minute or two to stop and think about what the word actually means to you? Well, I have. On more than one occasion, because it took me a while to get to the bottom of my beliefs about this magnanimous and sought after thing we all strive for so intensely.
So, I’ll share with you some of the beliefs I have come to, and hopefully it will help you come closer to understanding your own ideas about what balance means to you...
In my mind, the idea of achieving balance is both complicated and simple. When I first ask myself what it means, I end up with more questions like: What does a balanced life look like? Am I looking for emotional balance, physical balance, spiritual or energetic balance, or all of the above? And although my inner self shouts ‘I want them all!,' my skeptic self mutters, ‘Do you really thinks that’s possible?’….And I do. But I’ve come to believe that like everything else in the universe (the yin and the yang, the sun or the moon, or the expansion and contraction of the breath itself), the most amazing things are those that are balanced. And to take steps to achieve this, I think we need to come to the freeing realization that the only thing that is truly consistent in this crazy life of ours is change! And that’s not a bad thing – at all! In fact, that’s what makes balance possible.
And although a wholesome diet, sunshine, love, exercise and peace of mind are all pieces of the BALANCE pie, I believe there is something more profound that we need to understand in order to really experience it.
Take happiness. It is something we all strive for, we all want to experience it as often as we can. But it’s impossible to be happy all the time. And if a miracle occurred and we were able to be happy all the time, we would likely not value it as we do now. It is the balance of all the other emotions that allow us to experience happiness so poignantly. And without its counterparts, happiness would not be so wondrous, or wondrous at all!
Balance governs our whole world. One of my favourite ways I have experienced balance in action is in the 2-steps-forward 1-step-back patterns that often occurs in any major life transformation, (much to my dismay). And from the outside, the steps back are undesirable, but that’s where we’ve pegged the idea of balance all wrong. Like happiness, balance is not an idea, but something that is alive and breathing. Balance means good days & bad days, big achievements & big mistakes, stressful days in the office as well as glorious days on beach. It’s the 1-step-back part that provides the burning desire to keep going to a bigger, better and more enlightened & inspired space in life.
In my view, true balance is how we deal with the ups and downs – and truly believing that without the challenges, life would be much less magnificent! And even though I can write this on the page and resonate with it deeply, sometimes it’s hard (very hard) to believe. But like anything I have ever really believed in, if I repeat it enough, and think it enough, and want to understand it enough – I do. I create it, and then it exists.
And having a balanced diet is similar to having a balanced life. It can’t be perfect all the time. Good choices don’t exist without bad choices to complement them. Life is not perfect, and neither is our diet, and especially our life! So try and make great decisions most of the time, and then allow yourself times of indulgence and rule-breaking to make life sustainable.
Whether in life or in your diet, don’t worry about crossing over into the dark side sometimes, because the light is there waiting for your return: powerful, glorious and peaceful.
In my opinion, when you can authentically enjoy a peaceful mind & happy heart, but also learn, grow and see the importance of the the hardships and stressful times in life - then you are living a balanced life - even if it sometimes doesn't feel like it.