What images are created for you when you think the word: balance?
I’ll give you a minute.
When you picture balance, are you envisioning a gymnast on a balance beam or an elephant on a circus ball? Maybe a tightrope walker? Tree pose in yoga?
This, my friends, is what I like to refer to in my office as ‘extreme balance’ and has nothing to do with life balance, or work-life balance (whatever the f that means anyway). These images and feelings that you have related to the now-popular buzzword balance are totally messing with your ability to maintain real balance in your day to day life.
So, if that isn’t true balance, than what is?
True balance is the ability to continuously pass through the midline without too much exertion. Notice I said pass through. Not stand on. Most of you assume that you should maintain happiness, weight, eating patterns, thought patterns in the face of anything that happens to you. I’ve told you this before but: you aren’t a monk. If your main job was to meditate for hours on end daily and maintain a certain level of detachment, it would be easier for you to stay closer to the midline at all times.
Let’s get real for a second. That’s not your only job. You’re bombarded daily by life. You have 34253 emails to answer. Group texts keep beeping in at the worst possible moments. As soon as you figure out you’re going to make it somewhere on time, your kid pukes in the back seat. And all of that? Is just the normal stuff. If we take into account tragedies: sicknesses or death in the family, fires, natural disasters, car accidents – we are looking at a host of things that can throw you off center at any possible moment.
True balance is about resilience. True HEALTH is about resilience. True balance entails being tossed off the rodeo bull like a rag doll, noticing that it happened, and then sitting down for as long as you need to before standing up again. No one said you had to get back on the bull right away. Just stand up. Take one step back. Evaluate what you need and who can help you get it. Take 3 deep breaths. Pass through the midline, knowing that these ups, downs, and throw arounds are part of the human existence. Don’t spiritually bypass your highs or your lows. Don’t look for silver linings before you are actually ready to find them.
Know that the peaks and valleys are natural. Know that if you meditate more, they will be less intense. Becoming an observer and a co creator in your life helps you to maintain a perspective that keeps you out of victim mode, keeps you out from climbing on top of the bull again, getting tossed, and then bitching that it was the bull’s fault.
This applies to health as well. True balance is being able to get a cold and recover from it. True balance doesn’t mean never getting a cold at all. No matter how well you take care of yourself, you cannot control everything. In the spiritual world we center ourselves quite strongly and talk about how our thoughts and energy control everything. I call bullshit. You are swimming in pools of the energy of millions of people every day. You have an effect on it, for sure, but you cannot control everything.
The only thing you can do is notice, with gentleness, where you’ve been thrown off course and then slowly meander in the right direction. You’ll most likely pass right through that midline and end up too far the other way. That’s okay too. Meander right back over here, sister. And the beat goes on…
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