Embracing the Movement in Balance

Posted on Sep 27, 2012

Being at odds with balance feels disconcerting, uncomfortable and sometimes unceasing. It is no wonder that in the face of such discomfort and constant effort to seek balance that we may have the instinct to object to the concept completely. Our feelings of ineffectiveness as we strive to “achieve balance” have more to do with the understanding of the concept than our ability to create our own balanced existence.

We see illustrations of balance in clear visuals like walking the tightrope, playing on the seesaw, movement of energy through the chakras and the interplay of yin and yang among others. At no point is the desired outcome to have the movement simply stop. As we observe the world around us, we experience the natural balance of the tides, seasonal cycles and how the earth and universe model balance for us everyday.

In each of these illustrations, balance is a constant of the universe. It is an irresistible flow of energy. It is unceasing, dynamic movement, not a static destination. It may be a wonderful adventure to feel the energy linger where it feels good and comfortable for us. However, if we seek to limit the flow of energy to only our comfort zone we are cheating ourselves of the deep emotional experiences of failure after risk, loss, ecstasy and exhilaration. All intense emotional experiences are incredible learning opportunities and have their place in balance.

It is exactly our drive to maximize our satisfaction and peace that actuates the universal balance. As we love, we risk loss. As we strive, we risk failure. As we fail, we learn what we need to achieve. And as we experience loss, we learn to value the deep satisfaction of consuming, reciprocal love.

To truly appreciate the whole of our human existence, balance is a uniquely qualified teacher. It is in our embracing of experiencing the continuum of balance and finding peace in its rhythms that we can acknowledge that our discomfort is not a personal failing, but a nudge toward seeking a practice of balance that works for us.

There are two concepts that paired are an excellent place to start and are fundamental in the practice of embracing balance:

First, create a pause for mindfulness. Viktor Frankl tells us: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Many of us move through life at such a pace the majority of our actions are reactive instead of proactive. If we use our breath to create a pause, even two deep breaths can be adequate, we gift ourselves the time to make a choice in line with our values and priorities. A proactive perspective embraces and gently guides our personal balance. Making mindful choices cultivates a feeling of peace within us since we are guiding our forward motion intentionally and deliberately.

Second, trust that all experiences serve us and reframe those that feel uncomfortable or unsatisfactory. Part of balance is experiences that feel uncomfortable, deeply disappointing or even despairing. Knowing that there is opportunity for learning and enrichment in those experiences allows us to reframe them to serve us. Trusting that every experience can be useful moves us forward integrating the wisdom from those experiences. While validating that every emotion is yours to experience and has its place, reframing the joy or discomfort to be a useful motivator to propel us forward is another facet of managing our peace in the dynamic motion of balance.

Experiment with mindful pausing, trusting and reframing as you move about your day. Recognize that the word practice is indeed accurate. We practice finding balance constantly just as the universe does. The universe carries on with no judgment of the ebbs and flows. Leave no room for judgment in your balance practice. It is not useful. Trust in your wisdom that mindfully pausing and reframing is balance in action. You are balance in action just as you are. Embrace it.