I have struggled, unnecessarily. I did not realize that there was a difference in my daily life between being in balance and being able to balance. I naively thought that I could use being in balance as a sign that I was able to balance. In doing so, I would add to my strife by judging myself bad at balance with no appropriate evidence.
TIGHT ROPE WALKER
Imagine the act of walking a tight rope. The experienced tight rope walker does not remain in balance all the way across the tight rope except perhaps on a perfect run. If I were a tight rope walker, a perfect run would not be my objective. Instead, I would enjoy the act of balancing. Being a little too far left or right and balancing my way back to center, these would be the moments of fun, and part of the experience. These moments might perhaps be followed by several steps relatively in balance. However, as skill increases at being in balance, the state of being in balance becomes ever more refined and specific and is experienced in degrees. As awareness increases, being out of balance can be a subtle affair indeed.
Although, for a tight rope walker, it is natural to savor moving from out of balance back toward the center in a variety of challenging ways, it is less common to savor these same feelings in daily life. It seems that no sooner have I caught up on one thing, then I find that other things are out of whack. Instead of just left and right, finding balance in actual life encompasses a variety of subjects. Our personal values, our thoughts and our actions interact to create in and out of balance states. Every thought or action consistent with my values, my heart yields balance. So, the values and heart are like the tight rope and we are always learning, expanding, growing as we experience life. We come to know more of ourselves. In a sense, we are attempting to balance with a moving target. Whoa!
TOO MUCH & TOO LITTLE
Naturally, we get out of balance. However, I had trained myself to see a state of feeling off, uncomfortable, upset, out-of-sorts, discombobulated, weathered, tense, cagey, awkward, frustrated, anxious, irritable, defensive or uncomfortable as being a sign that I was not good at balance. Instead, like the tight rope walker, I need to see these as opportunities to practice my balancing skill. If I work too hard, then I might need relaxation. If I play too much, I might need to do some chores. If I am too stuffy, I might need to laugh more. None of these states are cause for alarm. Perhaps, they are part of the fun.
I am attempting to look at my life differently now. I know that being in balance is only a temporary state and not something to be held onto. Instead, I want practice my skill at passing through or near being in balance on my way to a variety of experiences. To be clear, I want to be aware of the amount of balance I have at any given moment, but not always head toward more balance depending on my strategy.
In the last several weeks, I have begun to test throwing myself out of balance consciously. Maybe I will do something a bit too much, but now it is more conscious and therefore less indulging. I even notice myself becoming out of balance as the tensions build. Then comes the inevitable challenge of turning around and heading back toward balance. Then, I ask what activity, what perspective would head me toward center. However, I do not make the error of striving to hit balance dead on.
Maybe I will no longer need to stress if I never achieve perfect balance. Instead, I can strive to play with balance by making adjustments that are experiential and invigorating. Moving all around, being in and out of balance, I can learn to love the interplay and improve my skills not just in balance, but it all areas of endeavor.