“Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings."
- RumiWhen Jamie asked me to write about balance neither of us knew that I would be moving house and changing jobs when I was writing this post. If you had asked me two days ago what my take on balance was I would have laughed and showed you the little box marked, 'office' teetering precariously on top of the thirteen boxes marked, 'books.'
I never thought I was very good at balance. I tend to be extreme - afraid or brave, exercise or couch potato, all or nothing - so I had to look up 'balance' in the dictionary just to make sure I knew what it was. One definition was, 'A stable mental or psychological state,' but my favorite and the one I had to re-read several times was, 'The power or means to decide.'
When I was a little girl I tried gymnastics for about a minute. I wasn't very good at anything except the balance beam. Being good at that wasn't about how to manipulate your body into crazy shapes or flinging yourself blindly through the air. It was about taking deep breaths and concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other until you got to the other end. If you panicked or got too angry or frustrated, you fell. It was as simple as that.
When we seek balance, what are we really looking for? Less stress? A perfect life? A clean kitchen? All of our ducks in a row? Or should we be more honest about what we seek? Balance, it seems to me, offers us the chance to be a little bit more involved in our lives. Life is never going to be easy or less crazy. But maybe balance is the position at the middle of crazy that allows you to continue to breathe. Real balance is in our power to make good decisions about our lives.
Just like a gymnast focused on the balance beam, we need to be clear about what it is we really want and then put one foot in front of the other until we reach our goal. Breathing, focusing, getting healthy and strong, concentrating, making good decisions and getting back up when we fall off will help us get there. Balance, it seems, may not be so difficult after all - even for extreme people like me.
(Now back to the 14th box marked 'books'...)
Megg is a Canadian writer who lives and works in the UK. She believes passionately in the power of words, women and community. Completely addicted to her computer, she also believes in the power of getting off of that computer. She is very excited to announce that she, her husband and their partner have just gently launched a website to help people get a little adventure back into their lives. It can be found at: www.randomlychallenged.com and megg can be found at her blog: www.meggenge.blogspot.com.