I have always had a love-hate relationship with the topic of balance. At the beginning of each year, I promise myself that I am going to stop the juggling act and get everything in perfect and divine order. But then, as with most new years’ resolutions, life gives out a little giggle and I am smack bang back where I was before: over-worked and stressed out.
I always thought that this decision to find balance never stuck because I don’t have the greatest track record of setting boundaries and how can you have balance without saying no to the many different events, people and responsibilities? Otherwise, you are allowing yourself to be pulled in so many directions that it is impossible to find any sort of equilibrium.
Although, after having a conversation with Jai, I realized that maybe I have been thinking about balance in the wrong way. Maybe many of us have and perhaps that’s the reason we can’t seem to find it.
When many of us contemplate on balance or finding balance, we picture it in terms of equally weighing out two opposites: right and wrong, dark and light and basically this sort of typical yin-yang version comes to mind.
This kind of balance would be perfect if life worked in such extreme opposites; if it were the practice of finding solid equilibrium between two stagnant and ‘opposing’ forces. The reality is that life is not a simple black and white phenomenon but rather moves into many shades of grey, sometimes even jumping out at us in flashes of brilliant colour. In other words, it’s complicated and unpredictable.
This fixed idea of balance is actually what causes so many of us to suffer because it opposes the surrendering of ourselves to life. To bring this type of equilibrium into existence we end up building boundaries, as to keep out anything that stirs up this manufactured division.
True balance does not fight against the unpredictable tides of living. Of course, sometimes we need boundaries to remain whole and healthy individuals but, for the most part, letting go and shifting ourselves to meet whatever life has to offer in that moment is what will bring us genuine joy.
These seemingly insignificant adaptions can bring deep changes into our lives as balance is not found in the extremity of boundaries. Rather, it is allowing life to take us wherever it feels it should whilst altering our equilibrium ever so slightly as to meet it.
One image that Jai used and that really strikes a note is the image of lady justice –more specifically her weighing-scales. Just as with those scales- if someone were to imbalance them-they would only need only a slight change in weight to find equilibrium again. In just this way, making minor alterations in life can help us find a balance that works with and not against whatever the moment is bringing forward