When you hear the word balance what comes to mind? Do you think of someone walking a straight line? Maybe you see someone holding numerous packages in a manner that allows safe delivery all at once. Then there is balance in your body as in maintaining homeostasis, the act of keeping healthy and strong. Balance could also be the way you organize things piece-by-piece or task-by-task, in perfect order just like ducks in a row exhibiting a perfect synergy.
Everyone has a different definition of balance and each definition is as unique as a fingerprint, having its own pattern and meaning for every person and changing every day. Normally we go about our everyday life just letting these definitions and versions of balance flow their course. It’s only when we feel out of control that we view balance as something needing to be controlled, and that’s when the ducks get out of sync.
The topic of balance came up the other day while I was having a conversation with a business acquaintance. This acquaintance, a doctor we will call Joe, was discussing how he runs his business and that he just could not understand or participate in certain business activities because they just don’t work for him, yet he needed to build up his patient base. He then went on to ask me what I was doing; once I answered he had more ammunition to fire out about how these things just don’t work. I then discussed another activity I was participating in. I mentioned this only in hopes that it would change the subject to a lighter topic but no luck. Instead he went on and on and on.
About five minutes later I said to Joe, it’s really just a matter of balance. You just need to balance and have some fun with it. This did not set too well with Joe at all and he was clearly not happy that I did not commiserate with his frustration. He then asked, in a really put off tone, “What do you mean balance, I have a plan I have certain things laid out, I do this, this and this. I am consistent and balanced with what I do.” And that is when I knew Joe did not participate in balance because Joe was all about the control.
Do you balance with your fist or with an open hand?
I asked Joe if he really knew what it meant to be balanced? Do you look at balance like a fist full of sand, or is it like an open palm? Are you constantly struggling or do things reach an ebb and flow? He looked at me puzzled yet did not skip a beat and proceeded to tell me that was not the way to define balance and that no one defines balance that way. I told Joe that I did. I went on to say balance that is truly balance is just like the palm full of sand. I can hold far more sand in my open hand than I can in my fist. Still puzzled he continued to disagree with me and walked off.
This really made me think, so many people mistake balance for control. Balance like living is more than arms full of packages or walking the straight line, balance simply cannot be about control. It is not controllable and controlled balance will never bring you a balanced state. What do I mean? Go back to the handful of sand analogy. When balance, in this case sand, meets a closed fist it sifts thru your fingers. What is left experiences pressure and sand under pressure turns to glass. Now, how comfortable would you be holding a fist full of glass? Not very, so how can balance under pressure be any more comfortable or even achieved? It’s just not possible because too much focus is on the controlling and that’s not balance.
Balance is an ebb and flow. It is something that is achieved by knowing yourself. It is not about “perfect” nor is it about perfection and yet it is beautiful, peaceful and yes, perfectly unperfected. Balance is achieved best when you go within to find it. It is best recognized when you are just doing your thing happily and peacefully.
Are your ducks in a peaceful row?
How do you do your thing happily and peacefully? Well that is up to you. Only you can answer that for your self and only your answer is the right one for you. Even if no one explains it the way you do it doesn’t matter it is yours to explain however you choose.
When its all said and done, balance is how you live your life and walk your path. It about your ability to embrace change because after all what works today may not work tomorrow, and being a balanced person means you know the difference. Balance, healthy balance is the synergistic flow of ducks moving smoothly on the surface with feet blissfully paddling underwater moving you along in accordance with the ebb and flow of life’s currents.
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