We all strive for balance. It’s a new buzz word and in order to live our “best life”, it is often suggested that we find it or create it. We are made to feel bad if we are not “balanced”. However, I think the thought of creating balance just adds one more thing in our lives on our to-do list, adding to the “imbalance” or stress. Today, I had this thought about balance, and I think that we are misunderstanding the concept. Maybe instead of striving for balance, it’s about accepting that life has its own way of balancing things for us. That balance is not a goal, but a naturally occurring flow that we all are experiencing at all times…that we actually constantly in the process of “balancing”.
Personally, I take a lot of time for myself. I am very quiet and I spend a lot of time alone, with my thoughts, my dreams, my philosophies, and my self. I enjoy this time alone. I am not lonely because I am with myself. And, I actually enjoy my own company. I also am on a daily talk show and every day at “The Talk”, I sit with my fellow co-hosts and we discuss and share our stories, thoughts, and perspectives. I enjoy that so much as well, but I have found that since January of this year, which is when I joined the panel officially and have been there consistently, I have been taking more time for my own solitude when I can. I protect it like a lioness protecting her cubs. Because that is my balance. I didn’t look at it from the outside, and say, oh, I’m spending this many hours being extroverted with my actions, and so, therefore, I must take this many hours to myself to be introverted to create my balance. I just noticed that I had a natural balance that felt right. And I allowed it to happen. I noticed my needs and I took care of them and ultimately my spirit and naturally, I found myself in balance. But it was a new balance, new homeostasis. And it seemed to happen on its own, without a lot of conscious effort on my part.
When I tune into myself, I can tell what I need. I think we all can. If I really listen to what my body and spirit need, it becomes very evident. There are times when I don’t get the luxury of spending enough time alone – and guess what happens. I get stressed out. And when I do, I make more of an effort to create space for myself in my week because that feels better for me. I try not to add to the stress I am already feeling by needing to create balance right then and there. I don’t label myself as out of balance, but know that I am in the process of balancing… This is balance even though, in the moment, it doesn’t look “balanced”. Like the scales, balance is fluid. The scales are not stuck in a perpetual state of “even-ness” or” levelness” – that is not balance. That is stagnation. After one side of the scale goes up, it comes down, as one part rises, the other part lowers. And all the while, it is in a constant state of balance, even if it is slightly or hugely uneven at any moment in time.
I think somewhere we are being sold on the idea that the goal of balance is to live a life like a scale that doesn’t move, that doesn’t flow, that we must be in perfection with both sides level and even at all times, that we must be “balanced”. This actually can cause more stress and more tension which I don’t think any of us need. What if balance as a concept is more about accepting the temporary nature of things, realizing we are in a constantly shifting state of “balanc-ing”. And that state balancing, of constantly shifting and adjusting and allowing is more about noticing ourselves and how we are feeling…less about trying to impose balance upon ourselves. It seems to me that balance is about noticing how life balances things out when we are heading one way or another. And remember that it’s already in balance when we have our down days or our up days – that both are part of the balance, both are necessary for the yin and yang. After the up days, there will certainly be down days, and after the down days, there will certainly be up days. And that is the balance that is always at work in our lives. That the up can only be noticed after the down and vice versa.
So today, let’s accept the balance that is already present in our lives instead of making it a goal. Let us notice where we are in the continuum of balance, and life, and how we are feeling at this moment. For much of the joy of life comes from noticing where we are, and truly being present for all that comes with this moment, and allowing our gratitude to flow, remembering that we are already in balance.