How would you define “balance”?
Does it mean “everything is the same”? Or “my life is always perfectly level”?
We think it means Everything is in its place… dynamically.
In other words, “balance” isn’t a static state. It’s not putting things down and leaving them there, forever.
Balance means constant movement and adjustment.
Just like maintenance.
When you’re balancing things, you move constantly, sensing the slightest shift in position.
For instance, stand up.
Now keep standing. Kinda boring, right?
Well, think about the engineering that has to happen for this to occur.
You have to balance all of you — a longish object around 5 to 6 feet tall, funny-shaped, and top-heavy (did you know your head weighs about 10-12 lb?) — on two tiny platforms.
Seriously, could you build anything that did this without being nailed down?
Now, as you stand, notice what you feel in your legs and feet.
Your vestibular system in your inner ears, along with your visual cortex that locks on to a reference point, senses very tiny changes in position, and sends signals down your spinal cord, into your motor nerves, telling neurons to fire in a precisely coordinated sequence.
You’re not really standing still so much as you are constantly negotiating a controlled sway.
Walk the tightrope (over Maintenance Road)
Staying balanced means staying loose, flexible, aware of your surroundings, and responsive to change.
- On a tightrope, if you go too rigid, you fall off. (In other words, getting too restrictive.)
- If you lean too far in one direction, you fall off. (In other words, joining a nutrition or fitness cult.)
- If you ask more than your body or balancing systems can deliver, you fall off. (In other words, pushing yourself too hard.)
- If you’re carrying too much, you fall off. (In other words, trying to do it all at once.)
Stay aware and correct the course as necessary.
(If you fall off, you have your “baseline” as a “safety harness”. Just clean the slate, and climb back on.)
Stay on the tightrope as best you can. ‘Cause, it’s fun up there! And you spent a lot of time getting into those form-fitting tights.
Takeaways for you
Recognizing “balance” is a dynamic, continuously changing state.
Balance means putting things in their place, and constantly adjusting as needed.
Know yourself. Stay aware.
- Do you tend to go too rigid? Then how can you loosen up and stay flexible?
- Do you tend to lean too far in one direction? Then how can you wiggle up the middle? (Or do less?)
- Do you tend to ask for too much from yourself and your body? Then how can you make more reasonable requests?
- Do you carry too much baggage? Then how can you let something go today?
Celebrate living in balance today.
Tomorrow, when you wake up, get out of bed, and manage to stand up, say a quiet thanks for the wonder of nature’s engineering.
Celebrate your amazing ability to survive and recover.