Balance, what does the word, or act thereof even mean?
It is hard to search for one be all and end all definition to the word, as it can, and does apply across many disciplines.
In my years working in the human services, and then stepping out into my own field of coaching, healing and writing, I have had a lot of conversations with people about all kinds of topics.
Balance is something that comes up often when I talk to people about life and juggling all that we do;
- Work/life balance,
- Balancing our busy schedules,
- Balancing our bank accounts, and sometimes,
- Just trying to remain upright.
People I talk to often mention how they have in their mind, a vision, or a feeling of when everything is going ok, and that there is a definitive left of centre, right of centre, and centre. By just having this vision or feeling in their minds eye and then actively monitoring where one is on the scale at any given time, can provide a sense of immense relief, or a knowing that all that needs to be done is done, and that which is yet to be done will get done.
The tricky and sometimes downright ugly side of balance is when everything seems to be going from one side to the other of its own accord, and we as the individual are seemingly being controlled by all that is going on in our lives, as opposed to the other way around.
When there is an activity or perhaps an obligation that we feel to be taking up too much of our time, and that we do not enjoy spending time on this activity or obligation, this is often the catalyst for change.
When things start to become a little distorted, or perhaps when getting up in the morning to tend to whatever our obligation that we dislike may be becomes an effort, most people I speak with talk of this being that defining moment where something must give, before it is too late.
I dislike using words that imply there is little or no choice in all or some of what we do in our lives. Life tends to run at a fast pace these days and often, before we know it we can find ourselves so committed to things that we feel we cannot escape from quite quickly, and the thought of having to de-clutter, or leave something, or someone, can become almost unthinkable.
For a long time leading up to leaving my full-time job, I could think of 100 reasons why I should have stayed. It was secure, it paid well, I had good conditions, all those reasons that we human beings make up to keep life safe.
It was not long before that which I mentioned earlier where by just getting up in the morning started to become a chore. Towards the end, it got to the point where after my alarm went off in the morning, I would dread even the drive there, and would lay in bed just thinking about how many times I had to turn left or right just to get to work.
Not a great way to start the day let me tell you.
But then when you reach that point, something wonderful starts to happen. Quite suddenly all the reasons for staying in a situation or a circumstance that no longer serves you start to quieten, and all the reasons for leaving start to get louder. Your thought processes start to change, things start to feel lighter again, what you are here to do in this life begins to become much clearer.
Now, I would be lying if I told you that it was really this simple, and that everything suddenly became rosy and amazing for me, but at the time same, I can sit here now and think that it kind of was.
The act of simply making a decision, can be both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. One can place a lot of stress on oneself in the lead up to making a decision, and then again when acting on it. But that is just it, it is all unnecessary mental chatter, we can get ourselves worked up in to quite a state over not much at all in life when we feel that things need to change due to being unhappy where we are.
Allowing life to flow is a beautiful thing that begins to happen when we have worked through decisions in life, and we have arrived at the perfect balance in all that we have chosen to keep in our day to day existence. When we feel like we have almost total control over the way our day runs, and what’s more, when we feel relaxed enough to accept that there are going to be circumstances in our lives that are out of our control, and that that is ok.
So how do we even begin to strike the perfect balance?
Think about what your non-negotiables are. Think long and hard about all that you do every day without even giving it a second thought, and lock these in. For example, I have to make sure that my washing is done regularly, if my washing is starting to pile up, this is my canary in the coal mine that means things in my life are not entirely in balance. Look around your environment right now for something that you have let go that you would normally not, this can often be a sign that you are a little bit to the left or right of centre. If everything is as it should be, well, you are good at this game.
How do we keep the perfect balance?
Engage in consistent action, be present, and make sure you are in the driver’s seat of your life at all times. Some people prefer sitting in the passenger seat, some people prefer to drive. Here you should be thinking about which you prefer, decide on that, and then go from there. If you have found yourself in the passenger seat of life, but you typically drive, ask yourself why? How did you get here? And more importantly, when are you going to ask whomever is driving to pull over so you can switch seats and plot your own course again.
Reflect, and give yourself praise for all that you have done, all that you are doing, and bask in the relaxed faith that all that is yet to come, is taken care of because you have the right now sorted, and under control.
I write this last part knowing full well that this is something that I do not do enough of. I know that I don’t ever stop and take stock of my achievements, and that I am always looking for the next challenge or project to do. But it is my knowing and awareness of this that has allowed me to change that. To let go a little more in life and smile at all that I have achieved, from the little things right up to the big things (and often we have our definitions of these around the wrong way).
I’d like to tell you that once you feel you have achieved the perfect balance in your life, that everything is going to be amazing all the time. I cannot tell you that, because it is not true. There are, of course, going to be situations and circumstances in life that are going to throw you from the centre of your balance scale, to the left or to the right, or sometimes completely off the scale. But you are buoyant, and you will gravitate back to the centre again after a period of time, and just having a belief in that, is more powerful than you think, just as you are.
All the best.