Private Revolution: B Is for (im)Balance

"balance" by Stefanos Papachristou (CC BY-NC 2.0)
balance” by Stefanos Papachristou (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This post is part of the April A to Z Blog Challenge. For more on my 2016 theme of Private Revolution, see A Is for Ambition.

A Different Kind of Balance

Balance is often thought of as moderation, being neither too much of this nor too little of that. In this sense, balance is wise. Balance is safe. Balance keeps us even.

What if, however, that’s not the kind of balance I now need?

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” (Albert Einstein in a letter to his son, as quoted in Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson, p. 367)

BFor much of my life, I’ve tried to balance my tendency toward impulsiveness by cultivating patience. Perhaps for this reason, I’ve always been drawn to mindfulness and meditation, both in theory and practice. My middle-school hero was Star Trek’s Spock and his cool control of emotions, and I practiced keeping my impulses and emotions in check. I got pretty good at it.

Mindfulness is now integral to my life, something I would never give up. There are times, however, when I wonder if I need a different kind of balance, one that allows for both mindfulness and moments of creative impulsivity. Not a middle ground, but an expansion to include more possibilities. A balance that requires me to keep moving.

Is there an area in your life in which you need a different kind of balance?


5 thoughts on “Private Revolution: B Is for (im)Balance

  1. Mindfulness is the hardest thing of all for me — it’s just so much easier to let everything just happen (or not happen). I try to meditate, and always end up unfocused and hopping from thought to thought. How do you do it?

    • Bee, my mind hops, too, every time. 🙂 It took awhile for me to realize that the hopping is part of the process, and the only point is to keep gently bringing my focus back to the here and now.

      Something that does work when I’m unusually distracted is to pay attention to each of my senses, one at a time. Without words, just the sensations of hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, seeing (if my eyes are closed, the sensation of seeing closed eyes). Or I think of myself as a cat in front of a sunny window. A cat is probably not thinking of the future or dwelling on yesterday, but soaking up the sensation of being a cat in a sunny window. Not sure if that makes sense or is helpful, but it works for me and is a good break from the usual clutter of thoughts in my head.

  2. Another wonderful post, Lisa! Mindfulness also helps me with understanding that there are a variety of paths towards balance. Yet if my life should achieve balance, I sometimes wonder if I would even recognize – and thus embrace it -for what it is. Maybe the act of moving towards balance, as you hint at, is indeed more important than balance itself.

    • Thank you, Marianne! I’m beginning to wonder if balance in the way it is normally understood is even something I want right now. In some areas, yes, but it can lead to complacency (maybe). So much to think about.

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