Finding Balance

I often feel out of balance in my life.

I feel like I am working all the time.

I feel like I am missing out on the simpler pleasures.

I feel like I need more XX in my life. Where XX stands for (amongst other things) enjoyment, relaxation, self-nurturance and social connection.

However, the real issue is ... am I really as out of balance as I feel?

This is an important distinction ... I have felt lazy when I was doing the work of twelve people. I have felt incompetent while experimenting with technology so cutting edge only four people in the entire country understood it ... besides me. And I have felt unacknowledged when people have showered me with sincere praise and recognition. So the fact that I feel out of balance does not mean I *am* out of balance.

Over the last few weeks, I have been working along with other free-lancers, knowledge workers and non-traditional artisans to devise a methodology that would help us is to illustrate whatever balance that is already present in our lives and nudge us in the moment of decision making toward improving our sense of balance.

We have crafted incredibly beautiful balance bots, mandalas, diagrams and tools to help us track this elusive balance. And we have discovered a great deal about all the ways we differ and the many, many ways we are the same. One very smart fellow even did a tarot reading to help us in our quest.

But here we are, weeks later, still scratching our collective heads. We are oh so close, but it is starting to feel like it is time for that intuitive leap to reveal itself, that qualitative jump that will transcend all our individual assumptions and blow all our minds.

Because, I am starting to wonder if it is not our lives that need to change so much as it is our conception of what it means to live a balanced life.

What if … my life already has a dynamic, Two of Pentacles, kind of balance … and I fail to notice because I focus all my energy/attention on working hard?

What if … I dismiss the importance of all the openness, the relaxation, and the social connections that I already have abundantly in my life?

What if … I attached as much importance and visibility to the lunar, yin and watery aspects of my life as I do to the solar, yang and fiery aspects?

Hmmm …What if the balance I seek … is within?

That would make so much sense. I have been focused on balancing between self-nurturance and sharing. This has been helpful in many ways. It helped me to restart my yoga practice, encouraged me to rest more often and it allowed me to began reading my mystical texts again without feeling guilty about “not working” … whatever that means. But the renewed balance in my life has not sated that thirst for balance within me.

What is missing is a sense of balance, core balance if you will. So how do I encourage core balance? My yoga, walking, meditation and canonical prayers are part of my overall practice to build core strength.

What if the balance I seek is simply another facet of core strength?

I promise myself to care for this inner questioning as I move through my week. I will allow these ideas and questions to settle into my prayers, my yoga practice and my breathing. I will give this process the time it needs and nurture this unfolding mystery so it can eventually sprout and bloom. I hope to share its fruit in the coming days and weeks.

But in the meantime … I ask each of you … how do you find balance in your life? How do you acknowledge the balance already present? And how do you strengthen your physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional core?

Posted in

Stephen Smith (not verified) | Wed, 07/01/2009 - 12:15pm

I have found that one of the most effective ways for me to achieve some balance in my work and life is simply to put it in my calendar. For example, early last week I decided that Friday morning would be time for 'me', so I put it in the calendar and used it the way I wanted - reading a new book!

My lovely bride and I also work very hard to *not* work on Sundays, rather that day is for us to spend together.


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