Do you ever feel like you just can’t find that sweet spot of optimal life balance? Like external influences just keep knocking you out of balance? While day to day life can make this challenging, with attention and mindfulness we can return to a state of peace, harmony, and balance. To experience and enjoy this state of greater balance, it is helpful to understand what balance is, where your balance point is, and how to go with the flow.
Some words used to describe balance are equilibrium, stability, and steadiness. From a Physical Therapist’s point of view, postural stability or balance is defined by the center of gravity being within the base of support (more on that below in Chikitsa Chat). The point is that balance is not static or rigid, it allows for some level of movement and fluidity. The Empire State Building sways, mountains move, and the earth wobbles. As Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Below are some steps to help you experience greater balance and ease in your life:
- Find your center – Stop taking your cues from outside sources telling you what your center is or should be. You are unique, your center resides in your true essence. No one – not the experts, the gurus, the media, nor your closest loved ones can tell you where your center is. Only you know that. Quiet the distractions and take some time for quiet contemplation to discover your heart’s desire, your calling, and your bliss.
- Expand your base of support – You can weather the outside influences that tend to push and pull you in many directions by broadening and strengthening your “base of support.” Instead of focusing on or excelling in, one area of your life, bring attention to all areas including your physical, energetic, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual well-being. When you do this you will have a stronger and broader base to support yourself and your life purpose.
- Stop being so rigid – As I mentioned, buildings sway, mountains move, the earth wobbles. When things or people become rigid or do not allow for movement, then there are only two options – perfect balance (Not sustainable) of being completely out of balance. By releasing rigid expectations, perceptions, and attachment to rules we allow greater fluidity and ease into our lives and experience greater balance.
- Streamline, simplify – When we become overloaded or overwhelmed we become “top heavy” making it easier to fall out of balance and making it more difficult to move back to our center. Learn to say no – no to things, extra duties, excess baggage that do not enrich your life. As you lighten the load, you will experience greater ease, joy, and equanimity in all aspects of your life.
- Step out of your comfort zone – Life is not comfortable. Throughout a lifetime, we will have many uncomfortable experiences. The more that we practice stepping out of our comfort zone, the more prepared we are to respond to these challenging times without totally losing our balance and having to struggle to get our feet back under us. Hang glide, strike up a conversation with a stranger, dance naked in your living room, sit in silent contemplation – anything to challenge yourself and embrace new experiences.
Lastly, if you fall out of balance, it’s OK. Simply learn from the experience, brush yourself off, and step back into your center.
“No person, no place, and nothing has any power over us, for ‘we’ are the only thinkers in our mind. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives.” ~ Louise L. Hay
By Katey Hawes, owner and founder of Posabilities, Inc., is a physical therapist, registered yoga teacher, and yoga therapist.