creating a balanced life: drawing on the wisdom of the body

Hi Beautiful,

What does it really mean to you, the idea of living a balanced life? 
I think this idea of pursuing life-balance is becoming increasingly popular because we feel somehow that we have lost, or are losing our balance. As women, especially, it seems balance in life evades us.

I didn't really learn about balance in life until I became a dancer. Before that, balance seemed a static thing that I had to arrange for and think carefully about; a balanced checkbook, a balanced composition in my paintings, a balanced diet; all these things required planning and induced anxiety. With dance, I found my center of gravity, and with it, a whole new idea of balance.

I was not a very physical person before I started dancing at age 30. You could say I was cut off from my body. I was clumsy, physically uncertain, intellectual, and ever so slightly round in the shoulders. I still am all of these things, a bit, but dance has allowed me to inhabit my body in a very satisfying way, and I have gained grace, wisdom and equilibrium from this precious sense of embodiment.
So, life-balance....  Here is what my body has taught me about achieving it:
  • Maintaining balance means moving & changing continually.
  • Sometimes a very tiny movement is all that is needed to bring exquisite equilibrium.
  • You can lose your balance by going too fast, or too slow.
  • Try to HOLD TIGHT to your balance and you will surely lose it.
  • Always be aware of what your gut is telling you.
  • Relax, and hold everything around you in a loose & gentle focus.
  • Breathe, breathe, breathe.
  • A little bit of fear will keep you moving and alert. A lot of fear will bring you down.
  • And this: The feeling that you are about to lose your balance is the natural hallmark of being balanced and moving at the same time.
I'll be writing more about life-balance in the coming weeks; it's an idea I'm really interested in exploring right now. There are no magic formulas, I'm sure of that, because each of us has such a unique pattern and rhythm to our days and lives - but there are some universals in the human need for emotional and spiritual eqilibrium.

Journal Prompts:
For Writing: What does balance really feel like to me? Where do I feel it in my body, and what is the sensation? When do I feel balanced in my life?

For Visual Journaling: Grab your pile of magazines and a glue stick. Find a quiet space, breathe, and search for a feeling of balance in your body. Without thinking about it too much, start tearing out pictures from the magazines that match this feeling. Create a collage from the results. What does it show you about your idea of life-balance?

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