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.
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?