We hear a lot about the importance of leading a balanced life. That sounds good and it’s easy to say. I think it’s bunch of hooey. Okay, not completely… I just wanted to say “bunch of hooey” ;-).
My point is that the simple idea of balance is potentially flawed and has a perfectionist ring to it – and failure is perfection’s evil twin (usually followed closely by it’s shadow, shame…).
Imagine someone walking a tightrope. Heck, just try balancing on one foot right now! Notice the concentration necessary to stay in balance. Notice that while there are brief moments of calm and balance, most of the time is spent being off balance in one direction or the other and making adjustments.
So at any given time at any given moment, you are living your life out of balance. The opportunity to manage your self and your life more in line with your values and priorities is to notice how far out of “balance” you are right now. Ask yourself how long you’re going to stay out of balance in this particular direction (say you’re behind on sleep or exercise or connecting with important people). Ask yourself specifically what you’re going to do and when. Can you give yourself a break for being out of balance at any given moment, and look over a longer stretch of time and see where things lie?
Now, picture that tightrope lying on the ground and that in living your life, you’re crossing over from one side to the other and back again, being perfectly “balanced” for just a moment as you cross. Give yourself permission to be off balance, and set the intention to practice making adjustments so you don’t get too far away from your ideal. Consider that that’s the only way to grapple healthily with the idea of a balanced life. Aspire to make lots of little adjustments instead of great big ones. And try not to get stuck on one side for too long, or you might tip over… ~Z