Balance: why it can leave you holding your breath

Talk about a buzz word!  Balance is one of those words you hear often, by just about everyone, as an integral tool toward becoming healthy. I suppose there is truth that in attaining a sense of balance in your day to day activities and tasks, you are prepared for what was coming your way.

Feeling level and even, despite the up and down, give and take of the day is satisfying. It certainly can signal a sense of wellness.

Balance feels good.

What doesn’t feel good is how the word balance sometimes implies perfection (which is really non-existent and unattainable).  That somehow it is the ultimate place to end up – and anything short of it is almost like a sign that you didn’t do the day correctly.

Feeling balanced is a positive thing so long as you are not thinking of it as an end game. It is a worthy feeling to work towards. After all, it is possible to feel a sense of evenness.

The issue is whether it is possible to maintain that feeling.

Becoming balanced takes some work! But when I get there, and feel balanced, I start to feel as though in order to stay there, I have to hold my breath.

Holding your breath takes a lot of work.

When things feel so steady and, well…balanced, it sometimes feels like the act of breathing too deeply, or even just exhaling, or moving out of place too much will make that balanced feeling disappear.

After all that work that can be a let-down.

Perhaps instead of focusing on balance, the focus should be on working towards preparedness, staying organized, and thinking about how you want your life to feel.

In doing so you actually learn more, and grow more. And with growth you can assess and more fully understand your purpose in life. That can feel much more appealing than the-often-short-lived feeling of balance.

Maybe we shouldn’t strive for balance in our life at all. Maybe we should strive for meaning.

balance: why it can leave you holding your breath

When you strive for meaning you accept the imbalance that is par for the course of life. You accept that things might not always feel good or perfect, or done. And that that is okay.

When you feel off, overwhelmed, quite literally out of balance – you are meant to actually find the meaning in it and move with it instead of fight against it and try to work to make it all balanced again.

Swapping out balance for meaning isn’t easy to do.

Even as I write this, I have found it hard to not use the word balance in describing what most deem an ideal way to live.  Who doesn’t want to “feel balanced?” But when you replace it with “meaning”, I think it feels less pressure-filled, less perfect, and allows you to become more.

And doesn’t becoming more feel good?

No one wants to teeter too far off of what they know or what feels comfortable. But in life, if it is to be a meaningful one, that is where all the good stuff happens.

The best learning and growth lies in the uncomfortable, out-of-balance areas of life.

Strive for acceptance of that. Aim for meaning instead of balance.

And exhale.

You are exactly where you should be.

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