Within the last 24 hours, two of my friends have written me about needing to find more balance in their lives. Both are in their forties and are highly motivated and successful women. That kind of synchronicity always gets my attention. A little voice in my head said, “Write about it.”
BALANCE. What images does the word “balance” invoke for you? For me, it’s the yin/yang symbol, followed by the image of a tightrope walker, carrying a pole.
The Universe functions as a yin/yang balance, resulting in a tension between opposites (yin is negative and yang positive). We all contain the energy of these dual aspects: love/hate, harmony/chaos, good/evil. Tension is necessary for structure to exist. Human beings are energy structures, and without tension we don’t exist. As a result, there is always yin balance in our lives. Typical examples would be, self-denial, over-committing to the point of feeling frazzled, excess hard work, gambling, dwelling upon negativity, dangerous activities, sexual affairs, arguing, fighting, drugs, drinking, and illness.
In my seminars I talk about replacing yin energy expressions with positive challenges. But for this column, I want to stick with the general perception of balance.
As for the tightrope walker, he’s never in perfect balance. He continually moves the pole up and down and shifts weight from the right to the left. A little too much movement in one direction is quickly balanced by shifting weight in the other direction. The walker is never really in perfect balance for more than a moment. If he were, he would fall.
Life is a tightrope and like the tightrope walker you’ll never be in balance for long. If you were to strive to avoid all extremes you’d limit your life and would certainly generate anxiety. Don’t use this thinking as an excuse to be overindulgent, but if that’s what you need to do, you’ll soon generate an opposite pull of the forces.
One of the friends I mentioned has been working seven days a week in a hostile environment--pushing himself to the point of being unable to sleep. And guess who just ended up sick in bed for several days?
If you know you’re badly out of balance, take action before your bodymind finds a way of doing it for you. But stop worrying about finding perfect balance. If you can replace yin behavior with positive challenge, do it. Instead of endangering your mental or physical health, find a way to generate the needed experience, but in a way that can serve you.
From the perspective of reincarnation, we swing back and forth through our lifetimes in an ongoing quest to attain balance. And from this overview, good really isn’t good and bad isn’t bad. They’re not opposites in conflict, but two harmonious aspects of the same thing. An automobile battery offers a good analogy. Within the battery are charged metal plates. One is charged positive, the next negative, the next positive, and so on. The positive plate is not “good” anymore than the negative plate is “bad.” The interaction resulting from this alternating charge is what creates the energy you experience when you twist the key in your car’s ignition.
In the book, “The Tao of Love” by Ivan Hoffman (Prima Publishing), the author discusses balance: “Everything in the world is in a state of balance with everything else. Such is the nature of the yin and yang, of the Tao itself. There cannot be winter without spring; there cannot be life without death, there cannot be happiness without sadness.
“Whenever one component of that relationship changes, by definition the other component or components must also change to maintain the equilibrium. There can never be a state of disequilibrium in the natural scheme of things, for out-of-balance situations, both in nature and in the lives of human beings, will always attempt to right themselves, much like water seeking to find its own level once the pressures are turned off.”