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Balancing act

Life is a balancing act. And whether you realize it or not, it's something you do all the time. I'm sure there are days when you do know it--days when you feel like so many demands are pulling you in so many directions that whatever comes next is going to be the last piece pulled in the Jenga tower that is your life. 

Of course, that's NOT balance. That image is the sort of frenzied tension where something's about to fall apart. But whether you are calm or harried, you are always the focal point, the fulcrum, the pivot on which all your life balances. 

Balance is natural. Cycles of dry and wet weather bring us life; too much of one or the other brings destruction. Days of joy and sorrow bring meaning to our lives; too much of one or the other brings madness. Too much food? Gluttony. Too little? Starvation. Too much self-care? Obsession and narcissism. Too little? Apathy and despair. 

In work or play, in all relationships, in every act of your life you are always balancing opposing forces. Of course there are times when one force is stronger than another or needs more of your attention. But eventually, you will have to return to the middle to feel safe, sane and restored. You have to master the art of balancing dynamically between opposing forces. 

Here's an exercise to try when you are feeling out of balance: Stand with your arms stretched out. Breathing deeply, gently reach left and right simultaneously. Don't strain or hurt yourself. Rather, feel your arms lengthen ever so slightly with each exhale. Feel the lengthening from the wrists through the fingers; from the elbows to the wrists; feel the shoulder-to-elbow muscles soften and lengthen; feel the middle of your back relax and lengthen to your back shoulders and feel the front of your upper rib cage open and expand and widen to your front shoulders. In all of this, stay aware of your center--the imaginary spot between your left and your right sides. If you feel too much pull in one direction, shift slightly until you feel your center dynamically relaxed directly between two opposing forces. Hold and stretch and breathe here for as long as it is comfortable, then let go. Relax. When you are done, notice how you have restored a state of balance to your body and a sense of balance to your mind. 

You are the center of your world. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by the craziness of your days, remember that; you are the center of your world. To restore your sense of balance, just remember that you can come back to your center at any moment you wish.


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