Balance is not a static state. It is a verb. The tightrope walker is making a thousand micro and macro adjustments moment to moment. Balance requires the focused attention of a disciplined mind. One that has learned to hold at bay the distracting flurry of thoughts that the brain generates. Not by a brute force of resistance but rather by a sense of flow.
To balance one must let the thoughts of distraction flow through and around her. One must become attuned to the feedback loop that is life itself, moving moment to moment through time. This heightened and focused sense must be coupled with a dedicated practice of directing that sense to the workings of the body. Just as the toddler effuses joy upon discovering she can now hold her head above her torso while teetering her torso above her hips and shaky legs. She finds balance momentarily, before toppling over to try again. She relishes the experience of being alive and discovering agency. So we find joy in balance when it is achieved.
Balance requires a unique and often elusive state of consciousness. Focus too much on the self-awareness of the psychological mechanics required and you may lose it and fall. There is a zen-like quality of focusing on the task without focusing on the act of focusing. A state that we all occupy from time to time yet find difficult to articulate. A wild bird that when caught in the hand disappears from our grasp. It exists only in the periphery.
Balance is a paradox. In truth, balance can never truly be achieved. And yet, we can get within a razor’s edge of it for a time. Thereby we feel the sense of it. We achieve the appearance of it. We can become just close enough to marvel at it and arouse the imagination of our peers with our demonstrations of its lofty goal. Balance in life is a goal post that is ever moved incrementally away from us as we achieve it. It is a pathway of refinement we may choose to follow or abandon.
Balance is not sustainable. It is the pathway to sustainability. Just as balance is not truly achievable, it can not be sustained. Even the almost achievability of it, is a limited venture. As we teeter on the razor’s edge we know the inevitability of the outcome. If we even could remain there we would cleave ourselves apart from our life’s endeavors. But it matters little. We know in the end greater forces will prevail and we must topple off.
We may refine our practice to the point of grace. Thereby we may enter and exit from the pursuit of that fickle state of balance with a sense of humble style. Though we know balance is bullshit, still we endeavor. We may use to our betterment the pursuit of it. We know we can only hope to brush up against its essence. We may use this noble and foolish pursuit as a practice by which we refine ourselves. We may hone our ability to both bend with, and impress our will upon, the flow of events. Through this pursuit of balance, so long as we do not make a false idol of it, so long as we only allow ourselves to be deluded by its golden glow to the point of inspiration, then perhaps we give ourselves a greater means by which to produce an impact on what happens next.
Balance is communion with the otherness of our lives. Balance is how we prepare and respond to what life unfolds within and without us. It is the essence of our potential to realize and actualize our deeper potential and purpose.
Fixate not too greatly on balance or it will surely elude you. But neither ought we abandon our noble and foolish pursuit of it. For within balance we find the strength and perseverance to hold space for each other’s foibles, flaws, and failings. Balance is the essence of grace and grace is a precursor to love.