What is balance? Depending on your definition, it may be a lot of things. Dictionary.com refers to it as a state of equilibrium, equal distribution of weight or amount, or something that is used to produce such equilibrium. It seems that despite all of our worldly, scientific progress and inventions, our craving for balance is at an all-time high. Who doesn’t long for it, or when lucky enough to experience a taste of it during vacations or unexpected breaks in responsibilities, crave more of it?
The wish list for balance can be extensive. We may dream of balance with our time, money, business, or personal lives. Even health information sources tout the benefits of balance in eating, balance in exercise, and balance in “chi” or relaxation. Balance…balance…balance – but where do we begin, especially if we find ourselves in the all-too-familiar territory of a state of lack of balance where certain things in our lives take up an disproportionate amount of time, effort, money, or energy?
Personally, I like to think of balance as a verb rather than a noun. In this way it’s something that we do rather than achieve. Also, don’t confuse balance with stability, as what is stable is, by definition, immobile and resistant to change. Consider “balance” as variable versus constant, and active as opposed to fixed. The benefit of seeing it like this is that we can change it, and, most importantly, regain some sense of control over our seemingly out-of-control lives.
Under this philosophy, anything that helps you recalibrate is a tool for maintaining and regaining balance. If you think about it, you will find that you already possess these tools, though honing them may take practice, as well as some work on habit change (read tips on effective habit change here). Often, it’s people around us who may bring things to our attention when we have veered too far in one direction. At the same time, preventive steps such as learning and developing skills in contemplative practices such as meditation or prayer, or self-reflection through counseling or biofeedback, can help you become more aware of imbalance.
Seeing balance in this way, as an active process instead of as an endpoint to reach, requires some practice. We invite you to consider our visualization exercise on “Creating Balance” within (click here to preview) as one way to approach working with balance differently. So think of balance as the new stability, and begin the process of recalibration in your life!
Readers who are interested in learning more about the science behind applying mindfulness and self-awareness for habit change are invited to check out Dr. Klich’s website MyMindfulWayofLife.com