It's everywhere. Product manufacturers sell it and we buy it. Advertising agencies capitalize on it. It's idealized in books, T.V. shows and movies. And yet, it eludes us. It's a mystery. And if we don't have it we feel miserable and like weíre missing out on the one thing that will make life better. More peaceful. More beautiful. Because, after all, everyone else has it. But we don't and we know it.
But we WANT it.
We want our life to work well, look well and feel great. We want our life to feel like a lazy afternoon on a beautiful summer day. We want it to be stress- less, free-flowing and heck, we even want it to smell good. Huh?
O.K., I admit, I want my life to smell good, but I'm not sure about you. I do know I want my senses to come alive with all things beautiful and peaceful.
Coordinated and organized.
Purposeful and meaningful.
But I had to learn, I hate to say it, to go with the flow. Because if I resist the flow, the thing Iím seeking teases me from a distance, yet is still in plain sight, only an arms length away. Tantalizing me with the thing, the experience, the peace-of-mind I want from the thing we know as BALANCE.
Before I could find balance I had to define what a balanced life looked like for me personally. But that's not what this articleís about. This article's about zapping the illusion of what a life in balance should look like, according to the picture of balance we are sold, again and again. Because whether we realize it or not, thereís an idealized picture of what a well-balanced life looks like and then thereís reality. So, be aware of the following myths and then go about creating a life that feels great to you and you'll finally, fortunately, find balance.
1. Balance is a one-time event.
If only! First, let me say, unequivocally, balance is not something we arrive and stay at. Balance is dynamic. Ever-changing. Moving. In order to balance a bicycle you need to keep it moving; to keep your life in balance youíve got to keep it moving. And when you move anything thereís a chance for error. Crashing. Tipping over.
However, the alternative isnít better. If we stay still, we run the danger of getting stuck in a rut. Trapped too long in our fears. Without movement we stop growing. We stop experiencing new things. We just stop.
Therefore, if we yearn for a well-balanced life we have to get moving AND toughen up. We're going to get bumped and bruised along the way. And that's OK, because each bump and bruise makes us stronger. It also makes us grateful for the times when we have no worries and challenges and have the opportunity to sink into the sweetness of our life.
2. Balance = Perfect
We've all been there. ìWhenî such-and-such happens my life will THEN be happier, peaceful, balanced. Phooey! No such thing as a perfect life. If no one has ever said it to you before, I'm saying it again; THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT LIFE!
Now, don't get me wrong. As a personal growth enthusiast, I do think you can create a life that works well and feels great. Absolutely. But that has nothing to do with perfection. It has everything to do with acceptance.
We can't be in the flow and find the sweet equilibrium of balance if we can't accept our life for what it is today. Acceptance of what is releases us from the need to have things different, better, more. Acceptance allows us to experience the NOW more fully. It allows us to let our hair down. Acceptance helps us create our lives from a present state of mind. And the only way to feel ìbalancedî is NOW. Not tomorrow. Not yesterday.
Balance is all about the NOW and has nothing to do with perfection.
3. Balance is fluff.
Not really. However, I do agree, the images we see in TV ads and in magazines make balance appear a little bit fluffy. But in reality, the real down to earth experience of balance is far from fluff. It is real. Itís a state of present moment consciousness. It's something we can feel in our body, in our minds and in our sprits.
We can create balance by tuning into our gut, our intuition and our feelings. We can listen to what our soul wants and then give it what it wants. Balance is something we create on the inside, not something we ìfindî on the outside. Balance isnít so much about what we do; rather itís about who we are being in each moment.
Balance requires our whole selves. It requires acknowledgement and awareness. In other words, balance is a state beyond what words can describe.
And when we feel it, we know it.