If achieving “balance” were strictly and only a science, we’d all be masters already. We’d have read the instruction manual and committed it to memory. Alas. Balance, as it turns out, is as much art as science, and maybe more so. Why? Because everyone is different. Because every day is different. Because there is an ever-changing ‘x’ factor unique to every individual. It’s idiosyncratic and, for some people, surprisingly elusive. What worked yesterday might not work today. Thus we need a bag of tricks, a repertoire, an ability to identify the best strategy for the present moment. The awareness practices found throughout these pages are key to the development of this ability.
Remember the schoolyard see-saw? Remember how hard it was to find the balance point? Remember how hard-won yet fleeting the success was? Balance is dynamic. Whether in the physical realm or as a metaphor for the way you live your life, it’s tricky. Myriad variables continually converge, dissipate and dissolve, and reconstitute a new present-moment reality which itself is ever-changing, a kind of mind-body-spirit kaleidoscope showing you a perpetually changing picture of yourself. Whether or not you’re not inclined to plumb these nuanced depths, your ability to find your own unique balance will require getting better at seeing and interpreting your own unique picture moment to moment.
It’s Really Not That Hard… If You Practice.
In response to hearing of success with a new coping skill, a colleague of mine was fond of saying to his clients, “Excellent! Now do it 10,000 more times!” Practice is the only way to transform conceptual information into embodied knowledge. It’s the proverbial bicycle. As in, once you’ve had enough bicycle-riding practice to gain some proficiency at it, your body simply remembers how to ride. You no longer have to think about it much if at all. Think of balance analogously, with one caveat: unlike bicycle riding, which is a novel experience for beginners, achieving your own unique sense of balance will entail having to consciously replace old habits with new ones. Old habits die hard, as the saying goes, but it’s also said that practice makes perfect; where balance is concerned, progress is perfection enough! One instance at a time, one situation at a time, one moment at a time, as you use new skills to tackle old problems, it won’t be long before you experience the truth of the adage, “When you’re on the path, you’re at the goal.” Take it on faith, roll up your sleeves, and your success is inevitable.