Why Bother to Keep Our Balance?
Imagine standing on one bare foot. How long can you hold your balance before falling over? Do you find yourself wobbling while trying to maintain that one footed stance? Does it feel natural to stand on one foot? What other body parts are you employing to stay upright? Is it helpful to use something like a chair or a countertop to help you hold your position?
I find that there is a similarity between holding my body in a balanced pose and preserving a sense of stability in daily life. Keeping equilibrium, whether balancing on one foot or balancing daily tasks, we hope for the best, which is to stay upright. But before we can expect success in either area, we need to put some things into place.
First of all, did you know that standing on one foot involves much more than just that one foot. Without strong ankle muscles, an engaged core and flexible hips, standing on one foot for any amount of time becomes an impossible task. Before balancing, we have to strengthen ourselves.
Maintaining stability in everyday living also entails making ourselves stronger, namely employing our “no muscle.” Whatever the task at any given moment, it has to take precedence over any number of possible distractions.
I am my greatest diversion and saying “no” to myself is the biggest challenge. When I think I should be doing a household chore instead of sitting down to write my blog, I have to say “no” to myself. Cleaning the kitchen is easy and I can see instant results. Writing is hard, and I don’t always know how my writing will be received by my readers. Yet, without leaving the kitchen a mess, at least for a little while, I can’t accomplish the goal of getting a blog posted.
Secondly, when balancing on one foot, focusing our gaze, particularly on something that is not moving, helps us to stay steady. Consequently, centering our attention inward, on ourselves, keeps us going toward our goals. For instance, it is only when I know what it is that I am reaching for, that I can actually aim my gaze and keep the goal in sight. Given the fact that I want to grow in the art of public speaking, I knew that by joining a public speaking club, Toastmasters, would help me reach that goal.
Balance takes daily practice. It does not come instantly, but rather in small increments. As we learn to stand on one foot for three seconds, we can slowly increase that time to thirty seconds. With this in mind, if we find we are capable of keeping our present commitments without falling over, we may be ready to add another one.
Why bother to keep our balance? Balancing is not so much an act as it is the practice that requires us to be strong and focused.