Why Bother With Balance?
Once upon a time, we owned a used washing machine because it was all we could afford. It sat next to our used dryer in the basement. Sometimes the washer moved and made noises as though it were alive. This old machine would bang, clang, and bounce up against the dryer. The noise was loud and annoying and demanded attention. I did not have to call a repairman to fix the problem though. I knew that the load of clothes I’d thrown into the machine had gotten off balance. I only had to stop the spin cycle and adjust the load to solve the problem. In a matter of moments, I could restore the machine’s balance and the noise ceased.
Like that old washing machine, I too can become imbalanced and if I listen, my body tells me so in ways that demand my attention. Too much sugar and I get a sore in my mouth. Too many carbohydrates and my belly bloats. Too much wine and I lose my common sense. But there is the other side of the coin too. Fasting gives my digestive tract a rest, but going without food for too long makes me weak. Finding my happy medium between consumption and rest from consumption is finding balance.
Balance or equilibrium is not just about maintaining a steady and healthy diet. Balance affects all things in my life. At times, work consumes my full attention and energy. In order to find rest from my stress, I have to make myself step away, and remind myself that repose is just as important as completing any task.
Additionally, physical exertion is good for the body, mind and heart. But straining for
long periods of time lead to injuries. Then again, the other half to exertion is relaxation, which is also good for the body, mind and heart. But if we give ourselves completely over to relaxation we will experience lethargic muscles.
Nature is a great example of the contrasts of balance. Day gives way to night, winter gives way to spring, full moon to new moon and fallow and fertile ground. No matter where we look, whether in nature or in our common ordinary lives, we can experience points of balance.
Why bother with balance? When we are out of balance, with too much time or not enough time, too much food, or not enough food, too much leisure or not enough stress, our bodies will let us know. All we have to do is listen for the noise and adjust our load.