Monday, June 11, 2012

what is a balanced life?

I've been thinking about this for the last week.
Balance that is. 

In the past I've viewed balance as a neat and pretty thing. It was always something I was working to get to. If I arrived to that elusive destination of balance I could feel myself teeter tottering....

To the left
To the right
(And is it even possible to read that and not think of Beyonce?)

Ahhh, there am I am. Center. Let me see how long I can maintain this.

Today I've been thinking that it all seems a little.....
What's the word?

Balance is defined as harmonious equality of distribution.  There is symmetry, proportion among all the parts.

I see myself as an excited kid on a seesaw.  You too?  Wasn't that fun?!
It was always so much fun to find that perfect place of balance where you and your friend where perfectly level,
perfectly balanced.

I don't know about you, but I could only stay there for so long.  Why?
It got boring!

I loved the thrill of being hoisted fast and quick into the air. Feeling the seat of my pants momentarily lifted into the air.  The scenery up here was different. I felt light and excited.

I loved the ride back down to the ground where I could plant my feet and legs. The scenery and the feeling down here was different.

These days I'm getting curious about what balance means to me.

If I look at balance in terms of my work life, home life, and inner/self life, then by definition I'd be dedicating 33.3% of my (waking) time to each of those three areas.

My life doesn't work like that.  There are times when work gets way more than 33.3%.  April for example, when I was getting ready to lead yoga teacher training in the Outer Banks, then actually being there for two plus weeks.  My home life got very little piece of the pie.  My inner/self life got very little of the pie.

May, however was totally different.  I've dedicated way more than 33.3% of my time to my home life. Andy and I have been savoring this time. We've been going golfing, mid-week hiking, re-doing our living room, organizing, cleaning (ok, he's doing more here, but who is counting).

My inner life also goes in spurts. Sometimes we are hot and heavy, totally on. There are times you can't drag me away from my yoga room. You can't pry my journal out of my hands. And there are days and times when I just want to go to a movie and drink cherry coke and eat chocolate covered almonds.

You know what? I kinda like this.
It makes it a little easier on me when I need to hammer down and get loads of work done. I don't feel bad for neglecting my home life because I know it's only a matter of time before the pendulum will swing back the other way and I'll be reveling in spacious home time.

One definition of balance is to move toward and then away from. It makes the idea of balance seem less static and more like a dance.

And when it feels more like a dance.....
Well, you know I'm convinced.

What does it mean to you to live a balanced life? 


Mia said...

Sharon, I love this idea of a dance... I too have been constantly thinking about (and struggling with) this idea of balance. Somehow my understanding implies that it's this "perfect" place, thus making it an elusive state as you have described.

My advisor says that the amount of our work has a changing ebb and flow... I like that metaphor too, because we learn to adapt to the changing current.

I guess if balance were this one perfect state, once we got there (hypothetically), then what else is there to learn?

Thank you for sharing this.

Sarah said...

I like this recalls to me posts you've made in the past about your dance with santosha (contentment). I am sure there are some similarities, but I like the way you describe the see-saw, because both the highs and lows seem like places you enjoy, and that is what contentment is all about, right?

Sharon Tessandori said...

Mia, I like the idea of the ebb and flow. Again, it makes it feel less static and rigid and allows space for change and movement.

Sarah, thank you for reflecting that back to me. It is very much a part of my whole dance with santosha and I do enjoy the highs and lows of life, even moreso these days.

Thanks for the input ladies.