“Being with imbalance allows for balance.” Wait, what? How can being with imbalance allow balance? That’s a paradox! Yes, it is, and like most things that begin at odds with each other, when you get to the midpoint between the two, they are more alike than different.
One of the most sought-after balances is work/life balance. Many books have been written on it; posts, articles and blogs stating the importance of work/life balance were front and center for many years. In many ways, we have self-corrected and are much more cognizant of when imbalances show up. However, I still hear this battle cry from people I coach, train and or interact with on a daily basis: “I want more work/life balance!”.
Seeing this as a universal issue, I began to wonder if there was another way of looking at balance. As a student of balance for many years, first as a gymnast and then as a gymnastic coach, I came to understand that balance is dynamic, not static. That even when a gymnast appears to be fully balanced, some part of the body is moving to maintain that balance. From the perspective of knowing that balance is dynamic; always shifting, changing and moving (sometimes causing a fall!), I began to see that the key to moving from imbalance to balance was RECOVERY. Because life is dynamic, ever changing, always moving, we are never going to achieve static balance. What we can achieve is the ability to recover more quickly when we fall out of balance.
Let’s circle back to my opening statement, “being with imbalance allows for balance.” A couple of years ago I created an imbalance in my life. I was putting in 60-hour work weeks; not exercising, not eating right, not sleeping, not having time with family, not, not, not. Can you relate?
Of course, I had tons of stories as reasons for my imbalance. So much so that I could probably write a book titled “Justifications and Rationalizations for Imbalance.” You might find yourself in some of my stories as I’ve discovered they are pretty universal.
The stories were my way of keeping myself from actually being with the imbalance, taking ownership of the choices I was making, and doing the work of figuring out how I could recover. I had gotten myself into an extreme swing from balance to imbalance. How could I get to my center point? I had taken a big fall; how could I pick myself up and get back into life?
My recovery felt long and arduous. It took a commitment to find what my center was, what was most important to me and what would best support my balance. Now, my recovery time from life’s imbalances is much shorter. I’m clearer on my center point and do what I can to support myself getting there.
Even when imbalances occur that are out of our control, we have the ability to recover more quickly if we empower ourselves to do the things that support who we are and what is important to us: our center. Thus, being with imbalance allows for balance.