The Problem with Balance


Seems like the ideal right? Balanced diet. Life balance. Many of my clients come to me craving balance in their lives. Sometimes it’s balance in a particular area, sometimes, it’s a quest for complete life balance.

Even this cork is touting the quest for balance.

Sure, from a certain vantage point, balance looks pretty damn appealing. Especially if you work too much, eat too much, can’t seem to find time for fun, family and friends.

And yet, balance, even if it is attainable, isn’t always desirable.

Consider balance.

Picture tree pose in yoga, or a tight rope walker. To gain and maintain balance, it’s likely that you’ll hold as still as possible, focus your gaze, maybe raise your arms. Your movement is unnatural. You might wobble a bit, even as you stay upright.

To balance scales, you add weight until both sides stop moving.

To balance your emotions, you stay neutral.

And once you find that hard won balance, you don’t want to move, to shift, to upset the balance in any way.

Ironically, rather than creating freedom, the quest for balance can end up keeping you stuck.

If not balance, then what?

Instead of balance, it can be more useful and supportive to think in terms of harmony. Or flow. Or natural cycles. Or getting more of what you want.

Consider those areas in your life where you’ve been seeking balance. What do you really want? Go for that, and leave the balance to the tight rope walkers.

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