The Art of Balance
In this dance of life, I have recently begun to truly appreciate the necessity of the precarious art of balance in achieving inward harmony. I especially appreciate it when I’m lugging myself through the day, feeling irritable, worn out, pissed off, tired, and uninspired. Because I believe we are meant to be inspired, to be energized, to be peaceful and compassionate. I believe these things to be inherent to our being.
When we are not taking care of ourselves and our well-being, these unsavory emotions become some of our greatest teachers. When we write about our feelings of irritation, exhaustion, frustration and lack of inspiration, it helps us to get to the bottom of ourselves and wake up to our lives. It helps us to see the interconnectedness of all of our actions and the symbiotic relationship our minds, bodies, and spirits share.
For example, this summer I have been camping a lot, both with my girlfriends and with my family. Last weekend as I was preparing to leave for the third weekend in a row, I noticed I was uninspired, overwhelmed, and crabby. By Monday, when I woke up to a truckload of dirty laundry, crap piled up in the entryway of our home, and two overtired kids, I was emotionally, mentally, and physically staggering under the weight of my own imbalance.
I realized that for me right now in my life, three weekends in a row of travel throws me so far out of balance it takes the joy and relaxation out of what could be a beautiful weekend away. It’s just too much.
“Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”
Writing gives me insight about important things like balance. It helps me understand that in my darkest hours, I need not run from myself, but rather, go toward myself to figure out what it is that I’m lacking. I’m finally learning not to quickly label my darkness as depression or anxiety and instead simply realize I’m out of balance and figure out what I need to get it back.
Thinking in this way is tremendously empowering because when I realize what is going on, I can actually do something about it. I can change my life, both in big and little ways.
Balance is precarious, constantly moving underneath our feet. In order to hold sway, we must listen to ourselves, our lives, and continually reflect.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein
Writing exercise: At the top of the next blank page of your journal, write the date and where you are (I always do this because I like to look back and see where I was when the writing took place). Then write the word “Balance” in large letters in the middle of the page. Around it, write all of the things you need in your life to be in balance. For example, I wrote: to write, to exercise, to stretch my body, to spend time with my family, to spend time alone, to spend time with my friends, to read, to eat good food, and to have a clean home. I do not necessarily need all of these things every day, but some I do. Over a week, I need them all.
As Life and Time ceaselessly flow, all of these things are in constant flux.
After you make your map of balance, freewrite on following questions: What do you need to feel balanced? What are you missing? What can you let go of to make space for balance? When do you feel at peace with yourself and your world?
“There is no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.”
Remember: When you write, you are planting seeds of insight and intention in your conscious and subconscious life. They will bloom! Have faith in yourself and your thoughts.
I hope this exercise gives you insight and empowers you to take the hands of your life and dance with the art of balance.
Janna Brayman Krawczyk is a writer and a teacher. She has a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters in Teaching from Hamline University. She has been writing in a journal for over half of her life and has finally accepted that life is not easy, yet our struggles and obstacles are what inspire insight and wisdom. For this reason, she must write as a way to understand herself and her life, stay sane, and dream big dreams. She feels blessed to share this healing and illuminating practice with as many people as possible in her lifetime…