I do a number of activities that rely on balance. In rock climbing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, even riding a bike, if I am not balanced, I fall. In fact, the act of staying balanced is more than half the thrill I get out of those activities.
So you would think that I should have pretty good balance by now. My experience so far learning to roller skate for roller derby says otherwise.
I find that the balance required for roller derby is different than all the other balancing skills I’ve learned over my lifetime. I need to extend my balance to include these new feelings and sensations. This new balance requires the use of muscles that my other activities don’t utilize.
Isn’t life like that?
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton
We find a balance in our lives that makes us happy. Suddenly, something changes. There is a new activity, or a new feeling. Something in our life alters, and we have to find our balance anew.
You may have been very good at balancing your old life, but that doesn’t seem to help with the current situation. All your balancing techniques from before just aren’t cutting it anymore. You need to learn new skills, exercise different muscles.
Balance is not learned without falling. Who learns to snowboard or ride a bike without falling? Certainly not me. The key is to get back up and try again.
It doesn’t hurt to have a safety net, either. In rock climbing, there’s a rope. A bike has training wheels. Roller derby requires full safety gear including knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, a mouth guard, and a helmet.
In life, what is your safety net? Do you have a friend that you can talk to about anything? A trusted person to watch the kids when you’ve had enough? A hobby that allows escape, rest, and rejuvenation? Don’t feel bad using your safety net. After years of successfully snowboarding, I still wear a helmet and knee pads.
If you keep working at finding balance, eventually you will learn to feel the waves.
How are you struggling to find balance? Share in the comments below.
*Photo Credit: Rubén Chase, Creative Commons License