I started writing down some thoughts about the concept of balance in life a few weeks ago while feeling healthy and energetic. Women in particular talk about having balance in our lives quite a bit; juggling work, home, children, aspirations, etc. – that when we are doing the work we love, we’re also happiest in all aspects of our lives and this brings balance or inner peace. As I re-read my words, I’m in a totally different place and may have better clarity on the subject. When you’re feeling well, sure, it can be a complex concept, one that takes time to figure out. Almost like trying to finish a jigsaw puzzle – fellow puzzle fanatics might understand when I say this: you know you won’t feel that amazing feeling until you put the VERY last piece into place. Then the single pieces of the jigsaw miraculously become a whole and complete image. THAT’S when you know you’ll have balance in life. Well, that was my original take on it.
When you’re feeling not-so-healthy, the idea of balance is driven by the acute desire to feel anything good, let alone your equilibrium. And the idea of juggling or moving too fast is particularly nauseating. When your body puts on the brakes and demands you slow down, the question of whether or when you’ll find balance isn’t a question any more. It’s a necessity. Your body dictates and wins.
It makes me think of the allegorical tale about a frog. When you plunge a frog into a pot of boiling water, it jumps straight out; it knows it’s hot and instinctively reacts. But if you place a frog in a pot of cool water and bring it slowly to a boil, the change in temperature is so subtle that the frog doesn’t notice while it boils to death.
Similarly, our bodies are hardwired to instinctively respond and protect us from ourselves. Why? One reason being that our mind is easily fooled into thinking it is the smarter of the two.
My question: is my body smarter than my mind and if I listen to it more often, would I achieve a sense of balance that would spill over into all the other areas of my life? And would I never have to ask myself that question again?
— Debbie Hindman