Finding balance in an unbalanced world

Have you been rushing from one thing to the next, endlessly dealing with a to-do list and never finding a moment for yourself?

Or maybe you’ve been feeling like being in a cocoon and staying in? Seeking refuge from all that is out there, both pleasant and unpleasant?

I can relate to both of these scenarios.

Having most recently come out of a cocoon stage, I find myself thinking about the impact of slowing down. About how hard it can feel to “get back out there”, but also how it easy it can be to slip back into overly busy living.

How do we find balance between being too busy with need for rest and getting stuck because of taking that rest? In essence, a type of ‘middle ground’.

Needing rest

It’s a busy world we live in with all sorts of responsibilities and opportunities. And how this looks for each of us is different and can change over the course of our year and lifetime.

As well as turning to mindfulness, I have also spent my fair share of seeking refuge and finding comfort in my blanket and favourite shows. Especially in the winter or when feeling blue.

I’m a big supporter of honouring stillness and taking rest when it’s needed. And there are moments and seasons in our lives when this feels natural and is especially needed.

Pausing, sitting in the dark and just being.

Feeling stuck

But there can also be a point of inertia, where there is too little movement. A type of shutting down of our body and mind. Sometimes too much stillness for too long can simply be, well, too much.

Can you recognise this?

Many of us were confronted with varying degrees of it after spending a lot of time at home or socially isolated for various reasons over recent years. This type of ‘taking cover’ can also come with periods of personal loss/grief as well as illness, burnout and recovery time.

Low energy, nothing to feel inspired about and a lack of something to move us forward.

Seeking balance

It’s not easy to figure this out. It’s hard enough to recognise when we are in these extremes or even swinging between the two, but then further, how do we find some movement that can help bring us towards a more centred balance?

Towards a fulfilling and active life, but one that doesn’t exhaust us.

How about a little mindfulness?

Taking inspiration

If you’ve ever tried to make a big change in your life with the intent of balance you know what I’m talking about - and how difficult it can be.

I am reminded of something learned years ago in school: the first of Newton’s Laws of Motion. It says:

An object at rest remains at rest, and an object in motion remains in motion at constant speed and in a straight line unless acted on by an unbalanced force.

This speaks to me in terms of recognising two familiar extremes: inactivity (no momentum to move forward) and hyperactivity (go, go, go to the point of burnout or exhaustion). And how these two states remain the same unless compelled to change by the action of an external force.

Is there a way to relate this law to our own lives?

I think there might be.

A reflection

It could be helpful to take a moment to contemplate this now:

• Taking a few conscious breaths.

• Reflecting on the question: Where are you right now in your life in terms of these two extremes? (I.e. busy vs. resting, what state are you in?) It could be in various areas of your life: a job, a relationship, a way of thinking or in some other way.

• And do you feel anything in your body or with your emotions with this question? Simply noticing and accepting whatever arises.

• Then: What would it take for you to create more balance? (I.e. what type of external force could help you change your state?). You may wish to notice if this changes anything in how you feel (physically or emotionally).

• Taking a few more breaths and then releasing this contemplation.

Honour what, if anything, arises – it might be something worth paying attention to. A little nudge to help get you moving, in the right way, in the right timing…for you.

Finding support

Seeking middle ground is not easy and can take time. It’s really a life-long process, of regularly adjusting and changing, or one might say ‘recalibrating’.

And you don’t have to go through it alone. Talking with partners, family or friends can help and might lead to some reflections and/or support. It can also be beneficial to seek out more formal or structured support, whether it be a coach or therapist or even signing up for a retreat or course.

For a little inspiration to get you started you can listen to Beate's guided Meditation on inner and outer peace or check out another of our teacher blog posts, such as Realigning your Priorities with What Matters Most.

Find your middle ground

Whatever it is you feel you want and need to be doing for more balance in your life, give it a go! And it may not be just one thing - find a mix, your own unique blend. Start small and build from there.

And how will you know you are there? If you get in the habit of tuning into your body and emotions regularly and feeling what is there, you’ll probably get an answer.

If you feel something that seems like balance or that you’ve come to where you want to be, find a way celebrate and take this in. Our brains and bodies can really use this kind of positive remembering!

Wishing you well on your journey to your own middle ground.!