65 – Balance

ASD

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I can see the waves affecting the fisherman’s bob that is linked to the line connected to a pole. While noticing the up-and-down action caused by the crests and troughs of the waves, I think of the midline line between these two extremes – that point of relative equality or balance.

The continual up and down action of the seas brings seasickness to some of us. That is not a pleasant feeling for those of us haunted by that natural action of the sea.

Compared to its sensory counterparts, balance seems to be a lost sense. Balance is that sense of stability primarily located in the three semicircular canals of the inner ear that are at right angles to each other. But each of us reacts differently to amusement park rides that spin, jerk, or go fast over the changing terrain of railed hills.

We forget or do not realize the roles that eyes and stomach also provide in our balance – especially as we carefully watch the single railroad track as we walk with our arms outstretched. As our bodies lean right, the brain quickly reacts to pull us left – but hopefully not too far because we want to remain on the rail.

The brain takes all the information it receives about position and reacts by sending messages to muscles to keep us in balance by adjusting the ankles, knees, elbows, shoulders, and head relative to space. Our body’s awareness of relative position allows me to walk calmly and steadily on a beach that is slanted by the water. But the slant is not as much as other days, so it seems relatively flat.

Balance has a rhythm – like that peaceful state while riding a bicycle with confidence. However, when we wobble, our sense of balance returns us to stability – or at least attempts to.

As a ballroom dancer, I think about the importance of balance for steadiness and connection – how we use our feet and where we land – rotating too much or too fast. Perhaps the head is the prime factor – the position of that 10-11 pound (4.5-5 kilogram) mass sitting atop the spine with too far forward being a common problem – but it can also be lean too far back.

I think about the various balances in sciences – these balanced forces keeping an object at rest or those keeping the object moving in a straight line and constant speed. Those balances between different populations in a food chain are not equal in number, but balanced relative to each other. A balanced chemical equation shows that the number of atoms entering and exiting a chemical reaction is equal.

The balance sheet of life made of our credits and debits for each of us to work through – and yes – some of those encounters are stressful enough to upset life’s balance. Let us not forget the difficult balance in life as dealing with forgiveness and tolerance.

The complexity of life requires us to find a manageable balance between work, love, and play. Work can consume us as we walk the fine line differentiating living to work and working to live. To some, it’s the love for what they do that drives the imbalance with play and love – for others, it’s the pressure to achieve.

Balance is a sense – an important sense – but balance has many life applications. I wonder if tolerance is dealing with balancing the mind with the contradictions we observe.

Life balance is something we strive to meet, but many factors challenge us. Balance: that narrow band where the extremes meet in every aspect of life; including professional, personal, and family.

Balancing life is not easy, but a life without balance is not life. Perhaps having a balanced diet is similar – therefore, moderation avoiding the extremes is a helpful mantra for being on the balance beam of life.

On this day I find life is good and not much stress because I like walking on the beach. After all, it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have written about balance

Next Post: Dance – COVID-19 – Tuesday 20 April @ 1 AM (Eastern US)

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104 thoughts on “65 – Balance”

  1. When I was a music student learning the finer points of how to properly hold and manipulate the bow, our teacher would have the (string )students balance their bows on one finger…then manipulate it up and down, and all the way around till it was back at the ‘balance point again’ Evey bow is different so all those points are different too! Nowadays I practice that with a pencil…hah, a far cry form my violin bow. String players need to know where that point is to use various techniques to vary the sounds they make with their instruments. Some of which involve ‘bouncing’ it over the strings, or lightly brushing the strings and so on. Another aspect of balance while playing, is when you are in a group, all the bow strokes have to be the same for each player, it isn’t a free for all…then the music would be out of balance!

    Balance lost is what causes so may issues for the elderly peeps I care for…so myself, I practice that a lot, try standing on one foot with your eyes closed…very hard! Even tons harder when you do that on a special gym cushion…
    And speaking of those peeps, life in the balance comes to mind, they truly are dependent on us caretakers to keep some semblance of normalcy and balance in their lives, such as they are, all compromised or even worse. If our care is shoddy, the balance in their lives may tip too much, and be unable to return to equilibrium.

    I think I have to keep the balance of both reasons to work…I live (well), so I can work, and I also need to keep the groceries, etc coming, so therefore I also work to live! And I work to see the smiles of recognition and thanks of those peeps I help:)

    Phew, sorry for this long epistle!! LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ingrid,
      Not an epistle at all because what you provided was personal and good examples. I was a brass player, so I can only say what you stated about strings makes plenty of sense to me. The thought of every bow having a different balance point is fascinating. No question that balance becomes more difficult the older we get. We see it in people all the time … and being in my upper 60s, I notice it. No matter if one is standing, walking, running, swinging a golf club, playing the piano, and countless other movements, balance is important. Balance in life – whew – a huge topic on its own. Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts!

      Like

    1. Jo,
      Glad you enjoyed the soothing video. I take pride in selecting the videos, so glad you watched and enjoyed it. Yuk to balance issues, but at least you are aware. Just don’t hurt yourself! Ballroom dance (which the virus has crushed) is a common example that I bring up from time to time. Maybe a beach walk about dance is on the near horizon.

      Like

    1. Marina,
      Balance plays a role in life more than we think. You got me wondering about the importance of holding the paintbrush in the right spot, balancing colors in a painting, the body position of a piano player, and more …. but Koyaanisqats may be too much of a Greek word for me to remember. Have a good weekend. Yamas!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Koyaanisqatsi in Hopi means Life Out of Balance and was a film directed by Godfrey Reggio & music by Philip Glass. Part of the Qatsi film trilogy [Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, Naqoyqatsi]. Glass music in it, imho, is one of the best he’s written. If you can, look it up! 😉
        Yamas!

        Like

  2. When you think of all that is involved with our eyes, ears and brains to keep us balanced it seems like a miracle that we can walk at all. I also think of Mother Nature, how she doesn’t regard things as right or wrong but is always looking to achieve or restore balance… I love your thought on balancing forgiveness and tolerance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Barbara,
      Everything that goes on within us to keep our body in balance is amazing. And to think it that most of the time it happens without us thinking about it! My view of nature is a bit different than most, but more on your lines. To some, Mother Nature struggles, but to me, she has a way of achieving balance in an ever-changing world. Think about how much human activity changed in the first few months of the pandemic. Nature adjusted – and actually flourished. Then again, she also adjusts due to our negative impacts. Meanwhile, I had to include other aspects of balance that are also important. Thanks, Barbara.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah balance – something I have little of. Have spent my whole life with unexplained dizziness. Loved the video – so soothing and relaxing. My husband often laughingly tells me to sober up on the days my vertigo gets me and I weave a crooked trail. Life is about laughing to keep from crying. Nice post Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Walking the railroad tracks, trying to keep my balance. Good memories. Maybe that is the problem with the world today: we are just all out of balance. Perhaps with each other, perhaps with nature itself. I hope we find our balance again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Glad I could rekindle memories. “Out of balance with each other” – I like that one. We humans are a selfish lot – selfish for ourselves, such as more and all about me. Selfish for me group – whichever it may be; therefore, not enough about us. Much to mull over.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the video…………beautiful music and images nicely blended! Balance – so many things come to mind – almost too many to talk about but I do know that I have tried my whole adult life to keep in balance. I’m a Libra – a natural “balancer” – I have always been the one people/family come to for advice; when you give advice you must keep in balance. I look at both sides, apply reason, add a dash of balance and dispense what little I can to help. I can honestly look back at my 70+ years and say I haven’t done a bad job with balance. Tricky yes….impossible to do….no.

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Glad you enjoyed the video. I selected this one because I thought both the music and the images fit the balance theme. Thanks for sharing about you being a Libra. Ah yes – the balanced scales – the natural balancer. Glad you fit that characteristic and shared that role with others. A toast! …. clink.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Two years ago, in the middle of a city street, I turned my ankle on a stray piece of gravel and broke my arm! Since then I have focused on ma ankles, feet, glutes, and abs to improve my balance. But yes, there is so much more to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Being knocked off balance, either physically or emotionally, is no fun. Happens to all of us, and sometimes regaining balance is difficult if not impossible. I am thinking of the time, several years ago, when I fell off my bike. Must have strong bones because I didn’t break anything. Keeping emotional balance during the pandemic has not been easy. I really liked your thoughts about ballroom dancing. Finally, wonderful music!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie,
      The difficulty of maintaining physical and emotional balance is difficult. The pandemic has disrupted our balance; on the other hand, we have found a new balance in that world (although it may be a bit uncomfortable). Pre-pandemic, ballroom dance was a large part of my life – so it is embedded into various beach walks. Oh does the head position make a difference! I always enjoy getting your thoughts about the music because we have similar, eclectic tastes. 🙂 Falling off a bike as an adult would be horrible. Have you returned to riding?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Very interesting points on balance, not only in your write, but in the following comments. Often times, especially as we age, we do not understand how easy it is to lose our balance. Whether it is the physical or any of its many other forms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rebecca,
      Thanks for commenting about the comments. I too find them interesting through personal examples or expanded thoughts. I think I’ve done 3 or 4 beach walks that were based on comments. In other words, I took a variety of comments, then weaved them together into a post. Fun to do – but also a tribute to the commenters.

      The loss of balance as we age isn’t easy to deal with. Not being what we used to be isn’t easy to accept. Within the past year, a person in our neighborhood fell when they were trying to put on a pair of pants. Yep – they not only broke their arm in multiple places, but surgery required. …. and to think they successfully done that task so many times in the past.

      Like

  9. Your comment about the point in the wave where balance is found reminded me of riding along with a stunt pilot one day. I was totally impressed with that point in several maneuvers where perfect balance was achieved. The effect is as if the plane is suspended. The remarkable feeling is that that spot could last forever. Of course, gravity kicks in, and the magic only lasts for a split second. It may be the longest split second ever, though. Thanks for the post, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have been made to see how important sight is to balance as I watch my mother regularly lose it. Her glaucoma has reduced her sight to just 20% with no peripheral vision and barely any depth perception so she says she “walks like a drunken sailor” now and again. It’s rather disconcerting.
    As for balance in life – that does seem to be a constant battle, doesn’t it? Just when you think you’ve achieved it, something comes in and throws a wrench into it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale,
      Your example is perfect for showing balance is more than the inner ear and that eyes play a big role. Your mom is hanging in there, so cheers to that – but no doubt disconcerting. In terms of balancing life – well – definitely not easy – and who knows how many reasons why!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Knowing the eyes are ever so important for balance, I was amazed to witness a blind man running with a group the other day. There was on on each side of him just in case but he was solid!
        Life balance – for many, it is an ongoing tweaking and adjusting, I think.

        Like

  11. An interesting post, Frank. Physical, mental– and emotional balance, too.
    I think we go through life often subconsciously trying to balance things in our everyday life–if I do this, then I should do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I like all your angles on balancing, Frank. The physical and metaphysical. I’ve always been fascinated by gyroscopes. One of these days I’ll figure out the physics – I think I know, but not 100%.

    My physical therapists have a fancy name: proprioception. Then they make me try balancing on one foot on something squishy – with my eyes closed! Give that a try sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I took dancing lessons and danced all of my life, which later on in life helps with balance. IMHO, mental and physical balance are needed as we journey through life. You indicate your next post is Dance on Thursday, April 20, however, Thursday is on the 22nd. I can coincide with Dance if you are posting on Thursday 22nd.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for letting me know. I will pass on COVID- 19, because I like to lead my followers into a happy or neutral state of mind. I also like to keep my blog middle of the road – no religion, politics, or trending topics. Now, if the prompt takes the participants into religion, politics, or trending topics, that is okay. So, with that said, I think it best to wait for another topic. Btw, you are showing your next post on Thursday, April 20 but Thursday falls on the 22nd. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Balance is necessary for our survival, at least to keep our sanity. As we continually move boxes and furniture, we still take some time to go out and play and enjoy our new “backyard,” Frank! I was a professor in parks and recreation management and loved explaining and advocating the leisure-life balance to students both in and out of the profession. I also have to say how much I enjoyed scrolling through this post with the violet sunset background 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Balancing IS a sense, for real. And it’s one to which I am not quite as adept at now as I used to be, but hey . . I ain’t bad either. And the seasickness you speak of? Hands in the air, both of them. Which is why I love to swim and not boat. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I make it a rule not to go into the ocean any further than my arms can take me. It works out quite well that way.

        As for balance, the Yankees have zip. Last place in the AL East. The Bronx Bummers.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I WISH it were something I could try, but going out on a boat . . nope. As for the cruise ships, it’s not something I ever desired to do. Now a rowboat on a lake? THAT I can do 😉

            Liked by 1 person

              1. It’s why I love swimming.

                I didn’t! I’ll have to YouTube it. The burr in my baseball shorts is my last place Yankees. No truth to the rumor Cashman drunk called Joe Torre and asked him to come back . . .

                Liked by 1 person

  16. There’s nothing like a relaxing walk on the beach to bring some balance back into our lives, right Frank?
    Every time I read your posts I learn something new, and your words always make me smile, no matter what the topic is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. As I age, I am keenly aware of the importance of balance and have now started to walk along stretches of curb to retrain my brain and body to stay grounded. That 4″ of concrete acts like a balance beam and seems to improve with each pass. As is often the case, it’s the simple things that make the difference in quality of life. Cheers to staying balanced, physically and mentally.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Years ago, my chiropractor gave me exercises to improve balance, for which I’m thankful every day! One can hardly go a day without hearing of some poor soul who lost his/her balance, toppled over, and landed in a nursing home for rehab (if they were lucky!). Interesting post, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debbie,
      Thanks for sharing. I just mentioned in another comment that I wondered how much balance loss in aging has to do with the loss of muscle mass and tone. Given you got exercises, that my support my idea! 🙂 Glad the exercises helped!

      Like

  19. such a good post on a balanced life and beach walk with wonderful life antedotes and metaphors. The best thing about imbalance is remembering to get back in the flow.
    Thanks for the music flow and words of true wisdom Frank!💖🌷🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Balance and reflection can go together. Sometimes the reflection in the mirror seems to balance as much as when one walks on the shoreline. Words and sentences balance to make expressive points. This whole post is a reflection on balance 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jules,
      Welcome first-time beach walker. Thanks for the kind words. I agree with you because I see each beach walk as a reflection on the topic of the day – this one being Balance … so that would be true for the previous 64. I invite you to read any of the others. Glad you enjoyed it and I hope you return. Where in the world are you located?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SW PA. But I’ve been to a few beaches, state side and out of the country, as well as the Jersey shore (As I lived in NJ for a while) Also some lake shores – some with, some without beaches. Now I’ve just got a creek bank to walk to… right at the edge of my yard. 😀

        I’m mostly a poet that also writes Flash Fiction. I’m a late Baby Boomer… So I’m sort of an old fart too. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  21. I think that striving for balance in life is really important. And that covers a multitude of possibilities when you consider all the spheres we tend to juggle. I may not always know when I’m balanced, but I know for sure when life tilts and I’m really unbalanced!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      I think you answered your own question. Balance covers so many aspects of life, one would not always notice if they are in or out of balance. After all, odds are something is out of balance all the time – just not the same thing all the time. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  22. A very thoughtful and provocative post. Muscle weakness is also a cause of poor balance and when coupled with inner ear issues, walking can be perilous. Intellectual and emotional balance is a never ending endeavor. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Frank, you have the knack of conversation – the right balance of words and listening. I’m enjoying the relaxing music of your video as I read your comments and you post. Thanks for joining in #WQWWC. You’ve given the subject lots of thought. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And I was thinking time management I figure everyone can post what they want. They are the editor of their blog. They won’t have the views but that doesn’t matter to everyone.

        Like

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