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
- Balance (poem)
- Spinning Out of Control (essay)
- Going Around (photos)
- Find the Balance of Your Body (essay)
Dance – COVID-19 – Tuesday 20 April @ 1 AM (Eastern US)
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