Monday, March 22, 2010

Living A Balanced Life

What does it mean to be balanced? In the past I've had the thought that "balance is found in the tension of opposites". However, this seems to imply that where there is balance, there is always tension. Being balanced is not like walking a tightrope in a tug of war. I've come to believe that being balanced is more about living a life that does not have too much or too little of those things essential for life and happiness. If you have too much food, you can become gluttonous and fat. If you have too little food, you become hungry and lethargic. If you have too much sleep you become lazy and dull. If you have too little sleep, you become fatigued and less able to think clearly and logically. If you spend too much time with people, you can forget who you are. If you spend too much time alone, you can become isolated and out of touch. If you work too much you can become stressed and obsessed with achievement. If you work too little, you can have financial difficulties and lack a sense of purpose. I'm not sure you can have too much love in your life but most of us have at some time experienced what it feels like to have too little. Of course, in all of these things, balance will be different from one person to another. I am reminded of a sign at a food buffet that read, "Take all you want but eat all you take". The Beatles said, "The love you take is equal to the love you make". Balance is also found by giving in measure to what you are taking.

In today's reading from the Tao we hear the following....

Before emptying, there must be fullness.
Before shrinking, there must be expanding.
Before falling , there must be ascent.
To destroy something, lead it to it's extreme.
To preserve something, keep to the middle.

The commentary says, "Whenever any phenomenon reaches it's extreme, it will change towards it's opposite, just as the darkest night begins to change towards dawn, and the coldest winter is followed by a glorious spring".

The middle path is the path of wisdom, balance, and happiness.

The Daffodils are blooming!


Tina Wheatley said...


Love your writing on Living a Balanced Life...

(Previous coworker)

Michael Brown said...


Nice to hear from you! I hope you are well.