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September 6th, 2018
Words like balance, harmony and level-headed are flagship terms for a state of being that we are taught to seek, however the underlying concept is one of inaction and stillness.
Stillness and inaction certainly have their benefits for the mind, such as with meditation, but to seek this kind of balance as a constant status quo is to disengage from living.
We have an abundantly common and mundane example to illustrate this:
In order to move forward, we destroy our balanced posture by leaning forward. This lack of balance causes us to catch ourselves once more with our next step.
This toggle between balance and purposeful imbalance is exaggerated in the movements of infants that are just learning to walk. Their movements are stilted, almost jagged, and each successful step looks like a last moment reaction as a foot stabs out at the ground.
Progress and movement is the result of thrusting ourselves out of balance and into an uncertain place with the faith that we will be able to catch ourselves.
We might take the analogy further and think of sprinters who are hurling their bodies into the air with both feet off the ground, all the while maintaining a faith that no matter the surface they will crash into, their feet will negotiate the landing.
Think of the common epithet for today’s entrepreneurs. It’s often said that an entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds an airplane on the way down.
Or think of the Zen prescription: leap and the net will appear.
Each step, whether literal or in the figurative sense for a project, is a leap, a conscious, purposeful act of throwing ourselves out of balance.
It goes likewise in the other direction. If things feel chaotic, as though things are always out of balance, then it might be that we are falling in the wrong direction. To seek some kind of permanent balance, or harmony is a fool’s errand. But to arrest that process of falling and find some kind of momentary balance allows us the space to THOUGHTFULLY PAUSE and consider our RESOURCES and choose some new direction.
But moving in a new direction - even the best direction - is going to require the courage to abandon our new found island of balance.