Rebalance… portfolios, postures, practices, professions… life!

In the financial profession, rebalancing portfolios is a common practice for managing investments. Portfolio rebalancing is a discipline to align an investment policy with its guiding values (e.g. risk tolerance, asset classes, timelines), in order to meet objectives. From a practical investment management perspective, this action is very important. From the perspective of what gives life meaning and purpose, it may mean very little.

When sitting for a long period of time, for example in meditation, a balanced posture enables one to stay relaxed in the seat. Slightly moving forward, back, and side-to-side, will produce a “sweet-spot” – a centered, balanced, vertical alignment which allows ease, relaxation, and the ability to stay.

For decades we’ve heard adages about attending to work/life balance. How about the proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? (And yes, it is a proverb, not a movie quote, dating from at least 1659…) Or the term workaholic, for someone who spends too much time at the office, neglecting family and friends. Balancing time between two important variables of life is a familiar conundrum.

As we age, or if we have a mobility-hindering accident, balance becomes more prominent for our well-being. Each visit to my parent’s home, as they tenderly and slowly weaken in body and mind, I witness the decline in their ability to stand and walk. Indeed, their physical balance is at risk each time they move. It is both heartbreaking and sobering. And I am paying attention.

Three months ago, I began a new balancing practice for my body (see this month’s 5 Minute Try-It) that I engage in the morning and evening while brushing my teeth. For the two-minute timer on my electric toothbrush, I balance on one foot; mornings, the left, evenings, the right. In my bare feet, focused attention is required. My balance has improved. I feel the tiny muscles in my legs working. These are the muscles that are generally forgotten, but are the ones that keep us upright.

Striking a balance.
Staying in balance.
Returning to balance.
Find a happy balance.
Balance work and play.
Balance everything out.
Out of balance.
Maintain balance.
Balance between…

What do you notice, as you peruse these common phrases?
What thoughts come to mind?
Are any body impulses registering?

These word-polarities demonstrate an outdated view. Our everyday phrases indicate either/or, rather than “both, and.” One, or the other. This, or that. One or the other end of the spectrum.

I seek a common ground, a middle, a landing. In my reality, balance spirals. A continuum moving up and down, left and right, front and back – in every direction.  In the simplest of examples, when my mother falls, where exactly did she lose her balance?

I sense a flow of energy and life, where our bodies move through space, with other bodies, objects, and natural surroundings. We name this flow “balance,” to give our minds something for reference. As Laura Divine, co-founder of Integral Coaching of Canada, quoted below in Be Moved, in this never-ending developmental journey, we find a fresh balance of the whole. The whole is more than two parts.

In this present-day modern world, “either-or” thinking, reacting, planning and sensing is sub-par. Expect inferior results, with one or the other. In all aspects of life, including money of course, we are called to grow our awareness and our actions. What was perfectly agreeable yesterday, given certain circumstances and choices, is not workable today. We stay awake each moment to all of the parts, to gain access to the direction of wholeness. Growing physical balance, like in the simple practice I am engaging, enables us to access this whole.

Where in your life are you called to explore balance in a fresh way?

Spiraling in Balance,