We are approaching the time of the autumnal equinox, a point of balance between the light and dark. The story of the grasshopper and the ant is set at this time of year. It is also the time of sorting the wheat from the chaff. So the point of balance also becomes a point of choosing.
When we think of balance , it’s comforting to think about stability. The balanced rock has been there for hundreds of years. Balance in design is demonstrated by the stability of a house of cards. Even in the face of change, balance is demonstrated by the buildings that still stay standing through the earthquake or hurricane winds.
Trying to balance a life feels a little more like juggling fire on a high wire. We are in motion, buffeted about by forces we can’t control or predict, and trying to keep several balls in the air at once. Living the still life of a meditative monk is not the goal most of us shoot for when we seek balance in our lives.
Often the balance in life also comes down to the point of choosing. Which ball do you choose to drop to maintain your balance? Do you stay on the wire or take a different path? Does moving faster make it easier to keep going? Are you the grasshopper this year or the ant?
Although no one in my household is currently tied to the school year calendar, I have definitely been enculturated. This is where the fun choices come in. I have a tendency to set up new projects to start at this time of year. This year I’ve even been inspired to take an adult education class. I’m also preparing a presentation at the Women and Spirituality Conference. I even got some business cards printed.
Starting new things and getting summer things put away in anticipation of winter challenges my balance. I have found myself less and less able to do the heavy lifting that goes with summer clean up. I have had to learn to let go when I don’t have the space or strength to get all the yard furniture put away in the garage before the snow. The plants haven’t been well weeded and aren’t getting covered when there are frost warnings. My priority is making enough room in the garage for the car.
This year, a big part of maintaining balance for me has been about learning to give myself credit for the things I do manage to accomplish. It’s easy for me to become overwhelmed with everything I don’t get done. Especially when I “should” myself about them. I come into better balance when I acknowledge the accomplishments with at least as much enthusiasm as I morn the shortcomings.
I’m big on efficiency. I like to find ways to do as much as I can with as little effort as possible. It’s another thing I like about balance. It’s precarious. It only takes a little push to send everything moving in a new direction. When the timing and direction are right, great changes can happen with the touch of a suggestion.