The idea of dynamic balance is often on my mind. It is a concept I have been playing with for years. There is no static, perfect balance, as far as I know in life, or living beings. Yet there are ideas of static perfection in human consciousness. There is room for a vast array of different perspectives around what balance looks or feels like. False notions around attaining a state of perfection can get in our way. The idea of perfection is only useful if the frame is, something like; we are perfectly Imperfect, as human beings. And we have the capacity to learn and grow. Homeostasis is a state of balance with all body systems in support of function and survival. This does not imply that homeostasis is unmoving.
Recognizing balance as dynamic, opens up the space to remind us that balance is an ongoing process to keep learning, adapting, and to remember we are in motion, not static.
I enjoy the idea and image of a figure eight, in a spiral dance of movement, circling back and forth. Being and striving are two general states. Striving looks like survival, effort, goals, achievement, and responsibility. The limitation of striving is that it is not a sustainable state to be in, at all times. Imagine running for days without rest, or sleep or food. Imagine sitting for days without moving, or actively doing anything. Either extreme would certainly lead to some form of dis-ease.
And, we long for the state of pure being. Stillness, calm, centered, whole, at peace. All is well. Sleep, rest, love, meditation, unfettered joy, present in the moment. Not doing, just being. Babies and children are some times the models of being, (until they are hungry, or tired or in distress. )
When I find myself out of balance, I come back to assessing my levels of being and striving, as the dance of dynamic balance. Do I need more rest, or more movement for example. More challenge, or more letting go. More quiet, or more communication. Individually, our specific needs towards relative balance are not all the same. Yet we all seek dynamic balance, the sweet spot between being and striving.
Dynamic balance can be applied conceptually and actively within many frameworks. While being and striving is my perspective on the two main elements that are always at play, there are many other ways to look through the lens of dynamic balance.
The softness of compassion, and the firmness of accountability may be seen as complimentary opposites. The balancing fulcrum between them can be discernment. Accountability and discernment require a certain effort, while as much as compassion does take practice to easily access; compassion can be one of the most effective ways to return to a state of being. Holding ourself and others with compassion can allow us to drop in to a state of calm, comfort and peace. Being accountable for our words and actions can be both empowering and character building.
Consider how you strive, what you put effort into regularly. Is it work, home, family, relationship, communication, education, social engagement, effecting change, creating ? Is your experience of striving both tiring and rewarding ? Are you at a point of burnout or exhaustion ? Is the experience of striving crunchy and dissonant ?
Is there a form of striving where you both enjoy the process and find meaning in it ? How do you allow yourself to access a state of being ?
Is being more about stillness or being in a flow ? Does it feel akin to beautiful music and dance ? Or is your access towards being a route that is full of consequences or has an addictive pattern ? Do you have a practice that brings you smoothly to being. Meditation is one of the oldest practices to develop the state of being. Spending time immersed in nature is another wonderful way to let go and just be there. Dynamic balance can, at times become a rhythmic flow.
I invite you to practice being, even in the midst of striving. When we can combine effort with centered presence, then we are on our way, to cultivating our own unique dynamic balance.