There are many things in our lives that can lead us to have a sense that we're entering a state of becoming out-of-balance. We can be physically off balance by having our proprioception challenged, having mental stress that creates restlessness, or being emotionally strained by having our inner bearings shaken. Each time we have these experiences we are acknowledging a need to adjust our equilibrium. These experiences serve us like an alert system that says ‘hey, we need to course correct here’. This allows us to gain a sense of equipoise that can lead us back to our authentic ourselves, because it shows us what needs attention, offering us a chance to tap into our strength and self-awareness.
It's important to remember that when we feel ungrounded and unstable, we are not meant to feel this way as a permanent state of being. It is an occurrence that strikes us into awareness, encouraging us to find our balance. Our sense of balance is something we may take for granted, until it’s challenged, going unnoticed and underappreciated. When we are living in a balanced manner, our lives tend to flow with a special fluid motion. We are capable of performing our tasks, our bodies move the way we expect them too, and we gain a certain sense of accomplishment in being able to do as we like without interruption. It is only when we become challenged by something that we might lose our sense of balance, becoming aware of its value.
Losing our balance may have many different ways of showing up in our lives, and each time it is a signal to pay attention to ourselves. This may be a temporary experience, like becoming wobbly during a well-known yoga pose that we’re able to correct immediately with a little laughter, or within our self-awareness when we drift into a daydream, losing track of time, missing appointments that require a rebalancing of our schedules. Or it might be something more severe as losing connection with someone we love, or finding that we have misplaced something valuable that causes us to suddenly feel out of balance, which requires a greater effort to regain our sense of harmony.
These experiences bring us an awareness to become more centered in ourselves, to gain a greater sense of feeling steady and stabilized. Losing our balance is an opportunity to regain it with a stronger resolve, often shifting us away from what could cause us greater harm later. It appears in our experience as a beacon to rally us into action, allowing for growth and the chance to make appropriate changes to gain increased health and vitality.
When we experience physical imbalances, we are being triggered to strengthen ourselves in regaining wellness. Our body’s imbalance brings us an understanding of our limitations, learning what’s required to create health and grow stronger. Similarly, when we experience emotional imbalance, it serves as an opportunity to reassess what we need to feel calm and stable again. When we feel, as if we’re being thrown into a spin of emotions, it gives us the awareness to look with care at our experiences. It is an inner alert system to work towards gaining inner balance.
Learning to keeping our balance is something that we often practice when we are children, finding it fun to be challenged. Remembering trying to balance while navigating the fallen tree or balancing along a beam held off the ground. As we grow older having fallen or by discovering a fear of falling that desire to practice keeping our balance through being challenged might have disappeared. Losing our balance isn’t the worst part, it's remaining in a state fear of feeling out of balance that is most harmful, for it harbors a sense of weakness and insecurity.
Learning to find our balance, in the same way we walked on a log or curb as children, testing ourselves with a sense of courage and playfulness can have a resilient effect on us. Even if, the way that we are testing ourselves is not physically, but rather metaphorically through an inner contemplation of how we would feel, or how we might respond. This grants us a resilience that is equally strengthening to our inner sense of balance. We have all the skills we need to meet our challenges, especially when we are prepared for them in advance. This is the task of contemplating our lives and our potential choices.
Keeping ourselves in balance and developing a sense of equipoise by being in the moment confident to respond without losing our sense of balance comes from a practice of honoring it. We can practice inner and outer balance in similar ways. Just as outer balance can be strengthened through yogic postures, or physically mastering a balance board, riding a bike or walking along on a log or curb, so too can inner support be built up. We gain an inner sense of equipoise by cultivating a balanced attitude within ourselves. This assists us when challenged because we have a practice of holding a clear understanding about who we are and what we need to stay healthy.
When we are troubled, feeling out of balanced, it may be impossible to contemplate our position with our minds racing, unable to rethinking the situation without new perceptions. Allowing ourselves a moment to clear our minds, to take into account a different perspective often assists us in righting ourselves. We might find support through reading reassuring words, remembering our truth, or listening to wisdom from a friend that helps us to see what we may have been missing when we feel off-kilter. The practice of re-centering ourselves comes from pay attention to what we are telling ourselves and where we are placing our focus.
Just like losing our physical balance during a pirouette when we fail to keep our eyes on a designated spot during the turning of our body, our minds can lose focus on our sense of inner balance when we are not anchored to a clear awareness within our thoughts. We turn thoughts over and over in our mind without being anchored in what’s true or reasonable, finding quickly we’ve lost our balance. This isn’t always easy to avoid, especially if we have highly charged emotions attached to those thoughts we are entertaining. Still, the only way to find balance and regain a state of equipoise, is to clear away the emotional attachments that trigger us to spin-off into tangents and instead, find a stabilizing thought that can offer a peaceful reprieve from which to witness what is happening without adding our emotions to it.
It’s important to remember that our emotional intelligence is a language that helps us to understand what we value, what we should avoid and how to determine the difference between the two, meaning we might not be sure which category to place something. This is a natural part of learning and navigating our experiences. In order for us to navigate wisely, we must be in balance with ourselves to clearly make decisions. This is why having balance is so valuable, as it offers us the means to take advantage of what is best for us without falling into disharmony. When we have a measure of equipoise, we enter our relationships and experiences with a certain amount of grace that keeps us stable and free from falling out of balance.
There are a few way to cultivate equipoise and inner balance, each requires a mindful attention to ourselves that takes practice for it to become useful to us when we are challenged. Here are a few different practices to keep our inner and outer balance.
Listening to ourselves by paying attention to how we are feeling emotionally during our interactions and noticing what emotions are becoming active. Sometimes, we may not realize that we are slowly adopting a perception that is increasingly causing us to feel threatened or stressed. This is the best way to avoid over-reacting, because we can decide whether there is an issue or simply a misunderstanding in our perception. When we listen to ourselves, we gain the awareness that helps us to keep our balance by not reacting without cause.
Paying attention to our physical responses can also tell us when we are beginning to feel out-of-balance. We often get signal through our bodies that inform us when we don’t feel right, when something is off, well before our minds have discerned that we are not happy with the situation. This perception cues us into alignment to take action before we fall out of harmony. This happens by keeping a body awareness by scanning our physical presences and paying attention to what we sense through our bodies. What is the body telling you? Is there tension building in the shoulders, a headache, stomach-ache, or some uneasy feeling in response to what’s happening, paying attention can help us avoid falling prey to situations that do not serve us.
Witnessing our thoughts and responses to the situation can help to reveal when we are falling into patterns that pull us off balance. Sometimes, within an experience we begin to respond the way we feel we are supposed to, rather than how we would genuinely prefer to be recognized. When we listen to ourselves and the things we say, watching our communication, we gain an inner sense of equipoise that deliberately strengthens our authenticity. Asking ourselves, if this is really what we want or whether we are acting to please another often helps to point out what motivation is taking precedence. It is always better to course-correct ourselves in the moment than let things go, leading to more imbalance and bigger misunderstandings that need to be remedied later. Always be clear in communicating your truth, being authentic is the best strengthening agent for wellness.
Becoming aware of how we feel after we have an encounter can also be very useful. Sometimes we do not realize the full impact of an experience during our exchanges because they seem to happen so quickly. Taking the time to reflect allows us to integrate what we experienced and gives us a way to make changes, if we feel they are needed without carrying burdens that are unresolved.
Lastly, waiting to speak, giving ourselves a moment to think about what we wish to share and how we wish to share it, can give us an amazing feeling of being in alignment with ourselves. This practice helps to ensure an awareness and instant support that gives us a strong sense of feeling centered in ourselves. We can choose to share or not. We are free to choose and are not required to share everything we perceive. Taking time to digest our perceptions can give us a greater understanding of what’s valuable and worthy of being shared with others. Somethings aren’t meant to be shared, but are reflection of our own inner learning that supports our own evolution. It’s ok to remain quiet, especially if we feel uncertain in sharing what we’ve not had time to fully process and integrate for ourselves. Giving ourselves the space to think before we speak often lends us a great deal of balance within our experiences by utilizing our freedom to know ourselves first.
Learning how to respond with equipoise, or being able to gain a feeling of balance after a challenging experiences provide us with opportunities to become stronger in ourselves. We can cultivate our inner balance by gently listening to ourselves, releasing old patterns and adopted views, when we are truly paying attention to ourselves. There are so many benefits to keeping our inner balance through the daily practice of pay attention to how we are feeling. Each experience becomes a fun way to learn about ourselves, allowing ourselves to shift from one position to a new one, gaining greater comfort and resilience to keep our health and harmony.
I encourage you to take advantage of those moments, when you may be feel challenged to take the steps to reclaim your balance by gently listening to yourself. Integrating the best parts of what is being shown to you through the grace of your own awareness and releasing anything that no longer serves you to remain in harmony. We each have a natural way of finding our own inner balance, but it requires that we value it by claiming it for ourselves. Enjoy reclaiming your sense of equipoise by finding that artful balance within you.