I was walking in the park the other day and came upon a couple of people practicing some tight rope walking (once we got to talking, they informed me that it is actually called slacklining). Of course, being a counsellor, my mind couldn't help but jump to numerous metaphors about life and how we are constantly trying to find our balance and keep it, only to fall off over and over again. Sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other.
So what does it mean, to live a balanced life? Well, first I think we need to remember that everything is in constant change all the time. In other words, impermanence. That means we can't get to a place in life and pin it down and keep it that way. And yet, many of us seem to get down on ourselves for not being able to do this very thing.
It seems to me, that if we can train in being awake in the present moment, then we can clearly see what is happening right now and make the necessary adjustments in that moment to live a balanced life. When we notice that something is lacking or is too much then we can make the change and we can feel proud of ourselves for noticing. Besides, we may have been in perfect balance for awhile, but things changed and now our choices need to change to get to the new balance. For example, we are working too much and too hard, so we take some time off. For awhile it feels perfect. Then, we start feeling like we have too much time on our hands and now we are needing to go back to work to feel that sense of balance again.
Noticing how and when we are out of balance is a life practice. We do our best. Sometimes we are right on, sometimes we are way off and often somewhere in between. Like the slackliners in the park, we can just keep at it and try to keep a sense of humour about the whole thing.