Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu
Balance is the ultimate ideal – whether it is in one’s emotional and social life, bodily movement, fine art, accounting and even winemaking. Leading a balanced life is surely one of the most obvious strivings. And yet, why is it just that – a striving? Maybe we should try to unravel this elusive concept from a psychological viewpoint to guide us in our striving towards a balanced life. By living a balanced life we also help our children to grow into beautiful balanced beings.
Balance as a noun:
• Equal distribution of weight: This implies not only pulling your weight at work, in the house or with the kids. Distribute your weight equally between spending your mental energy on outside people, your family and yourself. Neglecting one area will have an influence on all the other areas.
• A state of bodily equilibrium: Dr Candace Pert proved the mind-body connection from a scientific point of view in ‘Molecules of Emotion, 1997’. She explains the biomolecular basis for our emotions and how our minds and feelings affect our health and well-being. The impact of the one on the other should never be underestimated.
• Mental steadiness or emotional stability: Being consistent and stable is one of the biggest gifts to our children.
• Habit of calm behaviour: It is not what we say, but how we say it. An angry tone leads to attack / defense – standing in the way of productive communication.Balance also refers to remainder or rest of: What is really important in life? – And don’t sweat the balance.
• In winemaking balance is seen as the degree to which all the attributes of a wine are in harmony, with none either too prominent or deficient: What goes for the wine, goes for the soul.
• In fine art balance refers to a composition or placement of elements of design in such a manner as to produce an aesthetically pleasing or harmoniously integrated whole: Focusing on the bigger picture might assist in becoming an harmoniously integrated whole person. Life, like art, is not about perfection. It is about how you arrange what you have.
Balance as a verb:
• To bring to or hold in equilibrium: Living a balanced life does not happen to you – ‘if it is to be, it is up to me.’
• Poise: Poise refers to self-assurance, dignity, composure and good posture. Being poised is beautiful. Living a balanced life will illuminate the soul.
• In accounting, balance is to settle by paying what remains due on an account: Settling matters decreases the baggage you have to carry. Pay your dues. Balance can also mean to adjust accounts: By asking yourself if something / someone is good for you, you will be able to identify accounts to be adjusted.
• Equalise or adjust: Don’t fight what you cannot change. • In dancing balance is to move in rhythm to and from: Dance more often– and never to someone else’s rhythm. We often say that if you want the truth, ask a child.
Maybe there is also something we can take from the following nursery rhyme:
The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
~ Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990
BY Jeanne Fourie-Hattingh
Jeanne Fourie-Hattingh is a psychologist in private practice in George and proud mother of two.
Contact 044 874 1241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org