Balance is something for which I have been striving as long as I can remember. There’s the physical balance of holding a tree pose, or walking on a tight rope, but that is not the kind of balance to which I am referring.
I am referring to balance in life. This begins in my thinking.
I have this tendency to swing hard to one side or the other. Extremism. All or nothing. Black or white. It’s a terrible way to operate, and becoming aware of this tendency is a great place to begin. Without awareness, there is no acceptance, and there has to be acceptance before launching into the action of changing it.
I wanted to give myself a reminder to avoid these extreme ways of thinking. I drew a teeter totter on my wrist with a Sharpie to remind me to not jump from one side to the other, but to remain more neutral in my thinking – more balanced.
I liked it so much that I had it permanently inked ON MY WRIST. Some people may be shrugging like, yeah, whoop-dee-doo. But this was a big deal for me. It’s my first visible tattoo, and I didn’t wait ten years to get it. More like two weeks. When you know, you know.
On the appointed day of inking, “fulcrum” was weirdly the Merriam-Webster word of the day. I knew the little triangle in the center was a fulcrum, but I had never read the definition.
|1a : prop; specifically : the support about which a lever turns
b : one that supplies capability for action
Did you catch that second part? It supplies capability for action. It’s the center and the support. I did some further reading about fulcrums, and it turns out, they are the most stable part of the entire system.
I am so grateful to have learned this. It provides more hope knowing this.
If you don’t struggle with extremes, count yourself among the fortunate. I have wasted so much energy doing “mental gymnastics”. This is a great sport in which to excel if you’re a fiction writer (which maybe one day that will be true for this girl). But it’s a terrible way to show up in the world. I am usually imagining the worst possible outcome on any given situation.
Moms are especially gifted at this. If our kids are a measly five minutes late, we imagine them overturned in a ditch and bleeding out, don’t we?
There’s science behind why our brains operate in this way. It has to do with our survival mechanism of identifying threats and such. If I wasn’t suffering with senioritis, I would look it up and give you the link, but it’s just too much work. I hope you’ll forgive me.
I know this much – when I can level out, and become still and centered, life is more peaceful. Some may say boring, but I’ll take it.
How do you keep from swinging from one extreme to the other? Meditation? Mantras? Is there an app for that? I’d love to hear from you…
Thanks for reading, until next time,