The Nature of Soul Balance

The simple concepts used when trying to find balance. 

Minutes after being dropped off at College I was asked to a party.   As a new freshman I felt excited and yet uncertain about attending “The Last Bash Before Summer Ends.”  It was the night before classes began and while tempted, I decided not to go.  I figured there would be other parties.  Truthfully, I had no idea. I was already juggling a lot; my parent’s divorce, living on campus, a new roommate, eating at the dining hall, doing my own laundry, working a new part-time job and going to class.

Honestly, I was apprehensive about my new college life.  There was a lot to manage and I’d already been warned that the majority of my freshman class would drop out. After finishing my courses the next day, I walked back to my room feeling less anxious and relieved I’d made it everywhere on time.

Feeling Anxious?

Opening the door to the dormitory, I was besieged with loud music and a group of guys hurriedly making posters in the hall for tonight’s “First Day of School Party.”

I checked my watch and the pre-party to the party had already begun at two in the afternoon. I was having a tough time finding balance; everything was competing for my time, attention and energy.  Years later when I visited the Ringling Brothers museum in Sarasota, Florida I learned they actually taught juggling classes.

The College of Business at my University didn’t.  Instead, they taught us about negotiating tradeoffs. Tradeoffs is a simple concept of trying to find balance.  Openly trading one thing for another is the founding premise of the idea.  In college freshman terms; it was the choice to party vs. attending class.  I accepted the paradigm and tried in vain to find balance. For years, I attempted two-ball juggling acts like; time vs. money, work vs. home, spouse vs. kids.

Juggling too much

The problem was straightforward; I was faced with more balls, in the form of additional choices and alternatives, than I could juggle.  It didn’t matter this method was doomed to never work, it was all I had.  In the end I was a performer trying to juggle while standing on a ball.  Seeking a more balanced foundation, I now looked for the perfect environment. I began searching for the perfect place to; work, live, raise kids and succeed.

After moving a dozen times it never once occurred to me that I was unbalanced.  I knew I wasn’t quite happy or content but I attributed that to not finding the perfect place.

Then a revelation.  Finding balance meant coming back to the balance in me.  But what if my compass was off?  How would I ever find my center if I’d never ever really experienced true balance?  I was deeply concerned.  How would I find it now?

It was within me where I found the secret to balance – not just for me – but in everything.  Instead of managing tradeoffs as I had practiced –I let it all go.  This is easy to write and even easier to read but it’s a pivotal key to long lasting balance.

Once I finished with competitively juggling one thing for another a huge shift transpired.  I discovered real balance to be deeply internal.  Focusing on my internal balance allowed me to be naturally centered.  The result was everything external aligned.