I used to think of a “balanced life” like a pie, with all these different wedges that I had to somehow make into roughly the same size. Or like a scale where I was trying to find the elusive sweet spot in the middle.
Balancing time spent socializing with time spent in solitude.
Balancing time spent caring for others with time spent caring for myself.
Balancing family, work, creative pursuits, and more.
I rarely felt like I was getting it right, and to be honest, it was often more stress-inducing than stress-reducing.
This view and experience of balance felt like such a precarious thing, always teetering on the edge.
There was constantly some valuable aspect of my life that was being neglected or not getting the energy or devotion that I hoped to give to it. Clearly, I just needed to try harder. Have better boundaries. I believed there was some secret recipe, and that when I found it, all of the pieces would magically fall into place.
The metaphors, the symbols, and the images we use matter. Picturing a balanced life as a pie or a scale turned balance into something stationary. Fixed. Every moment judged on its perfect evenness.
But there is another kind of balance…
One that lives in motion. That dances with the rhythm of the seasons and the moon.
I was born in Sweden. It is called the Land of the Midnight Sun. At those high latitudes, the darkness and light of the seasons are extreme. There are days where it is light for nearly 24 hours and there are days where it is dark for nearly 24 hours. In between, there are a few of those that are “balanced” (right around the equinoxes).
If you looked at the midsummer solstice alone, the darkness and light would seem horribly lopsided. That pie image would have something like 85% daytime and only 15% nighttime. The reverse would be true for the winter solstice.
But when you look at it from a bird’s-eye view, that pattern changes.
A balance that unfolds through time begins to appear.
What if the same is true of our lives?
Yes, maybe we have those blissful equinox moments, where the mix of elements in our lives feels just right. But maybe there are also those times where we naturally care more for others than we do ourselves (for example, if we have a loved one who is ill). Or seasons where we focus on our creative expression or sacred work and some of our relationships are put on the back burner.
What if this is simply natural?
(Of course, if we get stuck in one season permanently, as the Good Girl would have us do, then we have fallen out of our natural rhythm once again. There is no big inhale to follow the big exhale. No time to rest and receive after a big push of giving and creation.)
This image of balance as the dance of the seasons feels more relaxed in my body. There is more fluidity. More grace.
Less gripping and more resilience.
I’d love to know how this image of balance resonates with you and lands in your body. I invite you to reply below and let me know.
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