The Fifty Shades of Balance

Searching for that Single, Clear Point of Balance? You Should be Seeing Shades of Grey                

by Jenn Danielson 

So, tell me: is your life – your whole life – in balance?

What if there’s no such thing as a fixed life-balance, but just now-balance?

Everything in life is connected. Your finances impact your health and your health impacts your work and your work impacts your family…and they all impact each other. At any given moment you are facing a shift in one or more areas of life.

On the teeter-totter, you’d be toast.

On the tightrope, you get to dance along the subtle shades of balance.

Your work draws you to one side of the rope to find balance there, and you’re a little farther away from your usual exercise routine and family time. Your payments for a new roof draw you to the other side of the rope, balancing finances and making that social trip to Vegas with friends a stretch. Each of these is a new point of balance in your life. A true, legitimate balance, right now, in this situation. You won’t always be here. But you are now. And you’re standing.

It seems simple, but it’s amazing how often we can disregard the shifts and try to stay standing, solid and defiant in the centre of the tightrope while it sways beneath us. We think we’re on that black and white teeter-totter.


Do you take on extra work hours and maintain all your social and personal events? Or ignore a sore back and continue to go to the gym? Agree to attend a wedding in Mexico after the holiday bills are coming due? You can. We all do. And we all can – to our own degrees in each situation –manage it. We dance in place, sticking to that shade of grey somewhere on the rope that we know and love as our “balance”. The dance gets trickier and we may see some affects – the tightrope wiggles, or slacks or shakes. We get tired, sick or disconnected from friends or passions. Sometimes the tension passes and we stay in place successfully. Other times, we need to move.

There are so many ways we can feel at a given moment. There are so many things we can focus on and set aside, and there are so many reasons we shift. And in each moment we are free to adjust and re-establish our balance.

There is no singular point of balance in our lives. Moving with the shifts in life – whether gracefully or fantastically over-the-top – lets us connect to that elusive just right along all our shades of balance.

Yeah. Mine neither… Oh, that elusive “balance”:

-- a balanced diet --

-- a balanced cheque book --

-- a balanced life…. --

Balance. You know, that near-mythical centre point on a teeter-totter where everything is magically equal, and you simply float in blissful state of just right.  That place where it’s all in place. The right balance of exercise. The right balance of money. The right balance in health. Even the right balance of “work-life” balance.

Here’s the kicker: on that teeter-totter, one small adjustment sends the whole blissful state crashing to one side. A shift in finances, wellness, family or work and you’re suddenly stranded high in the air, or flat on your ass on the ground. It’s an all or nothing endeavour.

On the teeter-totter, there’s not a lot of wiggle room. You are balanced. Or you aren’t.

I don’t know about you, but my life doesn’t sit well on a single point of balance. I’d spend a whole lot of time flat on my ass. But what if there are many points of balance? Many shades and variations for each time and situation?

What if we turn the teeter-totter into a tightrope? A tightrope walker glides effortlessly along, making split second course corrections to adjust to each footstep, gust of wind or curious nearby bird. They establish and re-establish balance at every single point along the tightrope. It’s not always graceful and it’s sometimes fantastically over-the-top, but there is a dance inside the continuum of balance – all the shades of grey between the extreme end points.

by Jenn Danielson