Redefining Balance

Sep 22, 2022
sunset on the water

Happy Autumn Equinox! Today is one of two days in the year (the other being the Spring Equinox) when the amount of daylight and darkness is equal, or, you might say, balanced. 
Wanting to lead a “more balanced” life is a common desire I often hear from our acupuncture patients and qigong students. 

What does “balance” mean? It’s tempting to think that if you can sort out the right combo of work, play, exercise, rest, food, social time etc, your life will be balanced. And if you keep doing those things, your life will stay balanced. 

But just as the ratio of day and night changes throughout the year, so does your internal balance point. The idea that we can “achieve” balance denies a basic rule of nature - constant change, mutability, and transformation. Humans like to think we are exempt from these natural laws, but we are not. 

True balance is not a static destination that you may or may not one day obtain. It is a dynamic state of being, in which the ways you care for yourself through movement and stillness, work and play, rest and action, creating anew and repairing what is, are mutable and changeable. 

This means that the way you express your balanced nature is not going to be the same in summer as in the winter, nor the same this year compared to last year, or this decade compared to last decade.

Liberate yourself from the (unachievable) idea of a fixed state of balance, and instead consider balance a naturally mutable state of being that changes with the cycles of day and night, the seasons, and the years of your life. 

Which simplifies the question of balance to: “What is my balance point for today?”

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