Balance 2016

The two sides of BALANCE

Balance is the state of being in equilibrium. Balance is law. We feel out of control when we lose our balance, which is why our Word of the Week moves from CONTROL to BALANCE, and why the wobble in our various acts of balance have a way of eliciting great frustration, disappointment, and embarrassment. To eliminate the wobble in our pose or in our lives, we must let go of these human reactions, re-steady our eye gaze, engage the appropriate muscles, and align head, heart, and Being.

Mastery of life is not a question of control, but of finding a balance between human and Being. […] Human alone is never enough, no matter how hard you try or what you achieve. […] Human is form. Being is formless. Human and Being are not separate but interwoven.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Balance is the strength that enables us to remain upright and steady…no matter what is happening around us. Without balance, our willPower falters. We doubt ourselves and choose to retreat instead of rise. To stay steady on our path of growth then, we must constantly find our balance. In doing so, we establish our new equilibrium and, inevitably, our equanimity.

When we balance, we align our body’s center of gravity with the earth’s gravitational field. Quite literally, we place ourselves in physical equilibrium with a fundamental force of nature. But we can’t achieve this harmony by remaining absolutely still. Instead, we must refresh our balance moment after moment. The sustained effort to center and recenter, when successful, brings not only our flesh and bones into balance but also our nerve impulses, thoughts, emotions, and very consciousness. Hence, we feel calm. Equilibrium brings equanimity.” ~Roger Cole (Plumb Perfect: The Physics + Power of Balancing Poses)

A balance sheet is a financial statement showing a snapshot of your assets relative to your liabilities and equity at a point in time. Assets equal liabilities (how much you owe) plus equity (your net worth). With too many liabilities, you run the risk of financial distress. Without any liabilities, you are tempted to relax and hit cruise control. Think of it this way, if you had no bills, would you still show up at work? If you hadn’t signed up for that race, would you be as dedicated in your training and preparation?

Our obligations keep us disciplined and hard-working. When bills stack up too high, though, our lives become centered around avoiding financial distress. We feel (or become…) forced to limit self-investment and the service to our families and community, making our lives less fulfilling and soul-satisfying. We end up not living out our dreams, which drives bitterness, resentment, and the sad story in our heads.

On the other hand, the workout you made time for today, the fifteen minutes you stopped working to play with your child, to chat with a loved one, or to just grab some fresh air…the meals you ate, the sleep you logged in…these things ultimately pump up the asset side of your balance sheet. Better energy creates a more efficient capital base. Your capital base. We must look at both sides of the balance sheet…in finance and in life.

How balanced are the areas of your life that matter to you the most? How much are your liabilities driving your behavior and influencing (or interfering with…) your balance? What would a balanced day, life, or “you” look like?

A warrior balances solitude and dependence.” ~Paulo Coelho

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit www.starslocker.com.