There is much talk, study and thinking in Alexander Technique Land about balance. An AT course begins with the balance of head-on-spine. The premise of Good Use is that the body can be naturally at ease when the head-spine relationship is balanced. So true.
However, we get off-track when we equate balance with ‘the correct position,’ or with ‘getting it right.’ That’s the fallacy, that we can somehow arrive at perfection.
In terms of life balance, I spent years trying to get that right; the proper mix of work, leisure, personal life and community service. Can’t say I ever achieved balance. Instead, I was busy attempting to control things and keep the chaos at bay.
As John O’Donahue* wrote, ‘we live every moment in the condition of contingency.‘ We prefer to forget and repress this fact, but there are those who got up this morning (maybe you), and something happened that will change their lives from this day on. Balance can be truly precarious.
But here’s what I have learned. Balance is movement. Balance is not a monolithic thing, an arrival at stasis. The daily schedule adhered to, the body accurately mapped, these alone do not give me balance. I must move.
All is in a state of flux, and our flexibility and on-going curiosity about our ever-changing inner and outer worlds is what will provide us the balance we wish for.
* O’Donohue, John. Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World