Static and Dynamic Balance

balanceA friend of mine was talking about being in Church one Sunday and listening to her minister go on about how everyone needs to find the time to be quiet for at least an hour a day. She rolled her eyes and said, “Well, it’s simple to see that he obviously has no kids. I’m lucky if I can find 10 minutes in a day, much less an hour between everything that needs to be done for them in addition to my job.” I heard a sense of resignation that she wouldn’t be able to be in balance as long as she couldn’t find the time to sit and get quiet.

I asked my friend about what was true while she was doing all those things and she became very quiet for a moment and then said “I love my children. I love my job. Most of the time, even in the midst of the most hectic day when I really consider what’s true for me- I have a real sense of knowing I am right where I most want to be, that I’m right where I belong.”

People Tend to Misunderstand the Type of Balance They Actually Want

When you stand or sit, that is a particular kind of balance- what I am referring to as static balance, which comes from staying physically still.  Any movement obliterates that type of balance in an instant because now there is motion. Once you are in motion, another type of balance occurs, what I am referring to as dynamic balance – and it is only possible when you are walking. In dance it is oftentimes referred to as your “center” and the more you can keep your center quiet and still while in motion, what becomes true is are the movements… they become more powerful and graceful at the same time executed with much less effort.

When the spokes are adjusted on a bicycle wheel so the rim goes completely around without any wobble or variation- completely aligned – the wheel is referred to as being true. When the wheels are true the experience of riding the bicycle is smooth and still … there is no energy or attention being expended to stay balanced when the bicycle is in motion. This means your energy and attention is available to expend on where you are and where you’re going. But the only way to know if the wheels are true is to put the bicycle in motion. You cannot tell if anything needs to be adjusted if you aren’t moving.

The fact is, human beings are designed to be in motion- interacting, acting, reacting, responding, in motion, experiencing movement on a consistent basis. Without it our muscles and minds atrophy and eventually cease to be functional- the very antithesis of being alive and healthy.

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