Life’s a balancing act. Some months are calm. Others, not. Yet, in our attempt to navigate the changes around us, we may find ourselves wobbling. Perhaps this shaky state even becomes our new norm, as we slowly resemble those toys from childhood—"weebles that wobble but never fall down.”
For me, summer was a blur. One moment it was here, and the next, it disappeared. Then September came, and though cooler, it certainly was not calmer. Hoping a routine would help, I returned to the yoga studio instead of doing livestream classes at home. I also resumed writing The Healers—the manuscript I’d ignored all summer. Jam-packing my days with tasks and activities, I got shit done this month.
And now that October’s arrived, I can finally look back and see how wobbly I’ve been. While I never “fell down,” I certainly wasn’t as steady as I like to be. However, Libra season seems the perfect time to regain balance. As much as I liked September’s sudden structure, I can’t—nor do I want to—maintain last month’s pace. I'm ready to find my center.
But before we can actually “balance,” I suppose we must first determine what this term means for us. Is it the grace with which we manage our hours, days, weeks? Or does it simply imply where we put our attention—work, responsibilities, learning, playing?
For me, balance is all about creating harmony between being and doing. Sure, work’s important, but so are family and friends. And while my inclination is to care for others, it’s also critical to do the same for myself. In essence, it’s not so much the “what” I’m doing or “how” I’m being, rather it’s the need for both in my life. After getting off the merry-go-round and taking some time to ponder this topic, it became evident the past months’ constant doing caused an imbalance within.
This spring we sold our house in Pennsylvania and then moved our belongings to Oregon in the summer, completing a long-term transition from the east coast to the pacific northwest. Truthfully, the process exhausted me—physically, mentally, but mostly emotionally. And now that we’re unpack and settled, my challenge is to determine ways to level the scale. Where can I let go of doing so there is time to be?
Too often we think finding balance requires major transformations—quitting, stopping, eliminating some aspects of our life while we add, adopt, integrate something entirely new. But usually, it’s the tiny shifts, small releases, and subtle changes that return us to our equilibrium—the place where we feel in alignment and at peace. For me, this starts with grounding. By returning to my body and taking a break from the constant chatter inside my head, I can find my center. This allows space to examine what elements of life need to stay—and which need to go. Like the trees releasing their dry and brittle leaves, we too, can surrender what no longer serves us.
When I first heard this phrase, it felt extremely self-centered. After all, just because something no longer serves us is no reason to discard it. Doesn’t everyone have “things” they must do—duties, commitments, promises?
But that’s not what this is about. What no longer serves us doesn’t suggest we shirk our responsibilities because we no longer want to uphold our end of the agreement. In fact, sometimes it’s what we most crave, desire, or love that we must surrender. I suppose a tree becomes attached to its leaves, especially when they’re a vibrant orange or crimson red. Yet, it somehow knows that in order to create new blooms in the spring, it must release what no longer serves it, even when it’s difficult to do. The same is true for us.
Letting go, especially of that which holds great meaning, is tough. Sometimes, the process can be painful. On a recent podcast, astrologer Chani Nicholas suggested that instead of letting go, we set down. I liked this phrase because the implication is we can always pick it up again—whatever it is. Yet, for now, we’ve only put it temporarily out of reach. It’s not gone forever.
Having recently let go of something incredibly precious—my roots—I can now see that before I could fully release it, I had to set it down for a bit. Looking back, I needed the extended period to surrender what meant so much to me. Perhaps that’s what made summer so difficult, distant, disconcerting. Not only was the move physically exhausting, but I let a lot go … even though I didn’t necessarily want to. And in the process, I lost my balance. That’s why it’s time to find my center. However, to do so, there’s more to release if I hope to get rid of the wobbles.
As I begin to examine what no longer serves me, some of the answers appear obvious … surfing social media, watching Seinfeld reruns at night, hitting “snooze” on my alarm. But those are merely the low hanging fruit. There’s more to surrender. Yet, to figure out what needs to go, I must stop doing and instead be.
When in balance, my body, mind, and spirit work together. My neck and shoulder muscles aren’t as tight, I sleep well at night, and my thinking’s clear. But it extends beyond the physical. It’s as though time works with me. I accomplish without rushing. Even the traffic lights cooperate. Yet, perhaps the most important clue that I’m in balance is I show up as myself—vulnerable, curious, and perhaps a bit nerdy. Not needing others’ approval, I instead rely on my intuition. But mostly, I’m not afraid because I trust in GUS (God, Universe, Source).
How do you find your balance? But first, maybe ask, “What no longer serves you?”