When you go for a hike, there’s a good chance you’ll see a pile of stones stacked on top of each other along the trail. Stone-balancing is not only an art form, it’s a calming process of meditation and introspection. It forces you to pay close attention, as you lose a sense of time while building and re-positioning the stones. In order to build it, you must locate the point of gravity to find balance. No matter what size stone you pick, if you continue to stack within that point, all the stones will stay centered. It teaches you how to stay resilient and grounded no matter what kind of situation life throws at you. It’s the perfect metaphor for living, and all the ways we attempt to seek balance within it. Finding balance is not a simple task, especially when life becomes unpredictable and chaotic. But when we keep ourselves grounded in the moment, it can be easier to flow with whatever obstacles (or stones) life throws at us.
- Finding emotional balance.
We live in a constant state of duality, living our days to rest at night. But we cannot survive with only the darkness or only the light. We have to find a balance in the emotional spectrum of our lives and learn how to coexist within our polarities. We often seek the positive emotions, because negative emotions are more painful to sit with and we often suppress them. Before we let go of darker and heavier emotions, we have to let ourselves completely feel it so we can be free from it. Embrace the good days when it happens. Hold it close. But when the bad days come, hold it even tighter, so when the time comes to let it go — you can let it go.
2. Learning how to balance life and work.
As a society, we often measure our worth in the monotonous wheel of our work. And when we work too much, or don’t work enough, we often feel either depleted or inadequate. Ask yourself the question, if I am not my job, then who am I? You are more than your profession and it certainly doesn’t define who you are. That realization is the first step in finding a balance between what you do, who you are, and how you should live.
3. Letting courage and fear live in harmony.
Contrary to what most people believe, being courageous doesn’t mean that you must be fearless. The beautiful part about being brave is when you recognize and acknowledge your fears, but choose to conquer them, anyway. It’s normal to have fears, and we shouldn’t be ashamed for having them because it’s part of being human. The actual act of courage is when you cultivate the power within yourself to dare to be bold while facing your fears head on.
4. Loving others and loving yourself.
When you’re in an airplane, one of their first demonstrations in case of an emergency is how to put on a mask. And if you’ve traveled before, you know how it goes: put on a mask first before you help others. It’s like saying we have to truly love ourselves first before we can love anyone else. However, we can still love other people even when we don’t love ourselves, but we get to choose where that love comes from. Do we love them because we often seek external validation, or do we love them for exactly who they are? How we love other people is often a direct reflection of how we love ourselves and if we love ourselves. It’s important to find the balance between learning how to love ourselves fully, that the love we share for others is an overflow of our own self-love.
5. Be like water.
Bruce Lee said empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. They tied this quote to the belief that we have to be adaptable to whatever situations form in the moment. That doesn’t mean that we have to be malleable, but when we learn how to adjust and reshape ourselves around certain situations that can usually cause chaos, then our lives become more peaceful.
When a wave comes crashing into our lives, we can dive deeper into the surface where the calmness is. And when we come out on the other side — we rise more balanced and centered in our own gravity.