Lose Your Balance

493. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

In the language of story, the story begins when the main character is knocked off balance. Stories are about transformation and transformation cannot happen in stasis. Losing balance creates motion so the story can begin.

You are the main character of your story and the rule applies to you, too: loss of balance is necessary for change. Although when knocked off balance our first impulse is to hold on to the known, which is a necessary impulse, an important action, yet ultimately you have to surrender to the new reality. You have to surrender to the unknown. Paradox warning: The new reality comes with the clarity that you do not know what to do. Admitting that you don’t know is a necessary and vital part of learning; it is a key to transformation.

We resist the new circumstance (being off balance) by treating it as if it was the old circumstance. We pretend that nothing is happening. This, of course, is an attempt to reassert balance and to make sense of what we don’t understand. Trying to regain balance is a good strategy for increasing discomfort and creating further imbalance: more heat, higher stakes, more motion. It is a form of creative tension.

This dance of holding on to the known in the face of the unknown splits us; it comes laden with contradictions. You love and hate your spouse. You fear and anticipate the move. It is a complexity: there is no black and white, no simple and easy answers. The point is to dissolve, to lose your orientation, to have nothing solid to grasp. The absence of stability facilitates the surrender: with nothing to hold on to, a step into the unknown is the only possible step; letting go becomes necessary; the only way out is into the void.

And it is in that moment, the moment of stepping into the unknown that the task or the journey seems insurmountable. That is necessary, too. If you knew you could survive, the journey would not be worth taking. When the only way to regain balance leads through the insurmountable, the story, your life, suddenly becomes worth telling.

One Response

  1. Letting go. Staying present in the moment. Trust in the way the world works. Are these not The Lessons of each life? Thank you for such a clear and elegant message!

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