Why Bother Balancing Ease With Effort?

Why Bother Balancing Ease With Effort?

I enjoy watching ballet performances. The ballerinas float through the air with grace and serenity and manage to land on solid ground with a joyful expression on their faces. I know they must work hard to perform such smooth and beautiful movements and it is the fruit of that hard labor which they display on stage. 

Steadiness and Stillness

I will never be a ballerina, but I do understand the importance of practicing the natural rhythm of effort and ease, concentrated focus and rest, persistence and serenity. This cadence and balance of opposites is seen in nature and in our bodies. Seasons change from winter to spring, and when we breathe, we both inhale and exhale. Can you imagine what it would be like if it was always winter or if we only knew how to inhale—we would have imbalanced systems instead of balanced ones.

Learning equilibrium between focused persistence and rest is a bit like learning to dance. At first it feels like a series of fits-and-starts, awkward, clumsy and unnatural. But, when you find your natural cadence, then there is a harvest of satisfaction. 

Our bodies come with their own set of directions, so to speak, we just need to tune into that language that is spoken by our bodies. Do I understand when it is asking for a rest and honor that request? Or do I ignore the message and instead, push myself past my limit? And what are the results of doing so? Do I pay attention to how I get snarky, exhausted, reactionary and forgetful?

 When we commit to evening work with pleasure, our movements with pauses, seriousness with laughter, then we are sure to become more sensitive to how much we can or need to accomplish before giving ourselves a break. 

Honoring our natural cadence, and paying attention to our bodies messages for rest does not impede us from completing goals. Instead, benefits abound when we find our balance. There is a sense of joy and satisfaction with our accomplishments, along with a feeling of being grounded and steady. When difficult times come, as we know they will, we are confident we can weather them without wilting because we’ve not depleted our personal reserves. 

Why bother balancing ease with effort? Balanced individuals can move through life with steadiness and serenity and not in a series of fits-and-starts.