Possibility Warrior

Lighting The Way Forward


Still and Dynamic Balance


To be balanced, you need to practice balance in two different arenas — in stillness and in motion. You are practicing still balance when you do tree pose in yoga — trying to maintain your center of gravity over a less stable (one-footed) foundation. Moving balance might look like staying upright while skiing downhill.

Tree pose is practiced to calm your mind as well as build balance. This kind of internal still balance might be seen as a more introverted kind of balance, and it could look like a zen state as opposed to an agitated state. Balance of this type is often equated with equilibrium.  Equilibrium is sometimes seen as rather dull and inactive, but actually, a lot has to go on to maintain equilibrium. In tree pose, you are actively using your leg and core muscles to hold yourself in one position — do it for long and you will tire out!

Likewise, a calm, balanced internal state can be seen more as counter-balanced thoughts rather than some sort of blank mind. For example, you don’t just see the bad and dwell on worst-case scenarios, or refuse to acknowledge the bad, or zone out in front of the TV to avoid thinking about it. Rather you see both the bad and acknowledge the good. You determine to deal with the bad that actually happens, and remain constantly thankful for the good that actually happens.

Moving, dynamic balance might look like staying centered while engaging with life. This could be seen as a more extraverted kind of balance — the ability to act, react, and adapt in a changing environment without losing it. When it comes to the functions, it would look like knowing when to use your different functions, and how to apply them when needed. Typically, instead, we try to tackle every problem from the vantage point of our most preferred functions. We have a hammer, so we turn everything into a nail. This is by definition unbalanced, and it’s not really surprising that it doesn’t work so well when life presents situations outside the realm of our most preferred functions. To be better able to deal with all circumstances, it would be better to work towards facility in all of our cognitive functions.

This means knowing when to turn inward and when to engage with the external world. It means knowing when to collect more data and when to stop and make a decision. This requires recognizing the childish behavior of each function, and finding ways to mature your functions into functional adults!

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