When I saw my niece perform her balance beam act for her gymnastics meet, I was astounded at her ability to sustain her inner poise. Watching as a spectator, it is blatantly apparent that the beam is narrow. It is only four inches wide. For the gymnasts, it takes a great amount of concentration to stay aligned and upright throughout the entire act. As my niece was placing one foot in front of the other, I thought to myself, “Isn’t life like a balance beam act?”
When you are centered and in-sync with yourself, you have the capability to make decisions from a place of inner power and stability. Like a gymnast walking the balance beam, it takes a conscious effort to remain within this empowered state of mind. But the more you practice getting in touch with the core of your being, the easier it becomes to tap into this essence and realize the benefits with greater consistency.
Living in a World of Duality
Duality is an instance of opposition or contrast between two aspects of something. As hinted by the word “dual” within the word itself, duality refers to having two parts, often with opposite meanings, like the duality of good and evil, peace and war, up and down. Duality has technical meanings in mathematics and physics. Quantum mechanics has shown us that light can behave as both a particle and a wave. As Albert Einstein wrote:
We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do.
There are tangible dualities that run throughout all elements of our lives. From physical sensations (hot vs. cold), emotional states (happy vs. sad) to personality traits (ambitious vs. ambivalent). To demonstrate the importance of balancing our dualistic natures, let’s compare the Type A and Type B personality types.
Type A and Type B Personalities
- Type A people are known to be high-achievers, competitive, status-conscious, and proactive. Taken to the extreme, the Type A personality may display free-floating hostility, a hair-trigger temper, or high stress due to competitive drive.
- Type B people are known to be less pushy, reflective thinkers, even tempered, and creative. Taken to the extreme, the Type B personality may become too lackadaisical, carefree, or indecisive.
Three Hikers and a Mountain
Three hikers were getting ready to hike a beautiful mountain in Washington State. The skies were clear and the temperature was perfect. One of the hikers, Type A, was determined to reach the top of the mountain in one hour. Another hiker, Type B, wasn’t concerned about reaching the top; she just wanted to enjoy the journey. Balance, the third hiker, had a plan. She would arrive at the peak within three hours, leaving ample time to enjoy the experience.
Type A achieved her goal in one hour. She hiked briskly with her eyes glued to the ground, intent on the placement of her feet. The wild roses that were blooming in full grandeur escaped her attention. A majestic bald eagle released a high-pitch cry and flew above her head. Type A continued with steadfast conviction, never looking towards the sky.
Type B reached the top in five hours. She enjoyed seeing the delicate flowers, gazing at the bald eagle, and listening to the soothing streams. But she was too carefree with her time. It was starting to get dark, and she placed herself in a dangerous situation of not reaching the bottom before dusk encroached upon her.
Balance reached the top in three hours. She enjoyed the journey but was aware of the bigger picture. She was cognizant of the fact that she had to leave herself enough time for the return hike as well. This idea of being mindful of the entire experience is a perfect example of balance. Appreciating the value of life while reaching ambitions gives you the best of both worlds.
The author, Susan Kapatoes, MHA is the founder of Inspire Your Journey, a holistic wellness company. She is a Wellness Partner with Amare Global, and an Independent Distributor with BEMER Therapy and Healy World. She lives in Massachusetts.
Harrison, David (2002). “Complementarity and the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics”. UPSCALE. Dept. of Physics, U. of Toronto.