Stop Using It?
Some people think the word should be abandoned altogether, others think the word evokes problematic stereotypes for women, and yet there are many who embrace it as a source of agency and empowerment. Yes, I am talking about the “B” word – BALANCE!
I do not attempt to define or predetermine what balance should look like for others. In fact my starting point in any workshop or coaching session is to ask the participants how they feel about balance and what balance means to them. Having said that, I think it is important to note that balance is not a myth to be rejected as unattainable. Balance is not an elusive aspiration doomed to failure no matter how hard one tries. And balance is not achieved by attempting to perfectly divide one’s time, attention, and commitments. I continue to use the “B” word (BALANCE) because I connect to the concept both intellectually as a philosopher and physically as a yogi.
As a philosopher, I appreciate ancient reflections on balance, from Egyptian philosophy (e.g. the goddess Maat constitutes order, balance harmony, justice, righteousness, and reciprocity), to Chinese philosophy (e.g. Hsun Tzu emphasizes the importance of order, harmony and staying focused), to Greek philosophy (e.g. Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean describes virtue as the mean between excess and deficiency). Furthermore, I like other terms and phrases frequently associated with balance - stability, steadiness, arranging and adjusting, assessing the importance of something, and/or considering all aspects of something. And while Dictionary.com is not typically my “go to” source as a scholar, it is worth mentioning a definition of balance offered there: “the power or ability to decide an outcome by throwing one’s strength, influence, support, or the like, to one side or another.” I am drawn here to the emphasis on power, decision, and strength – or what I would call one’s agency and responsibility to decide what is important in one’s life and choose to act accordingly.
As a yogi, I especially like balancing poses like Mountain, Chair, Tree, Eagle, and Dancer. In Mountain Pose feel myself grounded. It is a great starting point on my yoga mat. The other poses help me to connect to my center and find my tipping point. I also appreciate the balancing effects of connecting to my breath, my body, and my spirit through my yoga practice, mindfulness, and meditation.
As a professional coach who is also a philosophy professor and registered yoga teacher (with an elective specialization in yoga therapy), I bring both philosophy and yoga to coaching in the areas of work, life, wellness, balance, and bliss. I am committed to being an active listener, co-inquirer, gentle agitator, and accountability partner in your self-realization and self-actualization journey. I see clients as whole, healthy, empowered, and insightful (even when they do not always see these qualities in themselves).
How do you handle the "B" word?
If you are interested in achieving more BALANCE in your life and/or for your organization, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also schedule an individual coaching session at: https://kathryntginesphd.acuityscheduling.com/