Seek balance or truly present in the moment?
I stumbled upon the word ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ while doing my research for this post on balance. Some of you might have heard the word or the movie. But it’s not a word that I use often in my everyday life. Its origins are from the Hopi language which means ‘life out of balance’. Director Godrey Reggio used the term ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koyaanisqatsi) as the title of his classic film. The film consists of slow motion and time lapse footage and begins with a large mining truck causing billows of black dust and atomic bomb detonations in a desert. Shots of traffic patterns during rush hour are seen on a freeway and the camera follows a flaming rocket engine. Basically, the film starts off showing life in it’s ultimate unpleasant best. However, in our real life, we seek the opposite of Koyaanisqatsi. Don’t we? We all seek balance. A balance of work and play, of exercise and calories, of freedom and accountability.
What is Balance
By definition, Balance (mass noun) is a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. But the question is how do I incorporate balance into something as complex as life? That pie of life can’t be proportionate. It can’t get the appropriate amount of time and attention every time. When I think of Balance, Simone Biles comes to my mind. She is such a seasoned gymnast. But even Simone Biles can’t hold one pose for eternity. Can she? Hence, it’s time, we redefine balance. Balance has to have a customised definition. For me, it’s giving attention and priority to what is important in a particular point in time. It’s not aiming to give 25% to all spheres because sometimes an activity demands more attention and time from you. You are allowed to shift your focus and let someone down.
Then what do we seek?
Many a times we fall victim to the thought that life must be balanced. It’s an idea too evasive to comprehend. The drawback of the idea of perfect balance is that life ebbs and flows. The fact is we can’t wait for that particular moment where everything falls into place. Because such point of time doesn’t exist. If you think about it, there are moments of a sense of bliss and hope even on gloomy days. And in life it’s those moments that really count. I think the way forward is finding happiness in little moments and enjoying what you do. To take that particular task in entirety without comparing it with anything else that is going around you. Prioritising to spend quality time towards the person/people you love. Seeking to find ways to let your loved ones know that they are important in the midst of everything else that you are doing. Working towards having time to yourself where you don’t have to think about checking the clock about thousand times. Happiness is being truly present and enjoying the time you are in. For example, if you are at your workplace and giving your 100%, don’t worry about the traffic outside, enjoy being at your workplace. Similarly, if you are working from home and you need to extend the share of time for your work, don’t be guilty about not balancing it.
Giving it all to something that is important to you is balance
I am not saying that life should a ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ movie but something in the middle would be good enough. Be in the moment. In that moment if you have to take care of a loved one, please don’t feel guilty of not being there for someone else. Whatever needs your attention, give priority to that and stop thinking what’s going to happen next. Basically everything that you do matters at the point in time you are doing it. Giving it all to something that is important to you at that point of time is balance.