Balance (Tarot of Michelle)

Balance in life is dynamic: constantly shifting, adjusting and changing. I have to go with the flow and keep moving.

The story of Balance begins in a long-ago yoga class. I could not maintain the poses that required standing on one leg. I would start out okay, then my foot would start to wobble in an uncontrollable way. Eventually I’d have to reach out to steady myself or touch my other foot down.

This annoyed me very much, since at the time I was an active person, reasonably fit, and it seemed like such a simple thing to do. It would sometimes earn me what seemed like a dirty or pitying look from the yoga instructor, which was unfair and made me mad. There was nothing wrong with me, except I couldn’t do this simple thing.

Illustration by the author

An avid cyclist, I had no trouble at all balancing on two wheels. Of course I knew that momentum and motion were part of the magic that kept me upright, but it didn’t stop me from being disappointed in my one-legged failures.

“Moderation in all things, including moderation,” I liked to say. This usually applied to food, chocolate, alcohol, and exercise. Sometimes I’d have (or do) nothing; sometimes I’d go overboard. It all seemed to balance out in the end. Despite knowing this, it took me a really long time to understand that balance in all areas of life is dynamic. Everything within and without us is changing all the time, and we have to continually shift and adjust, go with the ebb and the flow. Staying perfectly still does not work!

When I think balance, I think of a BOSU ball, one of those exercise half-balls. Standing on the flat side (there are debates about whether this is a good idea, by the way) requires one to constantly shift and adjust their position. It’s almost impossible to remain perfectly still and stable while standing on one. That’s what balance in life feels like to me now; dynamic, ever-changing, following its own rules.

I know I need to work at improving my one-legged balance. The way to improve balance….is to balance. Sometimes this seems massively unfair, making me do something I can’t do, to get better at it. If there was any other way, believe me, I would.

Some sharks must keep swimming to keep water flowing over their gills, or they’ll die. Bicyclists have to keep moving forward or they’ll fall over. Here movement is simply part of the equation. Like the shark, I have to go with the flow, and like the bicyclist, I have to  keep moving forward. 

A story behind one of the cards in The Tarot of Michelle. Follow the developmental art as a Patron on Patreon.

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