The Balance Beam
The teen years. Mine were full of ups and downs and all arounds.
One of my anchors was gymnastics. I loved every minute. I progressed at a steady pace, always learning by watching more advanced gymnasts. I spent four days a week at the gym and looked forward to the competitions. I felt alive.
I will never forget the day when I mastered the front and back walkover on the balance beam. It was a moment I felt rewarded for the focus, practice and careful study of the skill. Although the uneven bars were my favorite element, the balance beam was a close second.
The balance beam intrigued me and challenged me in a distinct way. I had to be acutely aware of the movement and rhythm in relation to one another. It took confidence and trust in myself to try new skills. My core had to be strong. I had to be rested and ready. And I had to practice. A lot.
My gymnast days came to the forefront of my mind recently. As we entered into the Fall season, I woke up each day feeling worn out. My emotions were up and down and all around. I was plagued by fear and lacked confidence in my normal abilities. There had been numerous changes in my life, good changes, but still change. I decided to do a balance check.
Am I worn out? (Worn out is past being tired)
Am I burned out? If so, what are my expectations of others and of myself? Are they realistic?
Do I need to let something go?
Can I sit still and listen to me? To God?
How can I get real rest?
How can I be kind and gentle to myself?
As I processed through the balance check, the truth made itself known.
I needed soul rest. I needed to list out my projects, timelines and ask for help to get things done. I created a new vision of the future and allowed space. Space to be, space to rest, space to connect spontaneously. Time for fun and time for a day away. I reconnected with myself and opened up to family. I regained my balance, moved forward and became acutely aware of how the focus, movements and rhythms of my life affected one another.
Just like those skills on the balance beam..
And although I did not become a famous Olympic gymnast, my gymnast days planted life lessons in my soul. Lessons that help me feel alive.
And I am forever thankful.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.