For the last week I have been riding a stand-up paddle board for the first time. I love it. The first time out I found the water more than a few times. Waves have proven to be tricky, but I am starting to find my sea legs. I have a new respect for all of the stand-up paddlers I have seen working it on the ocean and big lakes.
On the paddle board, it’s all about balance.
Of course it is. Isn’t that what we always hear people desiring? Balance.
In her book Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up , Patricia Ryan Madson makes an amazing insight when it comes to balance. Instead of looking for balance, she encourages all of us to embrace the wobble.
Embrace the wobble.
She’s right. Think about it. The belief (and illusion) of finding balance is that it is a destination we can achieve. When we find or get balance, we are balanced. Yet, in reality, any balance we have is temporary. Life is always changing. Nothing stays the same. Yes, we often create pain for ourselves wanting things to stay familiar, yet it is impossible. There is not a single human thing that stays the same – ever.
Instead of finding balance – we are always balancing!
Balance is not something we get. Balancing is what we do. It is action, a lifestyle, not a destination. To be in a state of balancing requires our constant attention and intention. It demands a conscious effort to be awake and alert to our thoughts and actions.
I love this. It means we are always moving, always adjusting. A surfer on a wave is constantly adjusting during the entire ride. The wave changes, weight shifts, the surfer improvises and responds.
Have you ever stood on something unstable and maintained a rigid stance? How did that work for you?
Balancing requires the expression of fluidity, grace, and flexibility. Life throws you a wave – and you adjust. In fact, it’s in the act of balancing that we grow, get stronger – and find our way.
So, don’t sweat the shake – just wobble baby!
(I would like to thank my niece Teagan for the Wobble Baby art for the picture.)