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Updated: Jul 21, 2022

The prominent reason I picked a cairn as the logo for my coaching business Wayfinders is because they are markers on a less-distinguished path. A secondary reason is the practical symbol of balance they embody.

I meditate with a homemade zen garden and within it I stack seven stones that represent core values I’d like to embody. The first stone represents awareness for me. Right on top of awareness is the stone that represents balance. Those two are the foundation for the rest of my values which include open-heartedness, integrity, power, creativity, and intention at the very top.

I’ve experienced a subtle yet profound lesson on balance recently, and it all started with my observation of a hawk.

One of my 2021 resolutions was to remove all candy and soda from my diet. Initially skeptical, I gained unstoppable momentum after a month. For 2022, I doubled down and eliminated dessert of any type. Being a teacher, donuts and cookies are a daily temptation. I’m proud to say that I’ve made it almost half the year and I’m going strong. I feel command over habits I once thought I was powerless against.

Such has been the path of my life this year—cutting out things that don’t belong.

As this process of rediscovering my relationship with energy toward others, the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), and the judgement I carry into the world, I feel a swelling sense of command over things once unmanageable.

And yet, I haven’t quite felt whole, and I’ve been curious about that.

I received clarity Sunday night that pulled that curiosity to a focal point. Within the boundaries of rigid command, I’m keeping out most of the fun.

I’m realizing that maybe I’ve been more closed-off than in true command. Being closed-off is similar to my experience during Covid-19. Eliminate interaction with the outside world to feel safe, yet kill off the thing that makes us feel whole and human—the joy of play. Command is washing my hands and recognizing there are risks in going out in public, but measuring action and risk appropriately.

While I certainly gained value in cutting out all processed sugars in my diet, I also see the trickle-down effect severity and constraint brings to my entire life. Impermeable boundaries act like prisons. Established boundaries with monitored entry points feel like home. With the ability to command comes choice, leading to unencumbered freedom. That is where the true practice of balance exists. For me, balance means being in command of when to choose “no” when it doesn’t align, and allowing “yes” when it does. When command and direction balance, we soar. Just watch a hawk in flight and watch how its command in catching the wind lends to its grace and freedom in maneuvering the skies with seeming effortlessness.

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