Sticks & Stones .. Finding One’s Balance

IMG_0358When I was a little girl my parents enrolled me in a gymnastic class. I wasn’t very coordinated (heck I haven’t improved much over the years). The simple acts of tumbling and accomplishing a quality cartwheel were true successes.  My inability to just let go and allow myself to “fall” prohibited any real Olympic like maneuvers. Playing it safe was more my cup of tea.  Believe it or not, it was on the balance beam that I felt most at home.  Walking along the 4-inch-wide structure with my toes snug up against the wood, I felt a sense of accomplishment.  Being in balance felt good and a place to call home for a little girl that wasn’t the biggest risk taker.

Having a sense of balance is a solid boundary for many of our comfort zones.  Relieving anxiety, feeling at ease, knowing what the next turned page will bring gives us all time to let our mind rest. We take comfort with daily routines, living in a place that has “always been that way”.  I don’t know about you, but lately, I find that connecting to this inner peace is harder to grab and that I am one step from falling off my balance beam.

The other day I decided to journey down to my happy place.  As noted in an earlier blog (  going to the water helps me reboot and ground to zero.  As I was strolling along the beach, I stumbled upon a rock structure.  At first glance the stack of stones looked to be placed haphazardly.   No symmetry, big figures stacked on smaller bases, the structure appeared to be off center.  But low and behold it was in complete balance.  As I stood there, the metaphorical light bulb went on above my head, maybe when looking to adapt it is more than adjusting our expectations or perceptions?   Maybe if we take the pieces of life, build them by rearranging the proportions, we will discover a new kind of balance?

During the past few months life has handed all of us an array of never before experienced obstacles.  Mentally, physically, and emotionally our beings have been pushed and pulled along an unknown journey.  Imbalance is the new normal and we are all trying to study ourselves to continue to walk along our own beam.  Progressing along I have come to realize that finding opportunities in the unknown is a way to transfer the weight and get the needle to align back to zero.

A great example of this discovery is an obstacle our Exhibit’s Team has encountered. Working for a large event that has been postponed to 2021, adjusting the many competitions to new formats, dates and participating audiences has been a daily challenge.  We have been working on solving a puzzle that would allow our young agriculturist to show and sell their livestock projects.  In a world that thrives from the “live” aspect, determining the steps to insure everything that was done before can be done again, seems next to impossible.

Adjusting the scale to change the values of the outcomes opens the door to a new way of the must “haves” and “have nots”.  How did we find success?  We took our time.  We dealt with facts, did our research and asked questions to anyone that could add insight.  When everything is new and untested, stepping slowing down the beam proved to be a major confidence builder.  In the end the course we choose was easier to manage, due in part to the confidence we built along the way.  As the comfort levels build, new elements and prospects appear giving light to even richer results.  The new way of exhibiting and selling livestock may prove to offer opportunities for the future to make the showing experience bigger and better than ever expected.

These days, I can barely manage to do a decent cart wheel.  Like falling forward on the old gym mat, it is time to embrace the fact that it is time to shift toward a new vision of balance.  Look for the opportunities that time has afforded, retool your building blocks and stack them anew.  Getting back in balance may not look the same of what we encountered from past experiences.   The world introduces new “normals” to us everyday.  As we navigate the path ahead you can find me over here rebuilding my balance one stick and stone at a time.

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