When I was about seven or eight years old, there was a Lolo ball trend. Any 70’s or 80’s kids will remember these. For anyone who doesn’t know, they look a little bit like the planet Saturn, with a ball at the centre and a footplate forming a ring around the ball.
The idea is that you stand on the footplate, feet either side of the ball, and balance while bouncing up and down. (I think… I never mastered it!). I always felt very unbalanced and tended to give these things a wide berth.
We use a lot of vocabulary in the English language to describe being “unbalanced”.
Sometimes we’ll say we feel a bit “wobbly” or a bit “off-centre”, or we might even say that we feel a bit “edgy” or that we’re living life on the “edge”.
In yesterday’s lunchtime mindfulness session we talked about balance, and what it means to be balanced and centred. We noticed that we can centre though our physical body. Being present with our minds is a good centre-point between past and future, where we feel more grounded.
So this brought me back to the metaphorical Lolo ball; when life is good, we are positioned in the centre, and we feel much more balanced and stable, but when we move to the edge we start to wobble and feel a bit unstable. Moving out of our comfort zone can make us feel a bit wobbly too, but if we didn’t wobble occasionally we’d just stay in the one place. So sometimes it’s helpful to wobble!
Balance is something which is constantly changing. Often, we only notice when everything feels out of balance.
If you’re feeling a bit off-centre, you could try placing a hand on your chest (the heart-centre) and imagine breathing in to this part of your body, while sending yourself these wishes:
I am centred.
I am balanced.
I am at peace.
The good news is that we can take some small steps towards feeling more balanced, in the same way that you might gently shift a pebble in a stone stack. Do we need more sleep? Do we need to work less? Do we need to see friends and have more fun? Do we need to get outdoors? Finding balance does take a little effort and patience.