Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Finding Inner Balance

Try this experiment. See if you can balance on one foot. If you can, then while you are still on one foot, close your eyes. Does that affect your balance? For most of us, the answer is yes. Why is that?

When I started practicing this exercise, I got wobbly pretty fast when I closed my eyes. I realized how connected my sense of balance was to my ability to see. My balance orientation was external to my body, tied to my visual awareness of my surroundings. When I closed my eyes, I lost that orientation.

This fascinated me. How is it, then, that visually impaired people can balance themselves? Clearly, their balance orientation is not dependent on being able to see their surroundings. There must be a way to find balance based on an internal orientation.

Indeed, over time I have discovered that by turning my awareness within, I can find my balance through the connection of my feet to the earth, and using my sense of vertical alignment throughout my body to make the adjustments necessary to maintain balance. Even before I close my eyes, I can switch my orientation from external to internal, so that my balance is unaffected by whether I can see my surroundings.

Lately, certain circumstances in my life have unsettled me. The path forward is unclear, the outcome unknown. Energetically, I have felt out of alignment, unbalanced. Until I realized that, just like with my physical balance, I was looking externally to find my inner balance, my inner equanimity. I was wanting clarity of understanding and certainty of resolution concerning an external situation in order to feel peace within.

Once again, my body is my teacher. My body has the ability to balance itself with or without external orientation. Likewise, I can find inner, energetic balance by turning my awareness within. I can sense the adjustments that need to be made to restore equanimity without requiring my external circumstances to be a certain way, and without needing to know how a particular situation is going to play out.

How do we do this? We sense our connection to the earth and to the universe. We bring ourselves into vibrational alignment through surrender. We sink into the silence and listen. We trust.

Just like with physical balance, inner balance is not a static state. Adjustments are made constantly in response to, and in harmony with, the movement of energy through our lives. Inner balance is a dance. Listen to the music of the universe that sings in your soul … and then close your eyes.

When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives. ~Louise Hay

18 thoughts on “Finding Inner Balance”

  1. Oh, Galen, this is so perfect for today. I will practice balance with my eyes closed, and I will meditate on how to achieve inner balance to cope with the world’s problems, which I tend to take on way too much. And it helps nothing, especially me. Thank you!

    1. That’s like trying to stand on one leg with your eyes closed in a hurricane, DJan! Way too advanced for me. Stay in the center, in the eye of the storm, where it’s calm. At least that is what I’m trying to do in my own life. When we get too close to the swirling winds, it’s too easy to get sucked in. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Well doggone it Galen, I can’t stand on one foot with both eyes opened and something to grab onto!! Seriously though, this is such an interesting post. I’ve read it a few times, and sense that I will return to it again. Looking forward to how things unfold for you as you continue to pursue balance.

    1. No problem, Pam. Work with what you can do. Use the back of a chair or something for balance. Keep your hand on the support lightly, just enough to keep your balance. Be aware of the adjustments your body makes to stay balanced. Now close your eyes, keeping your hand or even both hands on the support to keep from falling. Even with the support, you can still experience the difference between orienting your balance externally through your vision, and internally through your body.

      As a side note, if it’s appropriate for you, you might want to practice some simple balance exercises to increase your balance. It’s good for your body, and will help prevent injury from falling. I’d be glad to talk about this more and help with some suggestions if you like. Or talk to your doctor or other health provider for some ideas.

      Good for you for giving this exercise a try. And thanks for commenting.

      1. Earlier today, a friend suggested I check out “Simple Classic Stretches from Essentrics.” It’s on Youtube, very slow and designed for the beginner. I used to be fit, but some health challenges set me back. I’ve started walking whenever possible and these classic stretches look like something I will enjoy and benefit from. Besides, you can see the ocean and hear the waves lapping onshore, while you watch. Isn’t it wonderful when you can simply go online and find help?!! Thank you for your encouragement, Galen! I will take it as a “sign” that you and my friend had a similar message for me today.

        1. Thanks for your follow up comment, Pam. I always say the best exercise is the one you will actually do! Walking is great, and the stretching exercises sound like something that you would enjoy. I think most of us can relate to fluctuating levels of health and fitness over the course of our lives. Wherever you are right now is the perfect place to be. We start where we are. Every day. Each moment. Good luck and let me know how it’s going.

  3. A wonderful teaching, Galen. Living with uncertainty—as I am now—is a great teacher about the need (and the peace to be found in) being grounded.

  4. I would be the first to say that my sense of balance, at least physically, needs some work, especially if I close my eyes. But in turning inward, quieting myself, and simply listening, I do feel that the balance within my soul is improving day by day by day. That’s a good thing in these hectic, unpredictable time in which we live.
    And I love that photo, Galen!
    Blessings!

    1. I usually do some balance exercises as part of my morning routine. I find that some days I’m more balanced than others. And some days I’m more balanced on one side than the other. Not good or bad. Just something to be aware of as I start my day. I find that sometimes my physical balance reflects my inner emotional, spiritual balance. So if my body is struggling to balance, it invites me to explore my inner balance as well. Just a thought.

      Glad you like the photo. My grandson took it! Thanks for commenting, Martha.

  5. Thank you, Galen. I really needed to hear this today. The word that I am using right now to describe my life is “disoriented.“ This was a great reminder to once again shift from my focus on the external to the internal. I know this lesson but how easily it is forgotten! Thank you for the reminder.

  6. Hmm, This has got me thinking. I’ve had a physical balance abnormality since I was 18 – I hated it with a vengence. Honestly, hated it. It was ‘the enemy’. It came at the same time my tinnitus did, probably after a virus. But the balance problem which caused jolting vision when walking and feeling too ‘sensitive’ to movement plagued me. I never fell over or looked off balance to anyone though. I never wore high heels and always examined the soles of potential new shoes to check there was some decent stability to prevent wobbling. And it never stopped me dancing!! Many years later, a new GP summed it up, ”you’re running on a slightly faulty computer, where the ears, eyes, and brain sometimes need to play catch up”. I eventually learned to surrender to it, to take the stress out of it, so the brain would stop worrying and monitoring it (which made the balance problem worse – same goes for tinnitus flare ups too, which I’ve mentioned here before). So the surrendering to the internal sensations was vital. Later on I learned to surrender more to the external too. To life’s wobbles. One of the tips I was given resonated as I read your post. I was told to press down on the ground with my toes to increase stability to kind of ground myself, giving extra sensory info to help. The idea of grounding oneself can be physical and emotional and mental all combined. Your post has made me see how I can apply the physical to the emotional/mental. To ‘feel the ground underneath’ all the stuff that goes on. Thank you, Galen!

    1. Thank you for sharing the story of your balance challenges, Lynne. That is an interesting conversation you have been having with your brain all these years. Your observation that worrying and monitoring made things worse is very interesting. But mostly what I get from your comment is the huge shift from seeing your challenge as an enemy, to seeing yourself as an ally to work with your “slightly faulty computer,” providing support and compassion. Thanks for commenting.

  7. I was reading your post just as Bob suggested we do our morning meditation. I thought I’d try it on one leg. That didn’t work for long so I concentrated on two legs with eyes closed. (Baby steps as always for me) Just changing slightly how I meditate grounded me in such a different way! It got me thinking that during these uncertain times, we should “shake it up” a bit both physically and mentally for a bit different perspective.
    PS – I love the picture! ❤️

    1. Wow, we are all discovering all sorts of things about balance, starting with our bodies! Baby steps–the key for sure. Changing the way we do things, even changing in very small ways, can really provide insight and enhance awareness. Whether you are on one foot or two, standing or sitting, eyes open or closed, you can explore your experience.

      By the way, two of my teachers have said that standing meditation is one of the best things we can do for our bodies and our immune system. In addition to my sitting meditation, I try to do a few minutes of standing meditation every day.

      Glad you like the photo — my grandson took that in my backyard. Thanks for commenting, Betty.

  8. I will echo Betty’s comment above. We have been meditating every morning for the last 6 months or do.

    While I have made this practice a part of my morning ritual, I like the idea of shaking it up abit: outside instead of inside on the coach, standing instead of sitting, balancing on one leg ( or two!).

    Just as impactfull for me is your idea of inner balance, which I feel is part of what my meditation is meant to achieve.

    Only one change: standing barefoot outside equals ant bites for us. On the porch is better.

    1. Do you have fire ants there? I lived in New Orleans for a few years as a child. We had to watch out for fire ants when we were playing outside. Falling on an ant hill and coming up covered in ants biting me is a vivid memory after all these years.

      I’d love to hear more about your meditation practice and what you are discovering. Email me and tell me more!

      And as I said to Betty, I’m told that standing meditation, even for a few minutes, on a regular basis is one of the best things we can do for our bodies. So shaking it up is a good thing for many reasons! Thanks for commenting, Bob.

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