About seventeen years ago I had my first harp lesson (writing that made me feel insanely old).
The first thing you learn when playing the harp is to find the balance point. The harp is a heavy instrument, mine weighs in at around 36 kilos. However, they are designed so that, when tipped back into a playing position, they are almost weightless. All you need is to gently rest it on your knees and you don’t feel the weight at all. Once you find the balance point, everything becomes much easier.
I’ve been thinking recently about balance. This blog is about the experiences of a freelancer and a lot of that is about balance – balancing the different aspects of a career, or just a day, can be challenging.
In addition to this, I’ve started practicing yoga. The idea for this post came to me while I was in the tree. The tree pose, that is… I haven’t taken to climbing the trees of Central Manchester yet – although I’d hate to rule it out. Anyway, my fancy yoga ipad app told me that it helps your balance if you focus on an unmoving object. It’s certainly a helpful tip, but I wondered if it applies to more than yoga.
Maybe this rule could apply to our careers as well? If we have a specific focus in mind – a goal or a target – maybe we are more balanced in our approach? Conversely, what if we don’t really know where or what we are aiming for? Will we lose focus and fall out of balance?
What about balancing the different areas of our lives? Career, Family, a Relationship, Friends, Money, how do we know the best way to balance it all?
Something else I’ve learned from practising yoga is to not compare myself with others. Personally, I can’t touch my toes, yep, it’s embarrassing, but that’s what you get when you’re six foot tall and did all your growing in the space of about a year. It would take me weeks, possibly months of daily stretching to be able to touch my toes.
Some people don’t even think twice about it. But if I just gave up due to my blatant inadequacy, I wouldn’t get anywhere. I choose to practice and trust that I will improve gradually.
The same goes with music, by the way. I’m sure many of us are guilty of feeling like we’ll never be able to play like *insert amazing musician’s name here*, and feeling like there’s no point even trying. Maybe that person you aspire to emulate is thinking the exact same thing about someone else. Torturing yourself because you’re not there yet is counter-productive, you are on your own journey and need to stay focussed on your own targets, to stay balanced.
Lots of questions in this post I know – let’s call it thinking out loud. I need to figure out my own targets and focus on those, I need to find my own balance point.