"The movement of ballet is the essence of a dream yet to unfold. Ballet is the graceful order of polite society. Like expensive wine, it needs to be approached with a cultural understanding, gently sipped and imbibed slowly until intoxication of one's senses is no longer an option and boisterous applause is automatically rendered from a standing position of ovation.
Ever since I experienced three years being unable to walk between the ages of 11-14 years, I have known the preciousness of balance and poise within one's life and overall sense of well being. Unlike the boy, Billy Elliot, who went on to become a ballet dancer, my prime interest initially was in helping me re-establish an overall balance.
At the mere age of 11 years when western medicine offered me no hope of ever walking again, in an attempt to grasp any straw, I looked towards the disciplines of the east as my saviour. My faith in eastern discipline was amply rewarded over the following years and apart from becoming one of the country's most prominent Relaxation Trainers by my late twenties, I had managed to get my legs walking again, thereby confounding the medics and reversing the previous damage to my spine that a road traffic accident had caused.
Though I walked with a pronounced limp after one of my legs had been left three inches shorter than the other and over fifty operations on it, I nevertheless walked. Over the years that followed, I engaged in all manner of sport and other activities that improved my body balance such as boxing, horse riding, table tennis, public speech delivery and even Indian dance. Though I could never recapture the grace of movement that others had, the concept of balance in my life was gradually extended to my philosophy of life, along with other areas of my behaviour pattern that governed my actions and overall sense of well being.
I learned that when mankind develops a sense of balance in all things important, he doesn't go far wrong and remains on far safer ground than any extremist of action or view. A sense of balance enables one to see both sides of an argument; an essential ingredient in the stakes of increased understanding and acceptance. A balance in what we eat, drink and imbibe can not only keep one healthy, but also enable one to live longer. A balanced personality will enable you to look down on no other or position others on a higher pedestal of importance whenever self worth is being appraised. Every marriage needs a balance of consideration to the other person if the couple wishes to sail a smoother course and not deliberately rock the boat. As parents, we need to balance our desire to keep our children happy while still setting boundaries for them, not ignoring their faults or overcompensating for any medical or personality deficiency they may have.
Establishing a good balance in our lives essentially involves first determining one's priorities and then seeking to obtain them while remaining principled, healthy, happy and just. Our lives are a mixture of different desires and different roles. Most of us are doing our best to find the right balance and this balance will differ for each of us. For me, that balance is work, family, friends, strangers, spiritual and service. And though work be ever so important in one's life, to ever confuse 'having a job' with 'having a life' is one of the greatest mistakes we can make. I always believed that working hard for something one doesn't care about is called 'stress' and working in a job or vocation that one loves is called, 'satisfaction.'
Imagine that you can best achieve your balance in life once you have learned to juggle your priority balls. Be aware though that each ball juggled carries a different priority for your sense of contentment and satisfaction. Whereas work may be like a rubber ball and if you drop it, it will bounce back, other balls may be far more fragile in constitution and like glass, shatter, or like a butterfly's wings, brake away, if pulled in the opposite direction it wishes to travel. Drop one of these more precious balls and they may irrevocably damage.
Finally, the most important thing of all about living a balanced life is knowing that we shall occasionally be knocked off balance by one experience or another and it is only through picking ourselves up that we best learn to be the last one standing." William Forde: July 6th, 2016.