On a Beach Walk: No. 53 (Balance)

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

The waves of the sea act on the bob linked to a line connected to the fisherman’s pole. While noticing the up and down action caused by the waves crests and troughs, I think of the midline line between these two extremes – that point of relative equality or balance.

The continual up and down action of the seas brings seasickness to some of us. Not a pleasant feeling for those of us haunted by that natural action of the sea.

Compared to its sensory counterparts, balance seems to be a lost sense. That sense of stability primarily based on the three semicircular canals in the inner ear that are at right angles to each other. But each of us react differently to amusement park rides that spin, jerk, or go fast over the changing terrain of railed hills.

We forget or do not realize the roles that eyes and stomach provide in our balance – especially as we carefully watch the single railroad track as we walk with our arms outstretched as a balancing aid. As our bodies lean right, the brain quickly reacts to pull us left – but hopefully not too far because we want to remain on the rail.

The brain takes all the information it receives about position and reacts by sending messages to muscles to keep us in balance – the position of the ankles, knees, elbows, shoulders, and head relative to space. Our body’s awareness to relative position and spaces allows me to walk calmly and steadily on the beach that is noticeably slanted by the water – but not as much as other days – so it seems relatively flat.

Balance has a rhythm – like that peaceful state while riding a bicycle with confidence.

I think about the various balances in sciences – these balanced forces keeping an object at rest or those keeping the object moving in a straight line and constant speed. Those balances between different populations in a food chain that are not equal in number, but balanced relative to each other. The balanced equations of a chemical reaction showing the same number of atoms entering and exiting the reaction.

The balance sheet of life made of our credits and debits for each of us to work through – and yes – some of those encounters are stressful enough to upset life’s balance. Let us not forget the difficult balance in life as dealing with forgiveness and tolerance.

The complexity of life requires us to find a manageable balance between work, love, and play. Work can consume us as we walk the fine line differentiating living to work and working to live. To some, it’s the love for what they do that drives the imbalance with play and love – for others, it’s the pressure to achieve.

Balance is a sense – an important sense – but balance has many applications to life. On this day I find life is good and not much stress because walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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36 thoughts on “On a Beach Walk: No. 53 (Balance)

  1. Balance in all things eh Frank. Your post made me think of this: There is a narrow band where water and land meet which is said to aid our health – physical, mental and spiritual – if we hold that line and walk along it quietly. And there we each may find our personal balance. Isn’t that a lovely thought ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  2. A lot of really important ideas in your post today. You made me stop and think about the complexities involved in things like riding a bike, seasickness, and walking on narrow or uneven surfaces. By the way, one of my physician relatives tells me that climbing steps on a regular basis is important to maintaining the sense of balance as one ages.

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    • Tim,
      Thank you … and to think there are so many more examples … the balance of different instruments blending together in an orchestra … the balance during a golf swing … balanced meals … as well as balance exercises!

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  3. Cincy,

    This post is applicable to my day yesterday. Which began rather wobbily but figured itself out before long with a brisk run. Balance was utilized in more ways than sticking one foot in front of the other. I also had to balance thoughts and clarity; since I always think about things to write whilst running. I just can’t dig in too deep or it gives me a fit of anxiety.

    Later on I went for a wonderful swim in a nearby lake. Yes, we had to rowboat out to the middle, but it was a lake and it was quiet out there so no waking. Swimming is all about balance, so you can limit your drag.

    Here’s to balance. And nice video accompaniment!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An excellent post, Frank. Balance in everything is so important. I’ve found that my balance has been greatly improved since I took up T’ai Chi. Walking the beach is definitely good for the body and soul too. Just the sound of the waves can soothe away cares. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your balance post reminds me of a walk along a beach in Mexico where a river flowed into the sea. Standing there, taking in the sights both upstream and out to sea while feeling the pull of the current-my toes curling to hang on without getting pulled down in the water. Bum side up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Always making us think, Frank. Think of things we take for granted or actually things that get out of wack when we don’t keep our balance in all things. It’s an on-going practice, that is for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dale,
      Thank you for the kind words … and yes – I like stimulating thoughts! 🙂 Although the primary focus of this post was about the sense of balance, I couldn’t resist other aspects of balance that fit with the sense – just in a different way. Heck, balance of life could be several walks!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The beach and ocean are so important to me, and I love your beach walks. Lately the concept of finding balance in life has been almost a preoccupation with me, so this post seems really timely. It’s wonderful to read your thoughts spoken so well. I hope you’re doing well with that balance in your own life this summer, Frank. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      The perfect beach walk topic for your return here after dealing with a loss. All is well here – well – except when it’s too hot and humid. But hey – a lot of good balance in my life at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, aFrank, I know of balance. The balance required to dance. To keep our feet balanced beneath us in order to accomplish a specific step or turn.
    But, balance of the heart and spirit are balances we forget to look at too. We wonder how our lives get topsy turvy not realizing we may have created the imbalance by avoiding what we should be focusing on along with our daily responsibilities. Aaahhhh … a lovely walk on the beach while trying to balance our mind, body and soul. Have a peaceful Tuesday …
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isadora,
      Thanks for not only the kind words, but for also adding more thoughts about balances in life. I like the thought of balance of the heart and spirit. It has meaning, yet subtle enough to require thinking!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A nice musing on physical, mental, and emotional balance. Keeping various aspects of life balanced may be a goal to strive for, or the result of the effort.
    I am one of those people who gets motion sickness very easily–so did my dad. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merril,
      I started this walk focusing on balance as a sense, but I kept returning to other aspects of balance – so I decided not to fight the urge. 🙂 …. Motion sickness can be horrible! … and it seems to get worse with age.

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        • Spinning is my worst enemy – so I either try to avoid it or limit it – which is one of the reasons Viennese Waltz is so difficult for me. Yet, I think back to the day during my youth when I was at the fair spinning those tea kettles. Not now. I take an OTC med before flying. Cruises aren’t easy – especially since conditions are beyond control of the ship’s crew.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so glad you wrote about balance, because balance is so important throughout so much in life. Moderation, steering away from extremes is the key to so many things. I think balance is illustrated most beautifully by nature. We have a lot we could learn from our natural environment.

    Another great beach walk Frank, I have appreciated each and every one of these that I have read. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel,
      In intially focused on balance the sense, but as I kept thinking, so many other aspects of balance seemed to fit – so I included them. What I have found interesting is how numerous comments include aspects of balance that I wish I would have included – and your point about moderation is a perfect example. Thanks for the kind words, and although the walk through the senses is no complete, another walk should be posted for your Monday.

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  11. Your walk and thoughts make me think of a balance beam.
    It’s not that the beam keeps a balance, it’s about how well a person stays balanced on it. Of course, as in living life, there are twists and turns, flying off the beam, and a creative dance of sorts. The trick is to stay balanced, never fall off, perhaps excel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoPNGc6Lg8kStaying on that beam is also about staying balanced in life, in terms of diet, physical disciplines, and even emotional balance.
    Balance can be tricky, but it is not a trick.

    Liked by 1 person

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