What Can Breathing and Waves Teach Us About Balance?

Don't burn out as a creator. You MUST balance movement with rest.

“Life is a balance between rest and movement.” — Rajneesh

How is balance best achieved in life?

Most of us live hectic lives full of decisions. Slowing down is a rare treat, but even in moments of peace, there is often a feeling of unease. What are we missing? What are we forgetting?

The mind and body require times of rest to maintain a healthy balance.

“You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do.” — Katie Thurmes

I find two metaphors helpful for regulating times of movement and rest: breathing and waves.

Inhaling represents movement, creation and action. The heart rate quickens. We advance through discomfort. Exhaling represents rest, recovery and adaptation. The heart rate slows when the exhale is drawn out.

Waves provide a similar, more powerful metaphor. The roar of waves crashing ashore represents power. We storm the beach of opportunity at maximum effort. When the wave quietly recedes, we regroup and gather ourselves.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking rest is wasting time. Just as real growth occurs in recovery after strength training, so too does growth in life occur during periods of rest. Here we reflect, understand and gain wisdom.

“Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.” — Gustave Flaubert

The advances we make during periods of movement quickly recede if not balanced with periods of rest. Synchronizing them maximizes growth. The mind and body adapt. We emerge stronger.

“A time for everything: A time to relax and a time to be busy, a time to frolic and a time to labor, a time to receive and a time to give, a time to begin and a time to finish.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie


🤔 Food for Thought:

Are you suffering through times of burnout?

How can you synchronize movement and rest to avoid extremes?


⚙️ One Small Step:

Dedicate one hour of the day or one day of the week to rest. Take a break from your labors. Enjoy what you have accomplished. Reflect on progress toward what is meaningful. Recharge spiritually. Be still.