Have you ever tried to sit on a three-legged stool? Our son once made a stool in art class. It was difficult to get the legs just right- enough of an angle to support the seat yet at the same time have the legs the correct length to keep the seat even. Placing anything on it, much less sitting on it was quite tricky.
I’ve been thinking about stools and balance lately. It seems that it is quite tricky to keep our lives in balance; we might get one part of our lives “in order” but as soon as we try sitting, we find that another portion is too short or too long and that we are unbalanced. It is then that we find ourselves being thrown from our position. Too much or too little is not a good thing.
Not only are there sometimes problems with the supports with the stool, but it also depends on what is placed on it. If there is something heavy or wiggly, the stool might not be supportive. They say that in days of old, bakers used to sit on stools as they tended to the bread. The stools purposely had one leg shorter than the other so that the baker had to be constantly adjusting his position in order to stay upright. If he fell asleep, he would fall off the stool and be woken up.
The three legs of the stool represent us: body, mind and spirit. When one aspect of our lives is underdeveloped, or short, we can experience an unbalance, tipping, falling over kind of situation. Our life can have so many heavy or wiggly situations. Without proper support, we cannot continue holding them up and are at danger of falling apart.
As we continue into the new year, here are some ideas to ponder. You might find that you need only to “shore up” one of the legs in preparation for whatever life situations may happen:
Are you getting proper rest? Are you eating/drinking in moderation? Are you moving (not necessarily exercise) your body?
Do you need to find out more information? Whether that is through “professionals” like doctors, counselors? Have you had a general check-up with your dentist? Eye doctor?
How is your physical environment? Do you need to de-clutter? Do you have financial peace?
Do you have enough energy to do the things you need to do? Carrying for your family members? Getting through the day?
When was the last time you learned something new? Have you ever shared your knowledge (of anything) with others?
Are you curious? Have you ever done anything that takes you out of your comfort zone?
What is your attitude about life? Are you grateful? Joyful? Bitter?
What is your anxiety level? I have found that my anxiety is directly proportional to my desire for control. When I surrender my control of situations, my anxiety level dramatically decreases.
Do you have a spiritual practice? Would you like to develop something new? Bible reading? Prayer? Fasting? Service for others? Solitude? Meditation?
Is there something that is constantly weighing on your mind? Do you need to speak to a spiritual advisor? Counselor? Pastor?
Do you have a mentor? Or are you a mentor of someone else?
One constant in life, is that it is constantly changing. Sometimes we find that we are being thrown off our stools. But just like the baker, it gives us an opportunity to wake up and make some adjustments. Many times it doesn’t have to be big, life-changing behavior. Sometimes it is a subtle, small new habit or attitude. But those small adjustments are what is needed at the time in order to thrive.
What about you? How is your stool sitting?