The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Getting on the balcony

“It is a petty and sorry person who will bite back when he is bitten.” — Seneca

During my studies, I learned to know the metaphor of the balcony and the dance floor. Most of the time we’ll be on the dance floor, that is on some kind of action. As a side note, it may be useful to remember that rumination is also an action.

The dance floor will feel like the place to be as that’s where it feels that action moves forward, that the work happens, that life unfolds.

Getting on the balcony will feel much less active. It’ll easily feel like stepping away from the action and even stopping it. That’s because getting on the balcony is there to distance oneself from the dance floor and what is happening around us. The reason why one does it is to get an overview of what is happening on the dance floor. It’s stopping to assess how things are unfolding and working out.

The attitude is one of allowing doubt to enter our space and trusting one’s ability to deal with whatever becomes visible. It feeds into being humble and enables leadership.

Our ability to get on the balcony depends on our ability to notice the space between stimulus and response as Viktor Frankl once described it. For him, it was the space where our freedom resides. The freedom to choose and to grow.


Paris, view on the Statue of Liberty and tour Eiffel

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