There is a dance in the body, in life and in nature between stability and instability. This balance is what holds us together and simultaneously provides for flexibility and grace. The body has a beautiful balance between stability and instability. We are stable enough to carry and hold things, while being flexible enough to move, walk and run. Our joints allow for great movement. If we had one solid skeletal system (without joints) we would be unable to move. And therefore, unable to live. The shoulder is one of our most mobile joints in the body. It’s a very flexible joint. This flexibility, while allowing for great motion, results in a relatively instable joint. The shoulder joint is one of the more instable joints we have. That’s just the price we pay for such wonderful flexibility.

When something is too instable, it breaks apart and dies. There is too much energy for the structure to maintain itself in its current form. Think of a glass sitting on the edge of a desk. One false move and the glass falls to the floor and breaks into many pieces. But, on the edge of chaos or danger is where things get interesting. Your interest in the glass of water will increase as the position of the glass nears the edge of the table. The uncertainty of what will happen, is somehow exciting to us. Life is lived on the edge of chaos. We long for things to be unstable and exciting. If everything in life were predictable, how boring would that be? Chaos and randomness are what bring color and variety into our life.

Balance, Stability, Instability

Life is Lived on the Edge of Chaos

If something is too stable it is too ridged and has no life. What stops moving, stops living. Inanimate objects are not alive. Animate objects, on the other hand, are very much alive. As we live our lives amongst the chaos, we sprinkle in bits of stability for certainty and to keep us sane. We create our routines and we have our preferences. But we can revisit what was said above: if things are too predictable, it gets boring.

Sometimes we need to increase the chaos around us, so that we can reorganize to a higher level of stability. Home renovations look like a chaotic mess if you observe it in the middle of the process. But when everything is done, the chaos that occurred during the process was temporary. Intentional temporary chaos is acceptable to us, when we are the ones who intended the chaos. I would like to introduce a new concept here. A concept that comes from Dr. Donny Epstein, the founder and developer of Network Spinal. It is the concept of temporary reorganizational instability. We can consciously set up situations that are temporarily instable and chaotic with the intention of creating a higher level of order as a result. This is a strategy that we already use, as described above with the renovation project. Or when we move, start a new job, have a child or clean our room. In comfortable doses, instability and chaos are nice and sometimes quite enjoyable. But we also want to be just as comfortable and confident when the chaos reaches levels that make most people uneasy. We want to develop strategies that keep us confident that things will work out for the better.


In times of crisis there is a great deal of instability. Crisis is a chaotic time that we usually don’t initiate or intend. Therefore, we tend to view it as a problem or very inconvenient at best. It is, of course, uncomfortable and we usually suffer a loss of some kind. But it is an almost guaranteed, and possibly essential, part of life. Instability is something that will establish a new level of stability. Whether the new norm of stability is one which is favorable to us is another question. But then again, it is up to us to make the best out the situation. Our circumstances do not determine our happiness. We must always remember that there is usually a gift hidden within the chaos.

Action Step:

What new level of stability have you accomplished as a result of living amongst temporary reorganizational instability?

Joy-fully Yours,


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