1. Truth: My theme in my yoga classes lately has been “balance.” Specifically what balance isn’t. We often are confused about what it means to find balance, think of it as a fixed point, a place we can get to where we’ll be happy and safe, a place where we can stay. But balance is actually about awareness. Because the conditions of our experience are constantly in flux, changing and shifting, finding balance is really about cultivating an awareness of what is arising and being able to adjust and adapt. The energy of our emotional and physical bodies changes, sometimes as quickly as from one breath to the next. Our health and environment changes, culture and our communities are living things constantly evolving, and the people around us contribute their own shifts. Nothing stays the same, there is no fixed reality. As soon as we find a still point, something comes along to upset it. So balance isn’t about a stable place, but rather about becoming a stable person amidst the chaos and change.
2. Truth: Balance can be hard to find when so many bad things are happening. My health has been a struggle recently which leads to frustration and disappointment. Last night I found out someone I know not only has breast cancer, but got pneumonia and went to the hospital, where she had a heart attack! Other friends are letting go of their sweet dog today, which breaks my heart because I also love her. Another friend has not one but two sick dogs. I could widen the circle to people I don’t know, to world events, and the list would quickly become overwhelming.
3. Truth: Even though it’s complicated and hard, balance is a worthy pursuit. It seems a little crazy, considering the point of balance is constantly shifting, and that you’ll never be able to stop your effort, but what’s the alternative? I’d rather keep trying, stumble and get back up, even if the steadiness and stability I manage doesn’t last. I know from experience that the longer I work at it, the stronger I get — it’s harder to knock me down and I get up much quicker. I’m not indestructible, I’m vulnerable, but I’m not giving up.
One wish: That whatever knocks us down isn’t so big we decide to stay down, that no matter what happens we are able to get back up, that we ask for help if it seems like too much, and that no matter what we never give up. Along with that, a little sweetness wouldn’t hurt. ❤