Balance. Ok so maybe the headline was meant to get your attention but in January I find so many who are looking for the quick fix, solutions, resolutions etc – Balance is the key though.
We balance in yoga on our arms, legs and when we do this I often remind the class exactly why we are doing it. Lets be aware of the mind and emotional reaction when we balance before, during and after. We aren’t doing the posture to look pretty after all.
Finding our balance in life isn’t easy – I didn’t say the solution was. We struggle to find that place where we can please our family, employer, friends and ourselves. Yes I listed ourselves last because we often put that last. In this time of tools, smart phones, tablets, incredible technology – all there to save us time, what time have we gained? I still hear “I don’t have any time”. So finding more time wasn’t achieved from appliance then? Buyer beware.
Brings me to a story of my friend Sydney. She grew up in the city, with wealthy parents, only child, who was taken care of and given everything she ever wanted. Her parents gave her the best education, clothing, food. So concerned were they about her that they protected her from all illness, crime, cruelty of the world. One day though she caught a glimpse of something on TV and saw something she hadn’t before of the world and it shocked her to see others who were poor, hungry, or hurting. Although her parents tried explaining that they were simply protecting her, she felt betrayed so she ran away one evening. She explored and wandered the streets of many cities often going hungry. She joined a group that took her in and explained their beliefs on the world, on accepting help, food and shelter. Finally one day she fell down nearly dying in starvation and a boy offered her some food. She started to doubt her beliefs and accepted the food. Her new group of friends shunned her for this and wouldn’t talk to her any longer. She found a tree to sit under at a park and sat quietly there for a long time. She came to realize that you can go from one extreme to the other. That finding the balance – not too much of any one item is what one must figure out. Even in her attempts to be happy in her life, she found she went from one extreme to another – that neither were right.
Have you heard this story before? You should – it is the story of Buddha. Does it help if you hear it in a modern time to relate? There is a Buddha in each of us if we can just find the way to balance. So how do we do this? First of all doubt is a useful tool. Question everything even from teachers. “Doubt is the teacher” and when you do this you will find answers from within. There isn’t one way for anyone one person. The good news is that you already come pre-programed. You just have to listen and honor it.
What we often do instead is try to work against ourselves and be just like everyone else or let our ego do the talking. “I want to be” so we push. Then we aren’t listening to how tired we are, or hungry or not hungry. This is where I find moving slower, meditating, putting devices away and even putting the social media away will help. Awareness of your thought process before you act, post, react and respond. You have to practice it every single day though. Consider it a mental workout.
You can’t be afraid to fall out of balance though or try to be perfect. We loose our balance all the time and if you embrace this you will just become aware of when you need to come back to the center; just as we do in the posture. We can fall, laugh, and step back up. Observe the feedback in the mind before, during and after while you are balancing. Can you show some compassion, love and be soft to yourself. Could you love your body in the balance just as it is? Yes even with all the imperfections you think you have and tap into the reality of the situation that it isn’t about hoping, wishing for something the way it was or will be- just enjoy now.
So balance our life is solution. Not too much work, religion, play, rest, and yes even yoga. You have to find your own programing to know exactly what kind of diet is working for you, what sleep you require etc. You can watch, listen and see it in you. The body tells you and we can achieve health, longevity and peace of mind when we listen to it.