Saturday, May 1, 2010

Balancing the Ying and Yang

Lately, I have been thinking about balance. What is true, authentic balance? What does it look like? How does it act? What does it feel like? How does it manifest itself in my life?

The physical aspect of balance is not unlike its mental counterpart. When we physically balance, we reach our energy to one side while equally reaching our energy to the other. If we reach too far to one side and don't put enough energy into the other side, we fall. In order to find physical balance, we must feel the grounded connection with our feet to the floor, focus, and pay attention. To achieve balance in our lives, is to practice the same concepts as physical balance.

The old adage, "Too much of a good thing," illustrates how balance in our lives often goes astray; too much work without play, too much exercise without rest, too much care for others without self care and vice versa, for example. If we reach too far to one side of our lives without practicing its counterpart, we cannot find true ease and joy. We lose the yin and yang of life that effortlessly joins in beautiful harmony, creating a subtle, but miraculous inner peace.

Feeling the grounded connection is important in finding balance as well. Staying grounded to the things in life in which we derive true, non fleeting happiness. Staying grounded and true to the compassionate and loving-kind person who we all are, often covered up by our ego-driven actions and words. Staying grounded and acknowledging the connection we share with all other sentient beings and nature. A sense of groundedness keeps us pure and simple.

Physical balance is eased when we focus the eyes in the direction in which we are moving. Finding life balance means focusing on what behaviors work in our lives and what behaviors cause us suffering. When we identify a behavior that causes suffering, we modify or omit this behavior until we recognize that it no longer fits as a piece of our puzzle.

Paying attention to our physical balance means being aware of our body, energy, breath, and posture. When we pay attention to every detail of even the most mundane everyday tasks, we cultivate a calm presence that allows us to fully enjoy life's abundance. We become aware, alert, and awake because we are mindful of our current situation. In this conscious state, there is no room for negative past thoughts (depression) and negative future thoughts (anxiety) to creep in, thus allowing us to experience a balanced physical and mental state. We sit, balanced, in the middle of the teeter-totter, our actions nor our thoughts tipping too far to one side or the other.

Balance can be difficult to achieve, both in the physical and life sense, and sometimes it seems impossible to be perfectly placed on the tight rope without falling off. But the only thing we can do is to continue to get back on and try again. And realize that losing our balance is not failure, but rather a gift, allowing us to make some adjustments and try again with a little more success than before.

We continue to practice. We continue to fall. And one day we discover a little more clarity than we did the day before and we keep on the path of the warrior...


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