Thoughts on balance and the importance of showing up
Posted On March 3, 2017
One of the reasons I love this blog is because I sometimes find myself going into the archives and remembering. I get to pour through those posts full of pictures of the kids when they were babies, remembering the unique struggles I dealt with not so long ago, and reflecting on how far we’ve come. I get to see how much has changed, but I also get to see the relationship my past has with my present and future. Themes come up again and again, and sometimes I read something I wrote years ago only to think “Huh! I’m still really dealing with that in my life.”
Like the lesson that I learned through that concussive haze, that the search for balance in life is not about achieving something that doesn’t move, it’s actually about maintaining an active and stable position rooted in strength and constant adjustment. I realized that what we think of as “balance” is actually constant change, each tiny movement working to pull and shift and support. I forget this sometimes, and inevitably I stumble.
I was doing yoga in my bedroom yesterday, gaining some respite from some emotionally taxing work I’ve had to do over the past few days. I did some balancing poses which brought all of those thoughts back for me. I realized how important this is for me to remember, if I can. My life is not meant to be erratic, nor is it meant to be static. I have to practice this. I have to breathe deeply, get into position, and activate my life to create the stability I’m seeking. It’s work, and it’s sometimes unpredictable. The more I get in tune with myself and the positions I want to support, the more practice I’ll have strengthening the muscles that help me.
Of course balance is not always within our control- we all fall. Here is yet another reason why I love yoga, which is that it teaches me that it’s okay to meet yourself wherever you are. For instance, with those balancing poses, some days I’m solid, but other days I’m alarmed by how off I am. One side of my body is creaky and strange to me, or I just can’t seem to hold that pose for more than a few seconds, or I’m sore from the work I’ve done in another area. It’s okay to pull back, it’s okay to rest. My abilities change day to day, and I can’t always anticipate the needs or capacities I might have. It seems to me that so much of engaging with this life is about just meeting yourself on the mat, trying not to beat yourself up, and just keeping the practice going.
I’m meditating on this today, because I’m showing up on my mat in ways I didn’t necessarily anticipate or plan for. I see how my life needs to continue to forgive the fumbles, to stay with the rhythms of more constant and ultimate things (to continue the yoga metaphor, “focusing on the breath”) when the strength and stability is harder to come by. Despite any uncertainties, in the end I am glad I keep showing up.