Thursday, October 13, 2011
Balance and Change
It has been a while since I last posted. I have no excuse except to say that I feel as though I have been in a time warp. I seems to me that many things are not as they appear to be and I find the mental energy required to get through a day leaves me with little left for other things. I think I am processing and will find some balance, but I am not quite sure what balance is these days.
There have been a couple of minor incidents of late that have got me to thinking on the recurring theme of balance - physical, mental or psychological. I could probably include spiritual balance there too, but I am not sure where I am going with this yet. One of those incidents was receiving a message from a friend who is stressed out about a convergence of things that is creating some shit in her life. All I could think to do was to reassure her that shit happens and will pass, and to remind her to breathe. If I am not breathing well, then I am tense. Tension = rigidity and rigidity keeps everything exactly as it is...which is the opposite of what I want. Perhaps breathing is the key. There are yogis all over the world saying, “Duh!”, (if in fact yogis would do that), but I had just never really thought if it that way until I said it. I know it; and I do it, but I had never really thought about it.
This led me to the thought that it is virtually impossible for me to sustain physical balance when I am inflexible, and then I had the thought that balance occurs in a state of change. I say it was a thought, but that seems small. If I say it was a flash of insight, it’s probably more accurate, but it sounds a little out there. Maybe it’s just a realization. Anyway, I get these a lot and then they are gone. I am not sure if I fully understand them, if they change me in any way, or even if they even make sense because I rarely articulate them.
Back to balance. Of course it can be more complex than just the balance between opposites, but this is the one that interests me today. Does imbalance = rigidity? If we stay within our comfort zones, can we also be in balance? When I am within my comfort zone I feel good for a while. When I have that feeling, it seems to me that it is a feeling of balance.
Then I get a feeling of disquiet, be it boredom or restlessness, and I want to change something, start a new project, meet some new people etc. Then I get a little stressed out trying to pay attention to the things that are important, and eventually find “balance” again with whatever new element I have incorporated into my life. Basically, at this point I am re-establishing my comfort zone. If that is the case then I have suddenly equated balance with comfort, which might be a mistake.
What if the comfort zone is not balance? We can only change and grow when we move outside of our comfort zones and try new things. If you consider any two extremes there is a point between them where you find balance - the location of a fulcrum to stabilize a lever or the “middle ground” in a negotiation. If we accept that this is true, don’t we also have to accept that a personal state of balance is to live on the edge of our comfort zones - right on the line where old and comfortable merges with new and exciting (or frightening, depending on your view of things)? If this is the case, as it seems to be, then balance is embodied in change and growth. I think I am getting closer to finding the point where the transition occurs. I think the swings of the pendulum are less extreme than they use to be.