The Wobbles of Living in Balance
Updated: Jun 14, 2018
I've been thinking a lot about balance lately, and what it means to be in "balance". I started getting into yoga and alternative lifestyles in my 20s and I had a very rigid view of balance. I did balance to an extreme (which we all know is not really balance). I was a vegetarian and then a vegan and then ate raw and finally started eating meat again. I lived at a yoga center and practiced yoga for hours a day. I went through times of being extremely strict and disciplined to times of letting it all go, , eating whatever I wanted and letting my practices slip away. I think one of the most important things I am learning through these cycles (and from the wisdom of Ayurveda) is that balance isn't a static place that I am trying to get to. It's not about doing it all right all of the time. It is not about perfectionism. It is not about holding ridiculously high standards that we are always falling just a bit short of. Balance is a fluid place that is always shifting and changing as we move through the day, the seasons, and our lives. To live a life in balance it is totally natural to wobble along the way. As I've gotten older I have let go of my ideals of what it means to be healthy and have started to listen to my body more, about what it needs in each moment. I try to eat healthy and have healthy practices on a daily basis, and to also not hold it all so precious.
And I also recognize that there are times, like when dealing with serious illness or injury that it is important to be strict and rigid, but what I am talking about here is daily balance in a daily life.
Have you ever walked on a slack line? When I was first trying it, I was super focused, breath held, body rigid and trying just a little too hard. I would step onto it and the line would shake and wobble in these huge arcs and I would usually fall off. That was like the balance of my twenties. But what I found with practice was that if I relaxed and breathed, and let my body move with the wobbling instead of trying to resist it, the smaller my wobbles would get until I could walk on it. I would still wobble, and adjust and I would have to keep moving to keep my balance, but I found the sweet spot. That is the balance I am maturing into. Less giant gestures and deep swings. More relaxing and breathing and finding the sweet spot of every moment.