I love the idea that as human beings weâ€™re wired for connection, forgiveness, altruism and love. Sometimes this is hard to remember as I go about my day and encounter the opposite in a large amount of the people I come into contact with. Most of the time I experience anger, frustration, lack of generosity and an overall sense of unhappiness. In these moments I have to remind myself that life is hard, and that we are all here trying to do the best we can. Some days are better than others, and how we feel can shift from moment to moment. I like to give most people the benefit of the doubt because we can never know whatâ€™s really going on without asking.
Happiness and the human condition are the two most intriguing aspects of the work that I do. Most of my clients are seeking some form of happiness in their relationships, jobs, health or lives. I know in my own life I struggle with happiness on a regular basis, but Iâ€™m also aware that this is normal. Most people donâ€™t know or forget that being happy is not a sustainable state leaving them on an eternal quest for that sweet spot where everything will come into balance.
The journey we call life isnâ€™t really about balance. Donâ€™t get me wrong, balance is great, but in the same way life can never really be fair, it will also never be eternally in balance. Iâ€™ve been digging deep lately with regard to my own balance as I continue to battle with it on my yoga mat. When I try and hold a pose that requires the ability to stay rooted without toppling over I am forever failing. I get mad at myself, curse under my breath, give up or use the wall if Iâ€™m lucky enough to have that available.
Then I hear the voice of my teacher reminding me that itâ€™s okay to lose balance and even fall. Iâ€™ve certainly done it before in my life. I have fallen off the pedestal of my socially accepted marital status, I have fallen from the grace of being the most important person in my childrenâ€™s lives, and I have fallen from the perfectionistic persona I used until I couldnâ€™t sustain it anymore. All of these tumbles landed me in a better place, and I have always managed to resurface in some new form, and with a fresh perspective.
If youâ€™re someone who feels imbalanced right now, or if you canâ€™t seem to get any sense of balance in your life please know that this is normal and expected. Your work isnâ€™t about staying balanced at all times. Itâ€™s about striving for balance with the understanding that itâ€™s only possible sometimes, and that falling is a normal and expected part of that effort. I learned some tricks in yoga that I think can be applied to real life so I wanted to share them with you!
Keep your eyes focused.
Staying focused can bring a sense of balance in any moment. Usually what pulls us off balance in life is being too distracted, juggling too much, or putting energy in the wrong place. Remember that you are only capable of handling so much, and keeping your eye on the prize will minimize your struggle to do it all. Itâ€™s okay to do one thing out of many.
My balance is directly connected to my mind both on and off the mat. When I think, â€œdonâ€™t fall, donâ€™t fallâ€ I most assuredly do. When I let go of my thoughts and bring my awareness to my body the battle to stay in the pose lessens. This is also true in life because the more you release what you donâ€™t need, the lighter you become. Thoughts weigh you down and pull you off balance particularly when you arenâ€™t in control of them. Whatever youâ€™re doing or wherever you are in your life try to remain present with whatâ€™s happening right now.
Stay light and strong.
One of the balancing poses in yoga is tree pose, and itâ€™s aptly named because of the simultaneous rooting and lifting that it requires. Working toward staying solid in your root while feeling a lift up through the top of your head is the perfect dichotomy for balance. You do this by staying connecting to your truth, but open to what you receive. Letting other people pull you off balance happens to all of us because of insecurities or a lack of self trust. Learn to take things in from the external world without giving up your own rootedness.
There is so much to learn from the organic imbalance that lives inside and outside of all of us. The more you can learn to let go and release, the more balance you’ll feel. Rigidity and clinging may seem like the natural response, but that’s an illusive and adaptive response to a fear of falling. Even if you feel like there’s no safety net to catch you, begin to trust that you’ll find your way back to standing even if you get a little bruised up along the way.
Dr. Andra Brosh February 24th, 2016
Posted In: Mindfulness