The above pictures look pretty extreme to me, but, at face value, which would you rather be feeling?
Balance as a noun is defined as ‘an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and study’. I’m wondering dear reader, are you evenly distributing your love, time, energy, and efforts in your life in order to remain “upright and study”?
Jana Kingsford states, “Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create”. It was some time ago, perhaps a few years ago, where I began to change my own inner definition of balance. Balance to me became a designed creation in life of choosing where I put my thoughts, my heart, my efforts, my focus, and my body.
Where we place our gaze, or vision, or focus in life is very much attributed in yoga to the word ‘drishti’. Drishti means ‘gaze’ or ‘view’. It often gets most attributed to where your eyes are physically focusing in a physical yogic practice, but the term holds much more depth of meaning. It also means how we see the world as we navigate it, and of course how we see and view our self.
As the past couple of weeks intentions have had a deep undercurrent connection of being on a journey, creating balance in the journey is a very necessary aspect to keeping the flow and allowing oneself to be able to better navigate whatever life brings us, as well as how we want to be creating our life. There is a saying in yoga that goes like this, “Ya drishti sa drishti”. This translates as, “as your vision, so is your universe”. Another translation I’ve seen is, “the world as you see it”.
This made me think back to remembering when people were saying that 2020 was going to bring clear vision, and it was met partly as a joke because of 20/20 vision but it was also holding deeper meaning for many others. I’m wondering right now, dear reader, what is your vision? What is your vision for yourself? What is the vision for your life? What is the vision for the work you wish to do in the world? And, how do you view things on a day-to-day basis? Is there somewhere in your life where you need to refocus? Perhaps the first step is to just take time and take that “sacred pause”, as I call it, where you become aware of what you’ve been focusing on lately and seeing if it’s an alignment with where you want to be giving your focus and attention and love…
Koi Fresco said, “Balance is a key to everything. What we do, think, say, eat, feel, they all require awareness and through this awareness we can grow”. Another author who is anonymous once wrote, “The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it”. I believe it takes a willingness to create the time to have the awareness to know when we’ve lost our balance. And, I’m starting to believe that the more aware we become, the more we can perceive a loss of balance before it would happen. One way to do this is through the practice of discernment. But that’s for the next blog, lol. Click here for that blog!
Rumi said, “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go”. I always hear this time and time again, especially in the wellness world; that question of what do you need to let go in order to grow? What is it that you need to release in order to flourish? What is it that you wish to free yourself from in order to create peace and freedom? What are you holding on to that’s no longer serving you? But there’s also the flip side of that coin. What do you know you must hold on to in order to keep the balance? What is it you now that you need to hold deep within your heart at all times in order to create balance? What is it that you need to hold on to in your mind in the way that you view yourself and the world in order to create peace? What are some of the practices you need to either let go of or hold on to in order to create a better balance for yourself and all beings?
In our practices during this week of ‘balance’ intention, we used opposite nostril breathing to create balance to the energetic channels within our subtle body. And, of course, we practiced standing balance postures! I invite you to stand for a moment and just lift one leg up. What do you notice? Are there subtle movements in the ankle you’re standing on? That’s your wise body helping you keep balance. Have you been listening to your body lately? When you lift the leg up, where did your eyes focus? Were you keeping a steady gaze? How did you position yourself in order to create balance?…
And there’s the verb definition for balance, ‘to keep or put something in a study position so that it doesn’t fall’. How do you position yourself in life so that you won’t fall? What positions do you put yourself in in order to stay steady? Do you have self-care practices that help keep your peace of mind? Do you put your body in physical yogic positions in order to support your physical health? How do you position your thoughts in order to support your emotional and mental well-being? In the weeks that followed this one we explored mantra as one way to keep the mental, emotional, and spiritual focus aligned in a way that is meant to position ourselves in alignment with the love of the universe. Read that blog here. **And, join me at 7:30pm THIS SUNDAY for an Instagram Live inside the Bread and Yoga co-op instagram page for a mantra chanting experience to support discernment, creativity, peace, and recognizing your own innate inner wisdom!**
I hope all of these questions and more have begun to stir an inquiry into your own life around what balance means for you. I hope that these questions and these words have supported you to graciously and compassionately take a look at different aspects of your life and to feel into if they are in a good balance or if there needs to be some sort of refocus or redistribution. This could be taking a look at balance in a relationship you’re in, balance in how you are giving energy to work, home life, family, self, and even relationship with the divine.
I will close this blog with the same quote that I closed all the classes with. It comes from L. R. Knost:
“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”
Breathe and Believe