What happens in those moments when life suddenly feels out of control when that perfectly delightful day turns geometrical. It is in my nature to try to uncover, discover, and place, but for a moment, altered moments in order to understand them, find my bearing and crawl back out of the unexpected slide into the rabbit hole.
Thus begins this piece. Waking up in the middle of the night unexpectedly, out of the blue, and breathing quickly places me in the middle of a circle of questions. What happened? What am I experiencing? Gazing out with my eyes closed, I wonder what balance is? And is there a balanced place and is that the place to search out or search for.
In my mind’s eye, I saw a tight rope walker. I saw arms outstretched and a constant striving for balance so as not to fall off the slender line of rope. I thought about losing one’s balance and how that could happen in daily life, and I thought about how taking on things that are not ours, can alter that state of balance. I thought about how the foods we eat can affect our balance of feeling well or not. I thought about how taking on fear or anxiety or any emotion can bring a weighted-ness, too heavy to bear. I thought about how taking on someone else’s thoughts or sadness can pull one into their altered state. And I wondered, even if you let go of all the unexpected weight or loss, balancing again on that tight rope of life, how do you stay connected to life and others, without concern for sliding into another state of imbalance. It was an interesting image forming, that of balancing and not balancing life and all of its expected and unexpected circumstances. Something was missing in this picture, and then I realized what it was.
In order to even contemplate walking the tight rope, one has to become centred in one’s own body, one’s own self, one’s own life. And I asked myself: What is the difference between balance and centred-ness?
As I negotiated this inner landscape of questioning, an image arose showing all of the meetings we have in a day, and with each one there was an open door. The doors were the portals into human stories, daily encounters, interactions and experiences. I imagined a day in my life walking through several of the doors. I could feel overwhelmed in some, happy in others, and sad in another. I could feel my balance swaying and then losing it completely. And I wondered why, realizing that there’s one thing to exchange and interchange and experience moments, while maintaining one’s balance; and then there is another thing in entering into an experience and carrying it someone inside of me. It became quickly obvious to me that being present and taking something on were two completely different realities. One allowed balance to remain, the other compromised it.
And then I thought, but we meet situations and individuals every day of our lives, how can I maintain my balance? Is it in the number of times, in the weight of the situation? And then I realized it was in myself that I had to turn—to that inner place of dwelling—-where my centre lived, where I essentially lived from. And I felt a shift. To sit with the details of imbalance is to discover that in order to maintain walking on the tightrope of life, one needs to be and stay centred before the beginning of each walk, each new day. When I made the shift in consciousness from balance to centre, I found ground under my feet again. I felt the strength that comes and is always there, when one goes into the interiors of our human embodiment.
If we are always in the middle of the swaying tight rope, managing balance, eventually fatigue and tiredness, sadness and even anxiety will come to visit, not because anything is wrong, but simply because that’s what happens. To be able to stop, breathe, let go of all the weight of emotions, thoughts, situations and just be in the present moment, within the centre of one’s self, allowing things to be just as they are, is to find a way of being centred in one’s self amidst whatever weather patterns life offers each day.
It’s subtle but essential to know within ourselves how to keep our balance by how much we can carry in any given day and how much we can enter into. And even more important is to know that by bringing breathe into one’s body, it opens a place and a space to dwell, to be inside so that our human being has a place to rest, feeling and finding it’s self and centre, so when each new day appears, we can be ready to walk the tight rope of life centred choosing and learning continuously how to balance the winds of change and the weight of existence.