There’s a yoga pose called the tree, where you stand on one foot and perfectly still. To do this, you put your other foot on your calf and then work to remain balanced and rooted in one spot.
For beginners, it’s usually a challenge to stand this way for a long time without swaying like tree branches in a heavy wind.
But with practice, one can usually maintain the stance for a bit. But it takes strength–physical and mental–to stay balanced.
I think it is the same in life.
When I am out of balance, I am unsure, frustrated, a lost ship seeking shore. And it doesn’t take much to bring me out of balance–a cross look from someone, a careless word, not enough sleep, too much reality TV, not enough exercise, too much giving, second guessing. Well, you get the picture.
And while I can work to bring myself back into balance, the best prescription for me is solace. That’s because my true nature is that of an introvert.
So to stay in balance, I need to act like a mole and disappear underground at times. My happiness, health and healing require a daily dose of “me time” where I can escape into my own world sans friends, noise and outside distraction. My oxygen, creativity and energy are fueled by the internal digging I do to make sense of life and to stay balanced. Even my muse knows this.
It might be different for you. You might need crowds of people to energize you, friends to cheer you on and make you come alive and step into your best, most balanced self. You might need loud music to keep you in step with life, exercise to move your energy, a chatty conversation with a bestie to be the healthiest version of you. Everyone is different.
The key is to know your nature and find balance in your life. I need my daily dose of quiet, but I want it balanced with friend time, relationship time and other activities. I don’t want it all or nothing–because that would be an imbalance.
The Tao speaks of the importance of remaining in balance, in harmony. When you understand your own nature and are in harmony with it, you’re generally happier.
So if you are an introvert, you might identify with moles that dig their holes for gold. If you are an extrovert, roaring lions that don’t go unnoticed might be the persona best suited to your nature.
Either way, embrace your nature so you know what you need to be in balance. Because gosh darn it, we live in a world that could use more balance. And by each of us working on our own balance, we are helping to create a more balanced world.
If we look outside our window, we see a world that is becoming more unglued, more fundamental, more “us against them”– more unbalanced. If what is in one, is in all, then it is up to each of us to find our inner balance so that we can help reset the scales of humanity to be more harmonious.
(If you’re interested in more thoughts on integrity, compassion and grace–if you’re looking for exploratory questions to unearth pieces of your soul, check out my book, Tao Flashes.Or visit me at http://www.facebook.com/taoflashes or on twitter @taoflashes. )