Keeping a balance, through the good times and bad, and finding a way to truly walk the talk… well this may be one of the trues challenges of our time!
This little yogi, even after years of trudging down the path of mindfulness, consciousness and gratitude can certainly relate to the constant struggle of attempting to sustain balance in my life. So why is it that maintaining a level of contentment and equanimity while juggling all the elements of the modern man’s hustle can seem like a notion that’s much easier said than done?
We’re all familiar with that tingling feeling of joy that bathes over us when we’re out doing what we love most, taking a holiday to a tropical destination, hiking to the peek of a beautiful and challenging mountain, or even sharing a nice Friday night meal with the people we love, but how the heck can we take these experiences, pull all the goodness and all the gratitude from them, and then carry that with us through the rest of our day to day, through to the places in our lives that are more difficult and often trying and stressful.
Typically it is not for a lack of want or will that keep us battling, flipping back and forth between feeling wonderful, connected and mindful and then feeling overwhelmed, over worked and tired on the flip side of things. There is a huge demographic of us that is working to walk that line. We are conscious and mindful of the earth that we live on and all the other beings that we are therefore connected to. We are fully aware that happiness does not exist in the new and shiny material things that are constantly being smeared in our faces and we know we are responsible for our own well being in regard to what we eat, how much we sleep, how much we exercise and who we choose to spend our time with. Overall we already know that it’s the simplest things in life that often give us the most to be thankful for, and yet, for me, I still struggle immensely to maintain the ease and peace I can create on my yoga mat, or on a forest path, through to many of then other areas of my life.
So what’s the trick? I am very drawn these days to the teaching of tantric yoga as I contemplate these conundrums. The the teachings of tantra would tell me that the world we live in is very real and that there is an ultimate divinity in all things, an innate sacred quality. The more I attempt to live with intention and embrace everything around me, which in turn connects me with a greater consciousness, the more evident it becomes to me that we cannot deny any aspect of our “reality”. We must learn to live within these realities and accept the bad as much as we do the good, the darkness as well as the light. It is only by allowing a balance between these opposing forces in life that we may find clarity.
In the pitch dark we cannot see a thing, nor can we see clearly in overwhelming bright light, it is only when there is an element of both darkness and light present that we can clearly see. There is a lot to be said about this philosophy of polar opposites that can easily be compared to many aspects of life. When considering the highs and lows of being happy or sad it is easy to see how without the other there would be no value to either feeling. If we were happy all the time there would no longer be such great meaning to the wonderful things in life, this would devalue our great happiness, and this truly would be a shame.
Sometimes the best we can do is learn to accept and embrace our human condition, to stay as present as possible and mindfully relish in the small beauties and simplicities of this world as often as we can, all let that be okay, let that be enough. Balance is often quite relative to our current reality. Like it or not we must accept that we cannot always control the big picture, and though we must live with awareness of our realities it is helpful sometimes to not be overcome by life, looking at it only through a wide lens.
The only thing that is incredibly certain in this life is the impermanence of things, things will change, sometime for the better, and sometime there will be even bigger challenges to tackle. For every down there will always be another up. The trick is not focusing on the down so much and throwing a pity party whenever things get tough, but accepting that it is indeed all a part of the larger balance of life we are all trying to find harmony with.
There was a great quote I often think of from the Johnny Depp Movie Blow, it said “Sometimes you’re flush and sometimes you’re bust, and when you’re up, it’s never as good as it seems, and when you’re down, you never think you’ll be up again, but life goes on.”
My goal for myself, and for all of us, is to allow things to just be, to accept the tendencies of this human condition and to continue to ask, learn, refine and grow… no matter how hard that may be at times.
May we all keep pushing toward our own fine balance, whatever that may be…
The light in me bows to the great divinity within all of us.