Find Balance Now

This morning at my early morning yoga class, I was practicing tree pose. Tree pose is a balancing pose where you stand on one leg and put the other foot against your standing leg’s calf or thigh while holding your hands in prayer position in front of your heart.

It looks simple but it’s not.

I don’t think any of what I felt during that pose could be called balance. Most of what I noticed was a lot of wavering and occasionally my right foot would end up on the floor in order to keep me from falling.

It was as though I was attempting the impossible. The idea of calling tree pose a balancing pose seemed like a cruel joke.

So too it seems is the idea of balance in life. We all crave it and yet what we most often feel in our day-to-day lives is the absence of balance.

When I look to nature for guidance, I see balance. Night turns to day as the sun rises each morning. Winter turns to spring and the world becomes green again. The cycle of change creates a balance of seasons that is always present.

I wonder if balance is already a part of our lives but we’re just not noticing it?

We live in a culture where busy is the norm, with so many things calling us to look, do, taste, try, imagine, attempt and master. Our attention is most often focused on striving to achieve.

Maybe we are approaching balance in the wrong way. We are all so busy trying to achieve balance that we are not noticing that it is already present in our lives.

What would happen if you decided to start noticing balance?

I encourage my clients to find the positive in any situation that is challenging them. I don’t ask them to ignore the negative (most of us couldn’t even if we tried!). Rather I ask them to bring their attention to the positive, something that feels good, in order to find a balance to the tendency towards negativity.

Try it. It’s not an easy task but it is well worth it because it almost instantly lightens your burden.

Find a situation that is upsetting to you. Try starting with an everyday occurrence. How about the dishes, many of us grumble when it’s time to do the dishes. Focus on the water warming your hands and you might be surprised to find a sense of inner balance as you enjoy the sudsy water.

Or there might be some stressful situation that you are going over and over in your mind. Take a deep breath and for that moment you will find balance.

Trust me here. This simple change in perspective is profound.

If you want to find balance in your life you must begin by noticing where it already is. Choosing to notice balance provides immediate relief just like when you’ve been working on a knot and the tangled threads finally come free.

When my clients do the practices that we create especially for them, they start to lighten. They find room to breath and begin to make better choices for themselves.

Tomorrow in my yoga class, I am going to look for balance when I am practicing tree pose. I will say, “Look, I’m standing on one leg right now. This is balance. My right foot is against my left calf and my hands are in prayer position. This is balance”.

Then when I fall out I will gently and compassionately move back into the pose and say to myself, “Look I’m balancing on one leg now!”

I have a feeling that Tree Pose will no longer seem like a cruel joke but rather it will serve as a reminder that amidst all of my striving to achieve, if I look, I will find balance.

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