In our high-tech, high-stress environments with our fast-paced, high-demand lifestyles, much attention seems to be focused on the notion of finding balance in our lives. That mythical place where all unfolds with grace and ease; time andattention equally apportioned to family, friends, work and – if you’re lucky – self, with a minimum of bumps along the road. Books, audio tapes, workshops proliferate, offering roadmaps to ease the burden of the quest to find this seemingly ever-elusive place to stand where the pull between opposing forces is neutralized and we can exhale.
Let your attention wander back to another place and time, and consider the experience of the see-saw. Our sense of play, delight in and enthusiasm for the next time did not come from those moments when the instrument was in balance and, as a result, unmoving but from that erratic and effusive movement, knowing fully and trusting completely in our ability to surf the experience and ride the crest of that wave! It is from these highs and lows … from these perturbations … that we discover the sense of freedom of that continuous flow and the sheer joy of knowing that we can ride high and not only survive but feel engaged in and revitalized by that magical moment of being fully alive!
Perhaps what we seek is not balance but our rediscovered capacity to ride high and delight in the trip. Without the highs, we would never get to know the extent of our own ability to soar. Without the lows, we would never discover the strength of our ability to set things in motion. Without those swings, we would neither notice nor welcome the stillness that sits between them … and the invitation to simply observe.
For many of us, our lives have become manifestations of mediocrity and the mundane. We strive to make life predictable and stable, giving us the illusion of being in control and having a sense of what’s to come and, hopefully, the ability to cope. However, the price that we often pay for this is a sense of feeling frozen … robotic in thought and movement … repetitious … lives lived from one day to the next with yesterday as the pattern for tomorrow.
In our search to find the stability of solid ground, we’ve lost our sense of the familiar with the fire of our passion for life! We’ve forgotten that we are not intended to walk everywhere, but to soar and to create and to invent. To make up each new day as it comes along … and breathe into it the life that only each of us can express. Without that passion … without that Fire coursing through our veins … we lose interest in the life that unfolds around us. But more importantly, we lose interest in ourselves and our desire for life begins to fade.
When that happens, we need things outside of us to make us keep moving. We fill our lives with things and escalate our need to consume in an often frantic need to gratify … something! … and we may not even be sure what that is. When the source inside us ceases to flow, we look outside of ourselves for sustenance and a reason to continue, often discovering instead not the things that feed us but the things that will silence the hunger and distract us from its intense gnawing at our bellies.
What if what we seek is not balance but to reclaim our passion for living? What if the magic of living does not rest in making life predictable but in rediscovering our ability not only to move with the flow … in its subtle and volatile expression …but to find deep joy and exhilaration in trusting our ability to ride the crest of those waves of life? What if we are not intended to hold our breath but to continue to breathe in and out … sometimes in long, slow, deep inhalations and sometimes in rapid, panting bursts? Maybe if we could remember how to be alive, living would be much more fun.
In the issues that follow, we’ll explore how we got where we are and if indeed, that’s where we want to stay. We’ll also explore what’s possible; where we can go… and finally, what it’s going to take to get us there. The journey will have peaks and valleys. Along the way, you may get your knees scraped and your nose bloodied. The landscape will require your attention and an intense desire to make the trip. In deciding to engage, you will … in that very moment … have taken the first step to taking back your life.
Look around as you go. Although we will each carve out the path that we will walk, we will not be alone.
See you next time!