If you practice yoga – the limb of yoga that is the physical postures, the “asanas” – then you have most likely done “Tree Pose”:
As you can see, this pose requires balancing on one leg and is aided by lots of strength in the body core. In this photo, it looks stiff and unmoving, like the mountain behind it.
Is this what we mean by “balance” in life?
If so, what is possible from “balance”?
Here’s another photo of tree pose:
A bit more softness, joy and flexibility. Yet, still I wonder:
What is possible from here?
What can I do while still maintaining the pose?
In actuality, when a yogi is maintaining tree pose, there is much ongoing adjustment happening in the muscles of the foot, ankle and leg which give the appearance of stillness. Standing still in this way requires movement, shift, flexibility!
Applying this to life, if the goal is a balance that looks like constancy, security or consistency:
Do we create these through unchanging inflexibility?
Or, do we create the appearance of constancy through change?
Truth is, everything is always in motion. Within me and you, there is regular breathing, heartbeat, cell division, thought flow … constant change. Even as we attempt to live with unwavering loyalty to spouse, friend or job, I am changing – you are changing, the tasks at work are changing.
Perhaps the balance that we seek when we desire constancy or consistency is actually a series of micro-adjustments in our thinking, behavior and beliefs. Maybe we lean one way, try something, notice the impact, then adjust as needed so that we stay on course.
Today, play with this idea of flexibility in balance. Hold these questions in the background:
What am I holding rigidly now?
What flexibility is being called for?
What micro-adjustment will keep me on the path?