Anyone can do a difficult act one time, that in and of itself does not make you strong. It takes the sustainable practice of difficult things to demonstrate strength. - Jason Crandle
How powerful a lesson is that for my life. How indicative is that to my experiences, to the tests and challenges that have appeared over and yes, over again. But it’s not just the sustainable elements of the behavior that make me strong. It’s the ability to be mindful and slow as I work through the challenge.
Everything about the practice of yoga is counterintuitive to how I have lived my life and how I even thought about approaching the goals and problems that appear. For me, everything has been about all in, fast, push through behavior. So that a) I only have to do it once, and b) don’t really have to think about what’s going on. Hopefully, I can push through it and phew….never have to that again. Of course the universe doesn’t work that way, and I am constantly finding myself having to repeat the same behavior, tackle the same challenge, or wonder why I am not over something yet.
Even as I consider the type of physical exercise I love and the type of body that develops. Love strong legs…duh, doesn’t that help me run away. Love a strong upper body…keeps my head up in false self-esteem and those arms help me push those people away. What’s left? Well how about the core. How about the most vulnerable parts that need protecting…the gut, the lower back, the pelvis. It can’t be a mystery that most of my medical challenges lie in the areas of my body I have not built a sustainable practice around.
So, here I am trying to balance. And the connection to my inability to hold myself steady on my incredibly strong legs and the rest of my life becomes so clear. I want beautiful healthy balanced relationships and I think I can create that with some strong appendages but a weak core. Those legs will take me far away but they sure are not enough to hold the rest of me still. That’s a full body, full mind, full breath experience.
Balance requires the full vulnerability of the experience. It requires openness, faith, and strength right down through the center. It requires acceptance and a tuning in to the parts of you that go most ignored.
In relationships it means that you can hold steady when someone is pushing at you or pulling at you. It means that you can give without being drained and feeling resentful. It means you know how to make the subtle shifts when someone is angry, sad, or anxious. It means that you know what needs to be strong and simultaneously what needs to be open and flexible to allow the relationship and the spirits within to continue to grow. No wonder I struggle….that’s really hard.
What I love about yoga is that you get to celebrate every success towards your goal. So, as I work on my handstand and I learn how to engage my core in way that lifts my legs versus just trying to muscle my way up there with some kicks…I get it.
Balance…the slow, mindful, and steady practice of holding still.