The work of Miyoko Shida Rigolo was brought to my attention yesterday (video embedded below). Her performance piece reminded me of a conversation I had, while hanging out at the High Line with a friend earlier in the week. The topic of the conversation was balance. The need for balance, and how good it feels when one has a sense of balance in their life. Balance is a word my mother likes to bring up over & over again. And we all know the most important lessons are often the ones it takes a lifetime to learn.
What is balance? We all know what it means in general, but do we ever go deeper into what balance really means when it comes down to a feeling or a state of being? Isn’t that the type of balance we are most attracted too? To think about balancing on a bicycle means nothing if we can’t feel it by remembering how it felt to be still, to finally balance as the wheels moved and propelled us forward. Thinking of how it feels to find our balance for the first time is very exciting. It literally lights us up. To become aware of balance is special, because it’s a realization that we can be virtually effortless — yet be fully supported & transported at the same time. It’s the perfect balance of minimal tension & maximum relaxation. And that is all it takes to be carried by life! This is true, not just on a bicycle, not just in a certain situation — but always. This is nature. This is our design.
To the extent that people separate themselves from nature, they spin out further and further from the center.
– Masanobu Fukuoka
I’m currently reading Masanobu Fukuoka‘s The One Straw Revolution. He talks a lot about trusting nature and moving in a way that is in alignment with it. In order to do that, we have to trust it. A surrender takes place. [For more about surrender, read The Meaning of Surrender.] Along with trust and a sense of surrender comes humility. It’s an understanding that you are part of a larger picture. One that you don’t dominate or put your ‘comfort zone’ stamp on. The big picture is beyond you (it happens for you and in spite of you). It is beyond the ability to see with the naked eye or envision with imagination. Often, lives only make sense in hindsight. Even the realization: “Hey! The more I allow momentum to work for me on this bicycle, the easier it is to balance. It’s actually safer to move forward with velocity & trust, than it is to let my fears slow me down by being overly cautious. I can simply relax into it what is happening and stay present as I’m being moved ahead!”
Instead of wanting something outside of ourselves to create balance for us (our wants/needs/goals/dreams), maybe we can look at how we might be tipping the scales in the present moment. How are we causing an imbalance? Are we mistrusting life and overcompensating in some way? Are we being too heavy or too light in how we handle things that are important to us? Are we moving too slow, cautiously waiting for the right time? Or are we rushing into things too quickly out of fear? Are our thoughts unnecessarily heavy? Are we making things harder or more complicated than they really need to be? Are we over-thinking & under-doing? Or are we over-doing to avoid being with our thoughts? In all of those questions, where is the balance point? Where is balance found? Is it in you, or outside of you? Is it even a thing? Is it based in form? Is it a mind state or an intuitive knowing? Does it have anything to do with you at all?
From what point do things or people find balance? How is it attained? What is allowing the correct amount of tension & relaxation. What facilitates the realization or the know-how? What creates the feeling of support & effortlessness? And don’t forget that when we talk about ‘things in balance’, this includes you. You are also being balanced as you balance things. Everything is. But how does it happen? Presence shows us the way. Let the present moment take you to the next, as you fully & fearlessly dive into it. Surrender. Give yourself to it. Let go & be moved. Watch how you are held when you surrender to the present. Where past & future don’t exist.
Paying full attention & moving effortlessly are a powerful pair. Key ingredients to an amazing life. But it happens when you give your full self to the present moment. Multitasking is not balance. Worrying about the future is not balance. Being stuck in the past is not balance. Fearing for your security or comfort is not balance. Wondering what the future holds for you is not balance. Where are you now? What is happening now? What would be the most important step you can take now? How can you powerfully & mindfully move now? What would be the most divine action you could take now? Give yourself fully to the moment and you give yourself fully to life. When you do this, you are carried by an unimaginable force. Life begins to live life in a wildly delicious way. You are life itself, you are whole, fascinating & mysterious! Why get in the way of it with unjustified fears & the need to manipulate everything? Just stay present, trust, be moved & feel totally alive! And the good news is; balance is a side effect to that. It’s a no-brainer.