‘Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.’ Chinese Proverb
Many of us have been brought up to value ambition, goals and the importance of working toward something. This forward and outward orientation is indeed a fine thing, it is an important part of our capacity to create, achieve and grow. But it isn’t the whole equation. There is another part of our nature that simply is. It is the being behind the doing. In our culture, that side of us is often ignored or denied (unless we get sick), and stillness is seen as a passive luxury. We seem to think that we hold our world up with our thinking and our constant activity (Which is not only false, but exhausting!).
Our yoga and meditation practice is an invitation to balance, to ‘plug in’ and connect to our Source and our inner self. What often happens when we go out of balance in favor of doing and getting is our body starts to talk; a split starts to happen between the ‘self’ in the body and the ‘self’ in the mind. The result is unease, stress, anxiety or even illness. Our body never lies – it talks when we are ignoring some part of ourselves. One of the most precious gifts of a regular practice is staying in touch with our inner life, the life of our body and spirit – intimacy with our self. The time we take for our practice becomes a sacred container where we cultivate our wisdom-heart, and create a larger context of meaning for the day to day stuff we all deal with. Rather than ‘checking out’ we are ‘checking in’ so we are more truly available for the demands of life. And we need that in order to learn to reconcile all the paradox of our humanness…and welcome all of it. Just as it is.
With intention and practice we can naturally develop a healthy balance between being and becoming - what I think of as Grounded Grace. Connecting with ourselves helps us to stay clear and choose activity that is true and aligned with our deepest needs and values. Our physical practice helps create the vitality and resilience we need for our daily activity. Our practice can be alive and integral and serve all aspects of our rich and multi-dimensional being…and becoming!