Inner Reflections
March 20, 2023

Finding Balance This Spring

bell hooks once wrote, “Sometimes we learn what we need to avoid by doing it.” And that, to me, is the embodiment of balance. We learn balance through the experience of imbalance. You learned how to walk only because you navigated falling. You learned every skill you have by journeying through times of not knowing.

You are in a relationship to balance.

It is not a destination, not some endpoint.

And when you inevitably awaken one day and realize your life has become imbalanced, you will be gifted with the opportunity to make changes that empower longevity, health, and vitality in your life.

Your experience of cultivating balance is similar to the muscle of non-reactivity you grow through consistent meditation practice. As you meditate, you begin to realize you bounce back faster from setbacks. Your resiliency grows over time and with practice. Situations that once took you days, weeks, or even months to recover from now may only take you hours or even moments. The same is true with curating balance in your life.

There is no promise that one day your life will be perfectly balanced. In fact, a “perfectly balanced life” would probably be a pretty boring life that would lead to atrophy, depression, and transgression. As I say in the wisdom talk “The Two Buckets of Stress,” research shows that we need periods of challenge in order to keep our skeletal system from decaying and to keep our brains from shrinking. Without these challenges (a.k.a periods of imbalance), we literally begin to diminish physically, mentally, and emotionally. Imbalance is one of the greatest teachers you have.

So the next time imbalance arises in your life, what if you bowed to this great teacher instead of berating yourself? What if you celebrated the light of enlightenment turning on and alerting you to changes that are asking to be made? What if you acknowledged yourself for recognizing imbalance sooner than you have in the past?

The gift is in the acknowledgment. Your power is in how you respond.

The dawn of spring is an opportunity to honor the balance of the light and the dark. If we focus only on celebrating the return of the light, we forget to honor the gifts that darkness brings. For it is in the dark when life is created, when seeds are gestated, and when insight flourishes. Do not shun the dark, do not turn away from imbalance. Your life depends on the presence of both and as we welcome the light of the spring, we celebrate the gifts that only darkness and imbalance can bring.

Rest in the middle and know that this is equanimity – the space of “power with” instead of “power over.” One is not greater than the other. Light is not better than dark. Joy is not better than grief. Your falls do not define you but they do hold the potential to inspire how you take your next step. If you were to never fall, you would not understand the beauty of the ground that is here to catch you, “the ground” being the practice you have worked so diligently to establish.

Below are some recommended practices to help you find balance this Spring:

Restorative Yoga Lauren Eckstrom

By Lauren