Let’s talk about life this week. How do you know you are balanced? Are you ever balanced? Do you bob about like a cork on the ocean, swept this way and that at the whim of every current? Are you an orphan of the storm? Or are you centred and grounded?
I think that to write well we have to have some order, possibly not in our lives but in our flow of ideas, there has to be structure if you are to tell your tale clearly. For me this is easier to do when I am in balance. As Lao Tzu says:
Countless words count less than the silent balance between yin and yang.
I have been reading the Tao Te Ching a lot recently. I do not claim to understand it all, nor would I say I am putting it into practice. It does resonate though, the idea of being in balance, of making the minimum change necessary.
Let me answer my own questions. I know I am balanced because there have been times in my life when I have not been. I strive now to maintain that balance. I think it is like breathing. Breathing? We all breathe you say and you are right.
It is the quality of our breathing that counts. I realised this when I started doing yoga and it was confirmed when I began Tai Chi. Many people are “chest breathers”, especially I am told, people who smoke. This means they breathe with their rib cage, their lungs do not fully inflate. It is a tiring and inefficient method of getting oxygen into the blood, chi into the body.
It does not help us in our quest for balance. Balance only comes when we breathe from our diaphragm. Breathing in this way helps us to fully inflate our lungs, it also grounds us to the earth and it is only when we are grounded we can achieve balance.
SLACK LINE BLUES
It simply is,
Stretched between two trees
An ordinary haulage strap.
Yet it attracts,
You feel you must walk its length.
Most will tumble,
The rope one way, their centre another.
A vagrant sine wave that will bounce you off.
There are secrets here,
The position of the feet,
The line of gravity through the base of support.
Perhaps, like life you can only learn as you go,
And, at the end, as you fall,
You realise your mistake too late.