Have you ever found yourself in mid sentence forgetting what you were about to say? What causes these misfires? These embarrassing lapses? Recently I was talking to a friend about something very important to me when suddenly my speech halted. My eyes rapidly scanning my brain files for lost words. Nothing. Blank. Awkward pauses. My friend politely put me out of my misery by saying, “I think the word you were trying to say is ‘Balance’.” “Yes, I shouted, that’s it, Balance!”
I couldn’t help but snicker at myself. Me trying to talk about Balance only to forget what I’m talking about. Does this sound like someone who has Balance? The image that pops in my mind is of a tight rope walker who creates perfect synchronicity between the hemispheres of his body in order to keep from falling. Slowly he puts one foot in front of the other in a slow staccato, inching forward with precise pitch. Lately I haven't felt like my life has been balancing on the high wire, far from it.
There are obvious things we know we should do to keep the ‘timing belt’ in our lives perfectly tuned. But I find that I often need the nudge, the constant reminder to follow peace instead of chaos. I always set off with the best of intentions, I really do. Oh my goodness, I have made passionate resolutions that turned to dust mere days after declaring my marching orders. How do I explain myself from all those starts and stops? It can be said that I am a person with a lot of passion inside of me who at times lacks the balance to keep it all afloat. But oh how I try.
There was that time when I was very serious about running a marathon before I turned 40. I even signed up to run the Chicago marathon. I trained my heart out, blew out my knee and I've never been able to run again. Talk about complete deflation. Then there was the time I decided I needed to change my health by following the raw food diet. I was so dedicated!! This was going to be my new thing. I bought expensive kitchen gadgets, read book after book as I devoured this new concept. Well, a few months in and realizing nobody ever wanted to dine on my rabbit food fare, I quit that too. Raw food was followed by my jewelry making phase…. Oh wait, there’s more, but I'll spare you the details as I think you get the picture. Lots of starts and stops mixed with feelings of failure and embarrassment.
I often ask myself the question, how do I start off so passionately only to have it end so disparagingly? Oh ya, balance, the word my brain likes to conveniently forget. I don’t know the exact ingredients to this “balance recipe” but I think the biggest gift I am giving myself these days is to allow myself what I need. One of the greatest blessings of getting older is that I am finally beginning to understand how to nourish my spirit. What I mean by this is, I have an incredibly sensitive soul that needs a lot of protecting. I cherish my sensitivity as it has served me well but when I overuse it, it becomes a liability of soul crushing pain. When my circuits overload from too much heavy emotion I have to disconnect and sit quietly for a day. I used to apologize for it as it can be looked upon as being aloof or lazy but it is an integral part of my way to reconnection. I also realize that I have to be out in nature, a lot, because living in a concrete jungle stifles the creative vibration inside of me. Nature is the soft hand that gently touches my back and looks me in the eyes and tells me I am standing in perfect light and I am on the good path.
I will close by saying this. With all my many starts and stops, I have learned a lot from it all. It’s almost like an invisible thread is intricately weaved from one experience into the other, all building upon itself. In fact, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t tried to run the marathon or spent hundreds of hours learning to solder and bead pearls to make beautiful jewelry or lost my quest at becoming a raw foodist. I think it’s all valid, it plays a part of who I am today. Maybe I can even go so far as to say I like the part of me that remains curious enough to try new things, even at the risk of embarrassing failure. I never want to look back at my life and cringe at the fear that held me back. I would much rather smile at the bravery of trying then to do nothing at all. Why not, what have we got to loose? I have actually experienced great failure while living in fear and living small. So why not live large and see what happens. So, did I cover the subject of …wait, what was that word? Oh ya, Balance.