It's all about Balance
To light a candle is to cast a shadow ― Ursula K. Le Guin
For us, in the northern hemisphere, this Thursday saw the arrival of the Autumn Equinox. At this time of the year, we experience both darkness and light in equal measure. It marks the ‘Second Harvest’ - the end of the grain harvest.
As well as balance, the Equinox mirrors the dying down of life and the eventual progression to rebirth. The natural world has an amazing capacity for regularly pointing us towards what we might need. This is a perfect time to pause and reflect on the need for balance in all aspects of our own lives.
Balance is a natural state of being.
The Universe creates it.
In our world, the laws of physics, chemistry and biology explain it. We see it in the natural world when a glut of a crop one year is followed by a poor harvest of it the next. We see it reflected in nature.
We see it reflected in our bodies.
We see it reflected in the Self.
When we are feeling unwell or ‘out of sorts’ we often say that we are ‘out of balance.’
The phrases “too much of a good thing” and “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy” imply that balance is seen as something to be achieved in order to maintain our physical and mental wellbeing.
Often it can seem as if we are in a state of turmoil that is not of our choosing. This might be brought about by awareness of changes in the wider external environment such as climate, politics, the organization that we work for or the behaviour of those around us. It might also be brought about by changes in our own personal circumstances such as a bereavement, the ending of a relationship, the behaviour of someone close to us, or the ill health of ourselves or a loved one.
External changes can lead to our feeling powerless and out of control, but we do well if we remember that it is our responses to the environment rather than the environment itself which chiefly influence our wellbeing. If we are upset by the behaviour of another, it is we who are upset and whether conscious or unconscious, that is a choice.
When we feel that we are in turmoil as a result our responses to external circumstances that are not of our choosing, it can be useful to remember the propensity of the Universe to restore balance – and that that balance can often be seen to come about after a period of chaos.
This week we would like to encourage you to bring your awareness towards fostering a sense of balance within all aspects of your being.
Sit quietly in a safe space where you will not be disturbed.
As always, take your awareness to your breathing
Allow it to slow and deepen
Let the outbreath become slightly longer than the inbreath
Drop your shoulders and relax your jaw
Systematically encourage your body to relax
Portion by portion
Peace by piece
On the outbreath
Allow yourself to let go
Let go of anything that has been draining you
Or irritating you
Let go of the day so far
Now try to get a sense
Of where you need balance
How does it present itself
In your thoughts?
In your body?
In your behaviours?
What is there too much of?
What is lacking?
How does your need for balance express itself?
Sit with it
How might balance be restored?
Move into a place of awareness here
Rather than thinking
What do you need more of?
How might that look?
How might it feel?
What do you need less of?
How might it be reduced?
How would that feel?
Sit with it
Set the intention to foster a sense of acceptance
For any turbulence that you are experiencing right now
As a result of change
Now imagine a bowl of water
Choppy and turbulent
So much so
That you are unable to see
Your reflection in it
And set the intention to allow it now
With each breath
Let the water begin to seek balance
On the inbreath
Watch it slop clumsily towards one side
Then, on the outbreath
To the other
All the while seeking to find balance
The movements become smaller
Until it is finally still
Not a ripple
And when you lean over the bowl
You can see your own perfect reflection
In quiet stillness
And complete balance
For more insights and a host of tools and techniques for exploring the Self and improving your
human experience see our book: