Balance

I awaken each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.

-E.B. White

 

A theme running in my life has been finding balance– balance between activity and rest, movement and contemplation, yin and yang– in order to become a complete and whole person.

I noticed it first in my prayer– I never stopped to listen, to sense, to revel in the Word Made Flesh– for in that time I was focused on the action, the movement from prayer to prayer to reading to prayer without taking time to sit and be still.  I then found it in my mind and my breath, where my mind was constantly in motion from one item to the next without stopping.  My breath was shallow– unfocused and unnoticed– as a secondary function of my body.  My battle with anxiety made it even worse as the shallower my breath got, the faster my heart raced, the more my mind worried, and the more I couldn’t stop the cycle from spiraling downward into panic and fear and depression.

When I first started practicing yoga with Yin Yoga six months ago, I found myself noticing my breath and the shallowness.  There was a hesitation on my part, a block there, that prevented me from breathing deeply.  Sitting on my mat, the active part of myself would overpower my mind and I would lose focus.  Even now, I’ll have a train of thought that will take my practice completely off track.  The beauty of yoga is that it’s a reminder that we are all still practicing, there are no perfect practitioners, but all are perfectly imperfect students.  Christ has met me in yoga in that it’s only through His Grace that my strength is made whole.

Back to the quote, we all have this balance to keep within our lives between action and contemplation, and that’s the important thing– the balance.  Always trying to save the world will leave you tired and dead.  Always trying to savor the world will leave you disconnected and lazy.  Our aim is to find the balance in our lives that we live from our rest to be active, that we want to save the world entirely because it’s worth is what we savor.  We love entirely because He first loved us– that He gives us grace for us to give grace.

It is the paradox of the Warrior Monk and the Soldier of Love.  We are strong in order to bring shalom, or peaceful wholeness.  We are both/and not either/or.

Live from the Shalom of Christ in order to show the world His Eucharistic love.

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