We look at other people who we see as successful and we think - I could never do that, but what we think is brute strength is really the art of balance.
I woke up in the middle of the night with the idea for this blog post, and today when I sat down to write, it almost entirely wrote itself. I love it when that happens.
The art of balance
As I mentioned in Comparison Versus Appreciation: What's the Difference?
I’ve been doing a lot more yoga
lately and am really enjoying the practice in a whole new way. Instead of walking out of the studio, I’m pretty sure I float out.
I think back to the first time I ever went to a yoga class and I remember looking around at everyone thinking…
Wow, how do they do that with their body?! They must be so strong to be able to contort themselves in those positions… holding their entire body weight at such odd angles.
Up until this point, I’ve never been one to be able to do things like unassisted pull-ups or full on hand-stand push-ups and such, so I just figured I could never do these crazy poses.
I was happy just being able to hold half moon without touching the ground.
Image Source - Half Moon
How do you do it?
Then, over the past few weeks I had an epiphany. I realized, by watching the instructor more closely when she would demonstrate one of the more challenging poses, that her ability to hold the pose had more to do with finding her balance than with her holding her body weight.
Her strength was certainly an important factor, but as I finally gave the pose a try for myself, I realized that if I put my arms and elbows in specific places it allowed me to balance my body weight in a way that didn’t feel nearly as heavy as I thought it would.
Instead of holding the weight of my body, I just had to control my balance.
More and more recently I’ve been asked to do interviews with people, and one of the most common questions is – How did you do it?
And the answer to that question has far less to do with hardcore strength and far more
to do with balance.
Now, let’s take a pause here to talk balance. Balance
is a highly debated
word, primarily because a lot of people’s idea of “balance” is that you have to be equally spread across X number of things.
But this yoga example has helped me to more clearly put into words my own perception of what balance is. It’s not being spread equally, rigidly, and exactly.
It’s a flow, a constant underlying... undulating and adjusting. It’s not about being uniformly distributed. It’s a sense of presence and self-awareness.
I think the same principles apply to life and to health.
Back to Comparison vs Appreciation
We look at other people who we see as successful in life and in health and we think -- I could never do that
We think we are seeing brute strength, when what we are really seeing is balance in the sense that I described above.
Perception is reality though, right?
We are truly capable of achievement far beyond our wildest dreams, but only if we give it a try. I would still be saying “I could never do that” right now, in sooo many aspects of my life, if I hadn’t one day decided that I would take that first step
and at least try.
Don’t be scared to give it a go, whatever it is that you want. If you make the decision to whole-heartedly try something that your intuition is telling you is right for you... you will
find your own balance in the process.
Have you ever thought that you couldn't do something, but then once you gave it a try, realized how more-than-possible it really was?