If you kick hard enough, you can balance forever.
This is part of the Bikram Yoga dialogue during the Standing Bow Pulling Pose. I love this statement, it reinforces so much determination in the asana and in myself. Such a wonderful metaphor for life, if you try and work hard enough, you will find success forever. “Electric word life, it means 4ver and that’s a mighty long time” (according to Prince). That statement also leads me in my head to the purple Rain soundtrack. Wow, balancing forever, I often wonder how possible that is, and if kicking hard enough is the only way to achieve this balance.
Once during Awkward Pose, a teacher of mine said that sometimes you have to lose your balance in order to find it.
Well it was very fitting for me a few months ago when I suffered an attack of Vertigo. It started as a busy Monday morning, getting up at 6am and preparing lunches / clothes for the boys for school. Driving them to school, going to yoga, volunteering for lunch duty for my son’s 1st grade class, seeing a patient, running a group at the hospital, picking my boys up from school to take them to a doctor’s appointment, homework, dinner, getting my son to his baseball game, organizing the evening with my babysitter for game pick up for I had another patient and group at the hospital in the evening until 9pm. Wait, that’s a lot in one day… and as I left the hospital in the afternoon, a bit rushed and stressed to get to school on time, in order to get to the doctor’s appointment on time, I was driving my car and began to feel extremely dizzy and my vision began to blur. My heart was racing, my thoughts were racing about the busy day without a moment to simply sit down and rest. I pulled my car over, and realized I was not breathing, so I did some diaphragmatic breathing and had some water, maintained my composure and felt able to drive and carry on with the day. That was until my boys and I were leaving the pediatrician’s office, as I began to feel dizzy again, to the point I was not able to walk or see very much. I sat down on a bench and the elderly couple sitting on the other end, in my eyes, were doing flips, like they were Cirque du Soliel performers. They and everything around me was spinning. The rest of the afternoon was spent in Patient First vomiting and being tested and monitored for possible cardiac issues. The diagnosis was Vertigo, that I believe was triggered by the anxiety of trying to do it all.
In finding balance it is important to have a focus. I lost my balance in life… too much to do with too much pressure on myself to do it all and no time for rest. A very bad combination. Too many women are faced with this challenge, to raise a family, to find happiness within themselves as a woman. Even women with a partner have difficulty with all this. I am doing it all by myself, no family to help, just some amazing friends that are always there when I need an extra hand.
Thank God, the Vertigo has not returned, but the balancing act continues in my life. I believe in the notion of “Yes and…” (a phrase used in improv, you accept whatever your partner on stage throws your way. If you say no, the scene is dead). And live my life that way saying “Yes and…” to many challenges. Sometimes in life you have to say, no thank you, recognizing you may be taking on so much that your balance, no matter how strong and limber you may be, may be compromised.
Balancing requires the ability to recognize where your limits are… how many plates can you balance before they all come crashing down around you? Give yourself a break in life, a savasannah, a time to refocus, to breathe, a space to recharge. Ask for help if you need if, this is something I am learning to do more and more.
Find your focus. Find your balance. Focus on too many things at once, your balance will be compromised.
Be good to yourself. Find others that are good to you. Allow them to help you.