The same concept can be applied to your emotions and thoughts. Feeling grounded, balanced and clear throughout your day, begins with valuing every part of you. Just as you have one body that goes with you everywhere you go, you have all of your experiences, memories, likes and dislikes that travel with you through your day. The idea of playing with balance is like picking out your outfit for the day. The clothes you wore yesterday were perfect for yesterday- but you may feel more comfortable and better about yourself in a different color and style today. You looked and felt great yesterday–appreciate the clothes you wore and how they felt. Know that you will wear them again (together or with other things) when the time is right. Thoughts and emotions are like your clothes. Sometimes the blue sweater is perfect, sometimes the white; sometimes you will love your friends, parents, schoolmates, sometimes you they will drive you crazy. Both are perfect- just be honest with yourself and value where you are in your thoughts and emotions.
I share this story because I learned that ‘balance’ comes from valuing every part of you: good days and bad, joy and anger, love and sadness; the things you are good at and the things you are not; things you have, things you want and things you will not have. Finding balance is not based on manipulation or control. What I learned from the meanest yogis I trained with was that their teaching practice was a part of their yoga practice. They were yelling at themselves more than at the students. This was not something that I needed to take personally. My job was to stay balanced and focused on me. These teachers were fighting themselves and not valuing their own struggles as well as the growth of their students. This was a great gift.
Think of times, relationships, areas and moments in your life when you have felt uncomfortable. As you remember these times, look for–maybe even write down–what you learned. Active balance refers to growing from your experiences. Stress accumulates in our days when we are acting like some of my yoga teachers and fighting ourselves. The person you will learn most from over the course of your life is you.
Honor and value every aspect of yourself. Start with your body: shift to the right and to the left, find your balance and loose it–enjoy the process and do it again–and again.
Life is not a balancing act. Life is the practice of daily acts of balance.
* This piece was originally written for The Wonder Girls LLC