Tag Archives: balance

Yin and Yang


images-13I’ve started a Tai Chi class, taught by a very soothing gentleman who is patient with our stumbles and questions and awkward poses. He may go home and snicker to himself, but somehow I doubt it. He seems suffused with calm. I find myself looking at him, wanting to get closer to his aura, somehow absorb it all.

But instead I try to memorize the steps, ease back and forth, move my arms around in circles, feel my body sway. It is wonderful, even as I miss steps and teeter.

He speaks a lot of Yin and Yang as we work, reminds us of the constant shifting from one side to another, controlling our weight as we move, maintaining a strong posture, holding the centre.

It’s all wonderfully applicable to this, my winter of discontent.

I’m not alone in the discontent, I think. This winter has been unusually harsh and we are already fed up, a lot of us, with the prospect of weeks and weeks of more winter to come. Add the usual and unusual trials of life and a lot of us feel buffeted, knocked off-balance, off centre and wobbly. We crave change, if only to alter the view.

And yet, change is already constant. The challenge in all, as in my Tai Chi class, is to keep centred as the changes happen, as we look this way and that, as we move forward and back, full or half-steps.

My balance is dodgy at the best of times. I race forward with enthusiasm and then find I am overreaching my abilities. I retract and grieve when really I should just seek balance in my new position, move into it or past it, stop fighting with myself as I go forward.

I need to remember that we naturally seek balance and I should ease into it, arms raised high.

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Prioritizing


Lately I’ve felt like the old sailor who had so much to do he didn’t do anything at all. I feel distracted by my many tasks and goals and can’t focus on one thing at a time.
It’s foolish, because I just finished the excellent training for “living well” and if I’d paid attention I’d know what I should be doing.
Namely: setting small goals, checking that I was confident that I could do them, then doing them.
But of course, it’s easy to forget this stuff, especially when you feel surrounded by stuff that has to be done.
So another friend mentioned another technique  – to look at my hand and allocate one broader goal I wanted to meet to each finger, and drop the things I couldn’t attach to a finger.
She’s very good at visual stuff.
So, just for your amusement, here’s my hand. What would you have on yours?
1. Physical activity. I have to do it or my MS will tie me up in knots.
2. Music. I foolishly love the ukulele. I really want to learn how to play it. It gives me joy when I allow myself to play it.
3. Creativity: whether through needle-felting, rug-hooking, writing, painting – I must have some of this in my life. It provides my soul.
4. Contribution: I can’t seem to give up this feeling that I need to do something for others, or to make the world work better. It fluffs my brain.
5. Relationships: I’m fortunate enough to have a few good friends and a wonderful man in my life. I treasure them. They warm my heart.
And that’s my handful.
I can’t take on any more. And if things come along that don’t stick to my fingers, it’ll have to slide out of my hand.
Maybe focusing on these five things will help me stay on track.

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