It’s the beginning of spring… technically, anyway. Truth is, it’s been spring in Los Angeles since the start of February. So I have to say, I feel a little discombobulated. This is made only worse by the start of Daylight Savings Time. What is supposed to be a gradual lengthening of daylight hours, a gradual awakening to the sun’s generative power, is being experienced much more like a flip of the light switch. And I feel similarly disoriented to being woken too-early by a beeping alarm clock.
In all honestly, I really resent Daylight Savings. I get crabby about it every year. It takes my kid weeks to adjust, which disturbs his sleep and disrupts our normally easeful routines. And I resent not being permitted to experience the natural cycle of the seasons. It’s like having my farm-to-table dinner replaced by a frozen pizza.
Even the dog gets thrown off. Aaargh, I tell you. Aaargh!
One thing humanity can’t and hasn’t messed up (unlike the weather and the time), is the proportion of daylight to darkness. No matter how early or late the weather shifts, no matter how we arbitrarily assign time, the spring equinox ALWAYS exhibits a perfect balance of daylight and darkness. On that one day, the two enjoy an equal share of the day’s minutes.
Mind you, it’s fleeting. The very next day, the balance begins to tip in favor of daylight, reaching its most extreme imbalance on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year (when it suddenly tips in the opposite direction). But for one day (well, two; it happens again on the fall equinox), we are in perfect balance.
Daylight Savings Time makes it harder to perceive this perfect balance, but it’s still there. And though technically, it’s only around for one day, the growing imbalance doesn’t become easily perceptible until the beginning of May. So we have the next few weeks to engage especially richly with the idea of balance and how we experience it in our daily lives. We can consider all this at any time, of course, but for the next few weeks (then again in September), the natural world is supporting that investigation in a way it’s not at other times.
Thinking about balance today, I notice I’m uncomfortable. And I wonder if it might be true to say that I don’t particularly like balance.
I know that sounds a bit crazy… Aren’t we all supposed to be craving better balance? Between work and play, rest and action; among the many activities we enjoy; in our emotions… Many schools of thought value even-tempered emotion with only small fluctuations on either side, right?
But I think I prefer the edges of the spectrum. Maybe not the farthest reaches… I’m generally not prone to fanaticism. But I like intensity, passion, deep dives. When I hurt, I hurt deep. And when I feel joyful, I’m exuberant. Hardly seems the way of the Masters, I know, at least as they’ve been portrayed to me. But the way of the Masters seems really… boring. I mean, Zen… What a yawn! 😉
One thing I love, though, is that I get to choose. When the edges wear me out – and they do – I can head toward the center and hang for awhile at the balance point. I can float… weightless… experimenting gently with how far I can lean in any direction while staying on that balance point. It feels like a regenerative place, a healing zone. And when I get bored – because, I will – I can head out again, go splash in a bright pool or lay around in the mud.
The other thing that feels important is knowing all this about myself.
I have definitely heard myself complain about the intensity in my life. And I have, at times, thrown my arms up lamenting a certain lack of equilibrium. But knowing myself reveals that there’s a bit of a lie tucked in there. Because, who am I kidding? If I’m really being honest (as I was three paragraphs ago), I like the areas left and right of center. So, if I’m complaining or lamenting, it means I’ve forgotten that I’m the one creating the experience. It means I’ve disowned some of my truth and my choices have become unconscious. And that is the epitome of disempowered. It’s the ultimate evil in the Shero way of life.
On the other hand, recognizing (and admitting!) that I kinda like the stuff I’ve said I no longer want is an act of power. It makes my choice conscious again. No longer the victim of circumstance, I can admit that I’m served in some ways by this thing I say I no longer want. And I can decide, in any given moment, if that service is still valuable. From that place, I can see that my complaining probably indicates I require a different choice for awhile. It means a significant part of me is craving some time in the center. And that makes it much easier to just scoot over. No muss, no fuss.
The trick is not to judge.
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that it’s impossible to see ourselves truthfully if we are constantly judging what we see. We will, by nature, protect ourselves from that judgment by altering our truth in some way. And if we can’t see ourselves truthfully, we cannot be empowered. It’s as simple as that.
But — and it’s happening in this moment — when I stop judging myself long enough to see the truth – PHOOMP! – I land right back in my power, armed with choice, and the awareness to make it consciously.
Clearly, I’m practicing that with you today. It does feel a little strange to buck the common wisdom exalting balance. And I suppose it’s also a little vulnerable to admit that, hey, I like a bit of crazy. But I’m willing to risk it in service to owning my holistic truth. Empowerment is always my highest aim… for me and for you.
What’s your holistic truth about balance? Where do you like to sit, really? While the days are still mostly holding that experience, what can you learn about how balance does – or doesn’t – serve you?