Find your balance by looking within

Finding balance isn’t always easy. Especially while standing on one foot and leaning waaaay forward with your arms stretched out in front. And I’ve recently learned it’s even harder in the dark.

I’ve discovered something else too. This applies in both yoga and life.

Okay, let’s back up a little . . .

I found myself in a predicament a few days ago while attempting a yoga move. See, I’ve started doing my practice first thing in the morning instead of later in the day. And since the sun is now getting out of bed later than I do, it’s still pretty dark. So I was having a hard time seeing all the things in the room that I usually use as reference points. The giant pillow in the corner, the patterns in the rug, the little table with the clock on it – all just vague shadows. I never realized how much I had come to rely on these external objects during my routine.

As I struggled and swayed and tipped, I could just make out the outline of the big palm tree on the wall. It’s there to remind me of the island principle of Palm and the idea of being strong, yet flexible. But the lack of light was throwing my perspective off and I couldn’t hold the pose. To say the least, I was getting a little annoyed!

But then I thought about how a palm tree doesn’t depend on anything outside itself to keep from falling over. On its own, it’s perfectly capable of standing straight and tall. It doesn’t care if it’s day or night. Strong roots and a resilient trunk are all it needs to withstand the stormy winds and add beauty to the world.

So I tried something. Instead of straining to see everything in the room, I closed my eyes. I concentrated on finding my inner core – the eternal essence that is always there no matter what is going on around me. I focused from within on just where to place my foot, how far to lean, the best angle for my arms . . . and found my balance.

Sometimes life is hard. It can feel like we’re struggling in the dark, swaying and tipping, about to fall. We look for answers from external sources – other people, other things. And often others can help. But ultimately the real answers come from within.

We all have a reliable inner source we can depend on. It’s always there, no matter what. Trust in that. Trust in yourself. Even in the most difficult times, you can always find your balance in the darkness.

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