“I know now that the Spirit is trying to birth something in my life when I find myself craving silence and darkness, when I find myself editing my circle down to just the trusted few whom I know will midwife me through this birth. It’s nothing to fear; it’s the time of transition.”
― Sarah Bessey, Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith
God is in all and through all. In Him we live and move and have our being. This means we actually walk with God every minute of every day of our lives. Most of the time we are not even consciously aware of the presence that is never an absence.
But those times when we focus on the present moment and really tune in, those are special indeed. This often happens for me on my morning walks. Three days a week I have a walking buddy and we really clip it off chattering all the way. But on the other days I really slow it down and connect.
One cool fall morning I went down to the water hoping to sit on the dock, but someone was practicing Tai Chi so I sat down beside the water to meditate. Sitting on the ground is something we need to do from time to time to connect to the earth. I closed my eyes and did a grounding mediation. Then I just sat and listened to the water, and the cars driving on the main road, feeling the cool, gentle breeze.
Next I thanked our Mother earth for supporting us and sustaining us and apologized for the many times we do not do the same for her. Finally I focused on the wind blowing through my hair and thanked Spirit, the giver of life for the energy flowing through my body and my breath.
When I had finished I found myself drawn to the swings on the children’s playground and spent a little time flying through the air. Finally I continued on my walk. Toward the end I stopped to talk to my friend Marge who swept me away on her golf cart to show me the two persimmon trees on the grounds. We picked up persimmons and ate a few talking about my grandma’s persimmon pudding. I promised Marge if I could collect enough I would make some persimmon pudding and share it with her.
You see when we spend time in conscious awareness of our connection to God we also become more aware of our connection to the earth and to our fellow travelers through this life. How much easier and more peaceful our lives would be if we would only remember we walk with God all the time, we just need to stop and tune in.
When I say balance what do you think of? Do you think of keeping the physical body standing upright? That is one aspect of balance that we become more concerned with as we grow older and there are specific yoga poses that can help with that. Do you think of standing on one foot in some sort of extreme yoga pose? Or do you think of the balance of between body mind and spirit? This last aspect of balance is what I am talking about today.
Yoga is a Sanskrit word which means, “to yoke”, “to join” or “union.” This is why it is so important that we not take the physical poses and practice them alone, out of context as a form of physical exercise.
The balance that comes from the practice of yoga does not happen overnight. It takes time. There are so many things in our lives that can throw us out of balance. A consistent yoga practice based on the 8 limbs of yoga can help us find our way back to our true selves.
The balance that comes from the joining or union of body mind and spirit has been showing up in several ways for me. During the third year of my current practice I have been noticing a lowering of my blood pressure and heart rate, the relaxation of muscles which had always been tense, a great reduction in the “adrenaline overload” that was once my state of being and a very gradual weight loss. I am also calmer and tend to worry less. I have not been practicing yoga specifically for any of these things, but by dedicating myself to a regular practice and taking the teachings to heart my entire system has been moving toward greater balance.
So don’t worry about the perfect tree pose. Do the best your body can and you will find yourself coming into balance in more than just the physical sense.