Try this. Stand up with your feet comfortably apart and remain still until you feel as perfect a balance as you can. Breath evenly and comfortably deep. Savor that balance and the peaceful feeling of stillness. Stay this way as long as you want. Feel the Earth supporting you at your feet and center of your body. If you cannot stand, try it in your imagination, or by holding up an arm or your head in a way that feels balanced.
Recognize the possibility for you that in today’s fast pace and complex and largely out-of-balance society this may be the first time in a while that you have felt this level of peace and balance. It’s very nice – isn’t it? You have taken control of your state for a few moments. Yoga and meditation practices, and various spiritual practices are designed to find that singular and still center of your Being that is in perfect balance and peace and presence in your body. They and the shamanic practices offer you the possibility of maintaining this core state of Being every day and all day as you participate in activities of life here in the theater. They are designed to make it your underlying default state from which you take part in this beautifully messy and contrast filled experience of life and death and life and death…
Which brings me to the crux of this article: That peace and balance and even presence are not the goal of this life for you, but just a starting point. Otherwise, making the practices of life your goal, can get you stuck. Imagine if Mozart had only ever continued practicing piano. Now if you are still standing, or perhaps you can stand up again. I will ask you to notice what it takes to go from standing to walking. What is the very first thing that must happen once you have decided to move forward?
The answer is that you must shift the weight of your body sufficiently OUT of balance to be able to lift one foot and place it in front of you and so on to keep walking or running. You must create a deliberate imbalance to move and dance. But it is interesting that you don’t necessarily fall over, because it is a natural instinct to carry your center with you to be able to keep moving without falling flat on your face. And you may notice for the split second that you lean out of balance before moving your feet, that you feel uncomfortable, maybe even quite fearful. I want you to recognize that the discomfort and fear are normal, and really important actually. Notice how it takes courage to even walk or move in any way because of this. So you do know what if feels like to be uncomfortable and fearful, yet courageous enough to take a step.
So how does this apply to getting you unstuck from your desire to write, create, or change jobs or relationships or learn new skills and follow your passions? You simply have to find a way to break your homeostasis, routines, and maybe even your practices to create sufficient deliberate imbalance to motivate your next step; and, all the while trusting that your body’s ancient instincts with the unwavering support of the Earth, Sun and nature will always be with you and all around you. Courage and faith in the face of fear and potential pain is all you need.
And if you do fall, or fail at any given time or number of times, you can always go back to a moment of peace, stillness and balance to start from again. Physically, psychologically, emotionally, and energetically you can pick yourself up, ask for help if you like, as we all love an opportunity to be helpful, dust yourself off, take the clarity that you may have gained from the contrast of that fall, and begin to lean out of balance once again. In my humble opinion, all creation, dance and play stems from imbalance, and my shaman teachers have convinced me that the purpose of life is to create and play.
So even though the world and humanity at large needs to come back into balance and peace to rise from a kind of fall in its own way – and that may involve a great number of people seeking and practicing balance and peace – just remember that it is equally important for you to continue moving towards your passions, play and creativity. This has the powerful effect like the shamanic destiny retrieval process of pulling us all forward to a more ideal reality. Your deliberate imbalance and appreciation of painful contrast contributes ultimately to your own life and as an example and inspiration to those around you.