on balance and letting go
Sometimes we must let go of what brings us wonder and ease to allow us to breathe and to enjoy anew. Imagine if a rainbow were to be present every day, the surprise and energy of a sighting would slowly erode until the rainbow became commonplace. The same is true for a delicious bowl of soup, a beloved friend, even stillness. All need to be put on pause to allow space for other things to arise. It is the diversity of skies that brings wonder to a rainbow, just as it is the diversity of people we meet that allows us to cherish our deepest friendships. In this way, stillness requires activity. Connection and community require solitude. Soup requires not-soup. For the benefit of ourselves, our communities, and the earth.
Balance is because imbalance is not. And when there is balance, there can be diversity. Diversity by its very nature is not boring.
The body in its wisdom knows balance. Physical exhaustion is a sign of imbalance. So is disease, boredom, prolonged bouts of anger and stress. In our communities, many face scarcity and poverty while the privileged live in plenty. On Mother Earth, biodiversity is decreasing, habitats are being destroyed. Forest fires are raging in California hills and Australian bushlands, glaciers melting rapidly in Antarctica and Greenland. Imbalance is because balance is not.
We must confront our individual and collective imbalances to touch individual and collective wellbeing.
We cannot ask time to stop when we run into exhaustion. No, we must prepare the antidote now, to choose in this moment balance over the excesses of consumption or the lack thereof – whether our consumption is based in rainbows, soup, work, dialogue, anything we desire. We have this power to choose to stop running.
In exhaustion, rest is here. To look elsewhere is to put on hold our work or relationships but to keep running, this time to problem-solve our exhaustion. Doing as habit must be addressed at the root in this moment, not some day in the future.
Letting go becomes possible when we see
Winter’s bare branches give way to spring blooms
The rare rainbow in wonder, the daily one, nothing
The koan of balance, in nature, pervading.
Can we see the expansive breath of our life
Including all, the rainbow and rain?
To have one is to have the other,
To have only one is to have neither.