I like to bang on about balance – but that doesn’t make me boring – does it? My version of balance is one of being centred when we are out there pursuing adventures or taking on challenges and when we are taking time out to reflect.
Let me explain.
At the core of who we are is a place of balance – think of a circle drawn in the centre of the Yin Yang (Taiji) symbol. It is divided into black and white ‘halves’ by the wavy line that dissects the symbol itself – so that both ‘sides’ (or hemispheres if you like), are equal, but the centre line is not straight.
The expression ‘a little off-centre’ is usually taken to mean (other than in its literal sense) that a person is a bit odd, eccentric or even unbalanced, with the implication that it is better to be normal, centred, balanced. When we look at the circle drawn into the centre of the Yin Yang symbol we see that it is possible to be ‘off-centre’ and still be within the circular core.
I think this is a good way of looking at things. It would be boring if we were all totally centred all of the time, or at all really. A straight road, even one running through a beautiful landscape, doesn’t make for the most interesting drive. Life’s journey is no different. We need to embrace our own differences, the things about us that take us ‘off-centre’ (and out into left field sometimes) and make us unique, quirky.
We need to actively embrace change in our lives, the fluid movement of yin and yang energy that doesn’t follow any straight line and sometimes feels like it is taking us off course, all while holding onto the core of our being that centres us, bringing us back to who we really are. If we stay true to the core of who we are, recognising that we will always need to change because of circumstances and in order to grow, then we will find a place of balance that is far from boring.
I was once told by a make-up artist that my face is very symmetrical. Symmetry indicates visual balance and is also associated with beauty (in the classical sense, not necessarily in regards to me!). Except I have a fairly large dimple on the left side of my face that is unmatched by the much smaller dimple on my right side. Basically my smile is a little lopsided. And now the wrinkles on my face are skewwhiff from the many thousands of smiles I’ve given in my life – even at those times when it hurt to move my muscles in any kind of show of happiness. My frown lines form a furrow centred between my eyebrows and make me think of the times when it seemed so hard to smile. Naturally I’m not a fan of my frown lines, however symmetrical they might be, but I like to think my crooked smile lines give my face ‘character’.
I know that when I smile spontaneously I really do feel centred, in touch with the core of my being that is joyful and balanced. I plan to keep on smiling as much as I can, especially at those things in life that are ‘a little off-centre’ – they are, after all, often the things that make you smile the most – and without worrying about wrinkles.
What keeps you centred? What things take you off-centre and make you smile, challenge you? Love to hear.