“Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.” ~ Pema Chodron
Balance is a curious, wild subject; subject to change at the whim or will of the wind, always reshaping, reforming, twisting and turning into a new form of harmony.
And what is harmony? Is it a peaceful existence between opposing forces, or what seems opposing on the surface, revealing what actually bears myriad similar core qualities than we could ever dream?
Balance is something we all strive for, work towards, a concept or idea or juggling act that we feel needs mastery. But I think that’s an illusion, because the energy and constructs of balance change on the daily, be it through muddled schedules or missed connections and general mishaps that we must choose to roll with rather than rebel against…that’s what true balance is really about.
Adapting and rolling with the punches as seamlessly as we can; becoming one with the ebb and flow of the ever-changing atmosphere of energy, tweaking our axis point and our perspective to glide into a constantly shifting paradigm with ease rather than tension.
I believe harmony comes when we find the common ground between two seemingly opposite beasts. I myself feel like a walking contradiction at times; I enjoy heavy, filthy, pounding metal and hardcore music, so much so that I spent six years of my life immersing myself in shows, the culture, the lifestyle. I listened to it and wrote about it more than I saw my friends. It touched (and continues to touch) something so deeply imbedded in my soul, something so primal and basic and absolutely essential that I can’t imagine my life or heart without it.
To be completely cliche, the grinding, pummeling, soaring rhythms and face-melting double base truly soothe the savage beast within.
On the other hand, I look for the space and solitude and silence in practicing yoga, writing with the music off, setting out for intense trail runs sans tunes and meditating to the mesmerizing intonations of instrumental Egyptian compositions.
Cursing is another anomaly for me; I understand the power of the words we speak, how acutely and quickly we create energy with the very sounds that roll from our tongues and kiss our lips as they’re released into the atmosphere, traveling along and intertwining with and adding to the great webbed network of universal energy and communication. But there’s nothing like passionately cursing in elation, screaming your favorite, most poignant four letter words from the proverbial rooftops in the throws of purely ecstatic emotional (or physical) ejaculation.
A word isn’t a word because of the letters that form it, but rather the intent and energy with which is it delivered.
Then there’s the subject of the ancient act (or art) of violence. Warriors battle to showcase their skill, sparring in competition, throwing all of their energy and vitality into the fight—they curse, they spit, they punch, kick, trip, arm bar, choke and force submission upon their opponent. They train and infuse discipline into their practice, their craft, transforming this routine into a beautiful cosmic dance of manifest energy made physical. They throw themselves at their opponent with fire in their eyes and ambition in their bellies, envisioning a crushing outcome, their fists raised as they emerge victorious.
But after the fight is done, they embrace their adversaries, congratulating one another on a grueling battle, exuding mutual respect and admiration for skills and determined focus on a life path that saturates them with the energy of mastery, a truly respectable path that only a chosen few will ever travel.
There are two sides to every person, every situation, ever perceived affront or offense or seemingly harsh and aggressive outlet or presentation, and that is where balance can be found—through seeking the threads of communion, the luminous cords of light that exist in the darkness and the thickly coiled spools of darkness that embroil the light.
There’s honor and solace and sacrament in everything; within these seeming paradoxes is where the core essence of balance and harmony truly lies.
So the next time you find yourself seeking balance and harmony in what appears to be a tornado of chaos, allow yourself to rest into the eye of the storm and enjoy the silence created by nature’s intense purification process.
Seek to see the revitalization through the flying debris, the rebirth through the destruction, the fresh start through total annihilation. Choose to see the beauty in endings and the new beginnings they provide. Allow the natural process of balance to merge with your soul…and don’t forget to breathe.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise