February 11, 2015

Finding Balance: Staying in the Middle When Life Throws You Up & Down.


It’s a fact: what goes up must come down. Life is both pleasure and pain. And there will always be positive and negative.

It’s a hard lesson to learn and grasp, but we know life isn’t always going to be perfect. Sometimes we get thrown curveballs that take us completely off course. And sometimes things go so right that we never want to come down ever again. But we know we will and nothing is forever.

As a high energy person, it’s really easy for me to be positive. Some people even go so far as to call me Pollyanna, and that can be great.

When I am feeling outgoing, positive, happy and joyful, I borrow from Ellen Degeneres and Lady Gaga and I just dance. I have an entire playlist of positive tunes called my “Playlist of Love”—I put those songs on and I go for it, and I even do it looking in the mirror. Sometimes I squeal too. Just because it’s fun.

But that also means that when I crash, I can crash hard, and it isn’t always easy to bounce back.

I’ve had to work very hard to not allow my super highs and giant lows to keep me stuck, and to figure out a way to ride the tides no matter what comes along. I allow myself my tears, I hug my dog, and then I reach out to one of my wonderful friends who can help me reframe what I’m feeling into something more positive. If you asked me that a few years ago, though, I’d say I down a box of Velveeta Shells and Cheese and listen to Radiohead. Ah, the glory of transformation.

So what can we do to keep ourselves grounded when life feels like a roller coaster?

Here a few of my favorite mantras and meditations that keep me afloat regardless of what happens, and get me back on track when I feel out of whack.

1) I remember the teaching “this too shall pass.” Yes, everything is temporary unless we make it permanent, but that is up to us. By allowing and recognizing that nothing is forever, it gives us permission to keep going even in the darkest moments.

2) I imagine a pendulum swinging with ease. It has to move back and forth. It’s the law of nature and energy. And the less force we use in either direction, the less momentum it has, and the less time it stays in either direction. It’s only when we try too hard that it begins to stick. So, by letting things move freely, we avoid getting caught in either extreme.

3) I trust in balance. I think of yin and yang, positive and negative, high and low, and good and bad. I remember it exists for a reason, and we cannot have one without the other. To create electricity you must have positive, negative and neutral to make anything work. So it becomes easier to accept that everything is necessary to create anything in life.

4) I picture a mountain or a valley from a bird’s eye view. When we’re deep in it, we see and feel every little thing. But when we step back, it creates a beautiful picture. I pretend I’m a bird and know that I have the power to dig deep and then soar high above it all, taking in the whole image from a safe distance, and suddenly it all just makes sense.

5) I believe that nothing has come to hurt me. Everything comes only to help me and evolve me on my journey, so if you’re feeling like a victim, flip the script, become the hero and you can still come out on top.

6) I remember the saying “patience is a virtue,” and that nothing incredible is built overnight. It takes patience to allow everything to unfold in divine time. The pyramids weren’t built overnight. And neither was I. One beautiful brick at a time.


Author: Katie Kozlowski

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: NCinDC/Flickr


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