“…the experience of community comes in many shapes and variations. Unfortunately, community is often sacrificed when our lives are out of balance. If we work excessively, community is not likely to be a high priority in our lives. We are not likely to want to connect with others if we are exhausted or stressed out. Participating in community should always be something you do to experience life more fully, and not simply to avoid feelings of guilt. We have enough shoulds in our lives; we don’t need to add community to that list.” ~ Linda Breen Pierce, Simplicity Lessons
On the mat, in our practice of asana, pranayam and meditation, we build balance in our bodies, breath and mind. As we move off the mat into our daily lives, we have the opportunity to take that balance with us into the various aspects of life. We strive to balance our work lives with our personal lives. We look for balance in our diet, in our relationship to material goods, and in time spent playing vs. resting. Time spent indoors vs. time communing in nature. The concept of balance touches every part of our lives — hence the saying, “Moderation in all things.”
And yet, sometimes in the effort to make sure our quiet time is balanced with time spent in community, I have felt overwhelmed with the feeling of “one more thing to do.” I have learned that this feeling is a sign that I am doing too much — that I need to slow down, back up, and take a broader look at what’s going on in my life. And probably, I need to go outside when I’m doing this observation, for the natural world is THE environment in which our bodies have evolved to feel most in balance. Only by taking this time-out for reflection in nature can I make sure that time spent in human community feeds me rather than depletes me.
Consider the role of nature and community in your life. Does your life feel balanced? If not, take a few steps back to gain a different perspective. Breathe. Be outdoors. Pay attention to what you feel in your body and what is happening in your mind. What is really behind your sense of lopsidedness? What adjustments could you make that would bring you back to center?