Life is about dual actions. Yin and Yang, strong and soft, day and night, sun and moon. Anger and contentment, fear and love, judgement and accepting. These opposite bodies govern our everyday existence. Being out of balance means that one part of the whole is dominating or weakening. Maybe we are constantly pushing to achieve something, other days we sink into sluggishness. We can judge if we are out of balance if we have stepped too far to one side. Maybe we are constantly carried on a rip tide of emotions or maybe we feel we want to curl up and away from the human race. Our job as humans is to constantly pull ourselves back to the middle ground, the place of no extremes.
Svadhyaya, or self study is method to obtain equanimity. It means studying yourself and taking action if needed. The first job is to become aware of changes in our mood or attitudes that don’t serve us too well. Svadhyaya is a constant practice of attuning yourself to your inner compass, your north star. Through the process of self reflection we can become more aware of small and subtle aspects of our life that may take us away from the middle ground.This was eloquently put by my friend who noted that she was wasting too much energy on negative emotions. To even be at the stage where you can have this awareness is fantastic, to then want to do something about it is courageous.
Practice for today: Where in your life do you need more balance? Be honest with yourself. If it is work or family take your attention there. If it is thought processes or actions, lay out a plan to go to the middle ground. Reading texts is a great way to connect to a deeper understanding of ourselves.
Imagine if we could all see through our small mindedness to our great potential instead.