When my yoga teacher invites us into a balance pose, she reminds us to “embrace the wavering.” She says that it is in the subtle movement that happens while trying to balance that actually strengthens our muscles and our pose. So rather than trying to remain absolutely still, balance is about embracing the small (and sometimes large) movements. Balance is a dynamic, rather than static place. It is in this wavering that we become stronger, in becoming fully present to the internal micro-movements of our lives. I find great comfort in this invitation, both in yoga practice and life practice. I feel like much of my Lenten practice this year is about this very principle. I am on the journey like all of you, I have moments when I feel strong and centered and balance emerges from a place within me. But I also have many moments where I struggle with the wavering, with the pull in many directions that all seem life-giving until there are too many of them and I become stretched. My Lenten practice is to step intentionally into the wavering, to embrace it rather than resist, and in the process become stronger and more resilient.
This week’s Poetry Party was filled with wisdom as usual. Make sure to go read the poems there for lots of marvelous Lenten reflections. I am blessed with such talented and visionary readers. The winner of this week’s drawing for a copy of Illuminating Mystery: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice is Nichol Newcomb. Please send me your snail mail and I will send that out to you as soon as it is printed — sometime by mid-March. As I mentioned in my Ash Wednesday post, I will still be blogging during Lent but am taking a break from hosting the Poetry Parties again until the Easter season. If you’d like to be notified of the next date, please sign up for my email list below.
Thank you to everyone who sent such warm and wonderful prayers for Petunia’s surgery and recovery. She is home now and did well, although sleepy and sore. She and I will spend much of the weekend resting together, restoring each of us bodily. I will get the results of the biopsy next week.
Blessings on your own weekend, may it be filled with the peace of Sabbath.
(c) Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts
Thank you all, what wonderful responses. Painter of Blue and Elizabth, I love the quotes you share as well.
I remember a lecture with Bernie Glassman when someone mentioned the word balance and he said, something like: “there’s no such thing as balance, there’s a center of stillness from which we learn to move, all the chaos buzzing around us” –this is completey mis-quoted but saying, I think, what your post just expressed. Thank you for reminding me. I’ve been struggling against the wavering…
I just want to tell you I love you. You offer such blessings and encouragements along the way.
i love how you have expanded upon “embrace the wavering.” my yoga teacher also says “listen to where your body is ratchety.” there is much learning & growth when things are a little rough rather than just smooth sailing.
Embracing wavering, beautifully put. You blog is a gift. This is not strictly what you meant (I think..), but it reminds me of this Lao Tzu poem:
A man is born gentle and weak.
At his death he is hard and stiff.
Green plants are tender and filled with sap.
At their death they are withered and dry.
Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.
The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.
Thus an army without flexibility never wins a battle.
A tree that is unbending is easily broken.
The hard and strong will fall.
The soft and weak will overcome.(Tao Te Ching, LXXVI)
This poetry party may have been the best ever. I am in awe. Truly. Blessings on you during this next season, and always.
Embrace the wavering – what a powerful proclamation, like you post, in yoga and in life!
I have had some health issues and missed the news about Tune. Your beautiful muse is in my prayers, as are the two of you.