The theme for this month arrived like a newspaper headline printed in bold type across the page--BALANCE. It arrived on the heels of a month filled with many transitions that inevitably led to long days and a subsequent imbalance in my life. In the midst of the swirl, my hubby and I set out for New York City for our first kid-free vacation in 21 years!!
Much to my surprise, even while immersed in the electric energy of the “Big Apple,” I was able to completely change gears into a peaceful place of just being. Doing so provided a whole new lens to see this miraculous metropolis of diversity and connection. As we wandered down the streets, every person we passed spoke a different language and yet, I felt we were one huge interconnected family.
In previous trips to New York I would sometimes long for the peaceful presence of the northwest woods. This time, as I walked the streets I felt like I was in the most diverse forest I could imagine, and it inspired me to reflect on the magical and adaptable design of trees.
I will never forget walking through Fort Ward over 20 years ago after a huge windstorm blew down dozens of trees. The winds came from an opposite direction than usual and the trees were uprooted as if taken by surprise. Roots provide both nourishment and balance for trees, and are stimulated by the pull of winds. The web of interconnected roots provides stability much like the support of community. We most often feel this web during windy times such as illness or tragedy when people come together to support one another. One of the most memorable experiences of this in my lifetime was the response to 9/11 in New York City where the web of connection extended well beyond the borders of the island called Manhattan.
Another powerful metaphor with trees is their ability to transform the unseen nourishment from the sun into the energy needed for growth, and ultimately stability. During stressful windy times in my life it has become clear that what restores balance is tapping into the unseen energy of yoga and meditation. These practices feel very akin to the process of photosynthesis and remind me of an amazing quote:
“Right beneath the flesh is a tremendous current. I forgot it. But now I have discovered that life force again. I am not the flesh. I am the divine electricity that permeates this body. I am the infinite that has become the body.” -Paramahansa Yogananda
Learning from the awesome design of trees can help restore balance to our lives and planet. As we explore balance this month, I invite all of us to ask what is needed: rest, nourishment, play, work or connection? Perhaps we need to face unresolved challenges to stimulate personal winds of change, or create time to cultivate nourishment from unseen sources. Take time to offer gratitude for how much the trees do to restore balance on our planet. Trees out breath become our in breath while offering effortless beauty and grace.
I am in awe of the opportunities Dayaalu Center has in store for exploring balance. Our weekly classes nourish the soul and strenghten your body. Coming up in late October and November we have a wide range of workshops such as Restorative Bliss, Yoga for Emotional Healing, and art and music events that help create a web of connections and opportunities for growth.
We look forward to seeing you at the Center!
Love and gratitude,