Embracing Moderation and Humility: A Journey of Inner Balance.Oct 02, 2023
In times of great change, how can you navigate making choices that keep you centered and keep you energised on a path that is fulfilling for your life and the impact that you have on others. In this personal story, I share how yoga and tai chi principles can ease your life for greater stability in these times of change.
This blog was written 5 years after my brain injury in 2018 hiking in Panama with two friends. The trip to hike Volcan Baru brought together deep contemplation. Amidst the lush landscapes, I confronted an internal conflict—frustration stemming from my head injury. Though physically and mentally strong, I often find myself exhausted and overwhelmed. This realization led me to reflect on the principles of moderation and humility, particularly in the context of yoga and Tai Chi.
Moderation in Yoga:
A head injury has taught me the significance of "moderation" or brahmacharya in yoga's yamas (ethical observances of how we perceive our interaction with the world around us). Moderation is about finding balance in our external relationship with the world, allowing for quality experiences over mere quantity. However, in a world of constant stimuli and instant gratification, choosing moderation can be challenging.
The culture of "FOMO" (fear of missing out) and perpetual desire for more perpetuates suffering, leading to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It's essential to break free from this cycle of lack and embrace moderation to find contentment in the present moment.
Empty and Full in Tai Chi:
Mastering Tai Chi involves understanding the concept of "Empty and Full." By differentiating between these states during transitions, we can efficiently redirect the flow of energy and maintain balance within our bodies.
In every movement, there's a dynamic interplay between fullness and emptiness, creating a harmonious equilibrium. While beginners might exaggerate these states, masters embody a refined sense of moderation, internally full and empty yet externally balanced.
True humility isn't about seeing ourselves as inferior or superior to others. It's about recognizing and accepting our uniqueness, acknowledging the divine guidance that shapes our paths. Surrendering to the will of the Divine aligns us with our soul's purpose, freeing us from ego-driven desires. When we release the need to control and push for outcomes, we become servants of the Divine, finding fulfillment and vibrancy in life.
“To accept yourself as God created you cannot be arrogance, because it is the denial of arrogance. To accept your littleness is arrogant, because it means you believe your evaluation of yourself is truer than God’s.” ~ A COURSE IN MIRACLES, T-9.VIII.10:8-9
Where Do They Meet?
Descending Volcan Baru, I encountered moments of lost physical senses, emotional stability and egoic frustration - so familiar since my brain injury. It dawned on me that embracing moderation and humility can lead to profound shifts:
- Choosing moderation allows us to perceive abundance in the universe, reducing frustration and boosting energy.
- Understanding the balance between empty and full allows for efficient energy management and seizing opportunities.
- Surrendering to our life's purpose alleviates suffering and fills life with fulfillment and vitality.
What are the key steps to maintain this balance?
In yoga’s moderation you can observe your choices. The constant cycle of ‘more’ and ‘never enough’ in our advertising world means that you live in a culture that supports the desire for more perpetual suffering. Each choice for more is a restatement in your karmic cycle that you are insufficient and unworthy.
A cycle of insufficiency is a cycle of lack. Lack that seeks instant reward is the cycle of modern day suffering seen in depression, anxiety, addictions and other mental health issues. Whether your actions are to reflect on the past, worry about the future or bury your head in booze – it is a choice to live in lack and suffering.
Lack lives in extremes. Bouncing between a high and a low, or just hanging at one of those ends. Moderation is finding the even keel in the middle. Where contentment resides. You must make moderate acts to see the abundance in the quality of the moment.
Through Tai Chi’s empty and full you can hold your centre or plumb line. There are eight directional forces on the body, and in order to maintain balance with economical kinetic activity through transitions the top and bottom must balance one another.
There is no bias towards one or the other, but that both always have a quality to be the other at any time. You must co-ordinate upper and lower body to always balance full and empty. This keeps the centre always in balance. A beginner exaggerates this fullness and emptiness. But as the movements are refined there is moderation in the energy wherein the master is internally empty and full, yet externally neither full nor empty.
The change comes from intention and the energy follows without ever losing the centre. The qi should never depart from the centre position. If you depart from the centre to adjust your transition, then you shiji ‘miss an opportunity’ and this further wastes energy. Through my head injury journey, I've learned to adapt and find my center, making mindful choices and conscious energetic shifts.
Learn Your Moderation
Releasing the need for more and embracing moderation nourishes our bodies, minds, and emotions. Decisions made from emotions of fear, worry, lack and less than create further drama and lack - imbalance in your energy and require more to stabilise. Through grounding your emotions and calming your nervous system, you can make a balanced decision between intuitive calling and rational need.
The Ground Your Emotions self-paced course of calming and grounding tools to soothe your emotions in everyday life, we invite you to explore our Ground Your Emotions app. With its convenient on-the-go accessibility, this resource provides you with simple yet effective techniques to find solace amidst life's inevitable challenges. Sign up today at www.nidsnidra.com/ground-emotions and embark on a transformative journey towards emotional well-being.
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