Imbalance

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The medium said that I would find balance in November. She wasn’t sure what form it would take- maybe yoga, dancing, perhaps more money- but whatever it was, she promised it would usher in a new phase of well-being.

As November approached, I anticipated some shift in spiritual balance- something holistic and visceral, a new sense of calm or perspective. But the psychic’s premonition turned out to be much more literal than expected. It arrived the first week of November in the form of an 11-minute YouTube video recommended by my health guru/novelist brother. The video was from the Foundations Training series by Dr. Eric Goodman. It featured exercises targeting the lower spine, working to reactivate foundational structures, muscles and pathways that have gone dormant to the point of functionally shutting down. Through isolating and innervating these pathways, the surrounding systems can in turn rebuild themselves, resulting in greater mobility, improved posture and a heightened sense of overall balance.

The first time I did the exercises my legs literally quaked and it was undeniably clear that something profound was happening. Weeks later, as I continue to enjoy the transformational benefits of my new practice, I find myself pondering the irony of my assumptions juxtaposed against my new-found wellness.

Like the psychic, I had thought I knew what balance meant and the various forms it could take. For me, balance was about ushering in more of the good to mitigate or displace some of the bad. But perhaps this additive notion was fundamentally flawed, and even down-right silly. The idea that we can layer yoga or mindfulness on top of lives and expectations that are unsustainable and unhealthy. Or at the systems level, the idea of adding talent, leadership, or equity on top of policies and structures that are inherently compromised. Can we really expect the infusion of good to permeate and restructure systems that are so bad that they have functionally shut down?

Just look at the suffering around us. Stress and anxiety are through the roof- suicides, overdoses and other symptomologies of unsustainable pressures and expectations. And the very systems that undergird our communities- education, health care, social services, and certainly corporate and political America- are all eroding and splintering before our very eyes.

It is clearly time to reactivate the foundations of our systems, the structures that over time have been neglected and forgotten. We must begin by isolating our core values, reawakening them through a profound resonance and activation that cannot be ignored.

But how can we isolate values that have been buried to the point of unrecognition? Perhaps the easiest way is to seek the inverse of our current state of instability. What is the opposite of harassment, fear, inequity, predation, of constrained notions of success and access?  If we can give these (now intangible) values name and form, allowing ourselves to see and feel and discuss them in their full diversity and strength, we can allow the resonance to spread, rebuilding and regenerating our systems from within.

 

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About mbhuber2013

convener and co-founder of BTEP, instructor for Tanzania Study Abroad course; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning at University at Buffalo

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