Can you stand on one leg with your eyes closed? or with your eyes open for that matter?
When I was a kid it was one of the many things I just couldn’t do to the point that they thought I might have a hearing problem. I went through tests galore only to prove that I have perfect hearing but a disability with balance.
I could climb trees, jump over fences, was super flexible but the one thing I could not do is stand on one leg. It frustrated me beyond words because all the other kids seemed to be able to do it, just not me. So when no one was looking I practiced, day and night, I practiced without no end. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t do it until one day I got it right, it had taken me close to 3 years but I did it. It was a small feat that no one knew about but I was so so proud! I was 9.
After accomplishing the standing on one leg I decided to test my body out in different ways. I started trying to balance in different positions, balancing with my eyes closed, crouching on one leg, like a star, all sorts of positions. Each new position I learnt to balance in was quicker to learn than the last. Soon I was able to balance fully in any position I chose.
I could finally balance, I was finally normal.
The funny thing is that learning to balance the body is much like learning to balance the mind. I was never really good at the latter either, focus is not my strong suit unless of course the subject at hand fascinates me. When I am fascinated I absorb like a sponge until I lose interest and then I’m on to the next topic. Yet another thing I needed to learn!
Keeping balance and focus in the mind is far harder though than just learning to stand on one leg though. I have been trying to train myself for years but have never gotten it right. When you are training your body it is simple in the fact that you know exactly what you need to do and practicing it till you succeed. If you want to learn how to stand on your head you practice standing on your head, if you want to learn to do cart wheels you practice them until you get it right, until you can do it straight. With the mind it’s a whole different matter, there are no clear guidelines, no “do it like this to get it right” or “practice this and you will get balance”.
Training the mind is much like navigating a mine field when there are no clear directions. Without mentorship or guidance it is very rare that you will ever get to the end goal of balance and focus. You can read books as I have, hundreds, but the success rate of actually achieving it can be a constant trying but never getting there process.
After years of trying on my own fate brought me a person with wisdom and knowledge. Someone who can show me and mentor me in the right direction in order to get the one thing I have been seeking all along, balance in the mind.
The things I need to learn in order to get that balance are now clear, meditation. This time I know what the tools are and what direction to go in, the mine field now has sign posts with arrows. It is not a mindless search anymore, I now know what to do, what I need to practice in order to get there.
The relief is a hundred fold. Now I know what to practice in order to achieve my goals, I can now learn to balance on one leg in my mind. It will take me a while to train the mind but this time it is like I am training my body, I know what to do!
The funny thing is that, although I had the patience to train my body to stand on one leg, I have little patience with training my mind. It feels as though I have been trying for so long that now I want it just to happen over night, pronto! This can not be and so I learn patience along with balance and focus.
Learning something, be it motor skills or mental skills, can take time, it takes practice and for each person the time frame is different. The one thing that is a constant with all of us is the famous saying “Practice makes perfect”… and so now I practice.
Meditation is new for me, quietening my mind is much like training my left hand to tap a certain rhythm while my right does a different melody, it may be hard but it can be done.
I am grateful that finally I am on the right road, one day I know that I will be able to balance with both my body and mind… one day.
You can do anything if you set your mind to it, I have been taught this lesson time and time again. Just because you can’t do something now doesn’t mean you can’t learn it. Just because others can do it effortlessly doesn’t mean that you never will.
Practice makes perfect…
15 years ago
lol,never control your mind…it will control you…so just let it talk and go quite…just listen…for patience is an action,understanding the different reactions 😀
15 years ago
Wow. What an absolutely beautiful post.
A clear lesson to us all to keep on trying. A balancing act is always impressive, especially one done with grace and skill. But how graceful were they whilst learning? Probably not too graceful if the truth be known.
Gaining control over your mind and learning to quiet it helps you to get in touch with your soul. It gives you far better access if you aren’t having to battle all of the wars going on in your mind to get there.
Sounds like you are indeed on the right path for you. I wish you patience on your journey. Patience and balance…….
15 years ago
Vishesh – Thanks you 🙂
Amber, you are so right, while we learn we are the fluidity might not be present but it gains in strength. Thank you for your wisdom and kindness as always… I pray for patience every hour I think that will be a harder lesson to learn! Thanks again 🙂
15 years ago
I agree with amberfire; what a beautifully written post, for so many reasons……you have a frame of reference when you have been able to teach yourself, through practice, how to do something new. You stipulate the difference between achieving “balance” of the body vs. “balance” of the mind; it is about being in a mine field at times, what works for one may not work for another person. THe other thing that strikes me as I read it, is that the mind is a much more complex muscle, so it takes more practice, I believe, to get it into a routine that works for a person. Meditation can take so many forms, again depending on the person; you just find what works for you and “listen” away!!!! Hugs to you!
15 years ago
Thanks you for both your kind words and they way you summarized it! I like your view of it being a complex muscle and therefore it takes more practice, how true and as I am finding out … it takes a lot more!
8 years ago
i just want to be able to stand on one leg