Friday, April 12, 2013

Pendulum Swings

I am gentle in my attempts to find balance

I had the privilege of writing a guest post for my friend Stephanie over at visibleandreal today. It was a different type of writing than I do here and I found it to be a very raw and vulnerable experience. I shared a piece of myself through a story of when I was in kindergarten, and that level of openness can often lead me to something Brene Brown talks about as a "vulnerability hangover" (TED talk).

My first reaction to that feeling is that I want to withdraw and self-protect. It has the ability to throw me completely off kilter and I even found myself feeling a little noxious and my head started to pound. When I have intense emotions like that I often want to get out of them as quickly as possible. The tendency is to jump to the opposite end of the spectrum and it results in me over-correcting.  

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I affirmed recently the need to find balance and as I started to think about how I was responding to my vulnerability. The knee-jerk reaction of withdrawing into myself does not leave me feeling balanced. Instead of finding a centered place I was swinging the pendulum back into an extreme. It reminded me of past experiences where I have lived from a place of deprivation such as neglecting basic self-care, and then going violently in the other direction by doing something like splurging on an expensive meal. It can look many different ways but the theme that it uncovers is that rather than finding a place of balance I am swinging back and forth between extremes. It makes it very difficult to walk my path of authenticity in a forward direction when I'm swaying dizzily back and forth. 

My practice and affirmation today is that when I am feeling unbalanced, rather than over-correcting and swinging drastically in the opposite direction I will trust in myself and others to meet my needs in healthy ways. Instead of withdrawing today I practiced staying in my vulnerability and reaching out for support. I took a nap. I stayed present and connected. I felt a little wobbly at first, but I feel far more centered now than if I had let myself go with my first panicked instinct to withdraw.

What area in your life needs a gentle correction to come back into balance? How do you practice being centered?

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