A Writer’s Dilemma: Do We Fear Balance?
For what feels like centuries, I have been traveling along the healing path.
Healing from what? Who knows.
Healing from every dark stare and all the secondhand smoke that has infiltrated my lungs.
Healing from every whispered shout of Shh! Not now.
Healing from ounces of food withheld from or shoveled through my lips.
Healing from all of this and more. Much of it not mine, originally, but rather absorbed through my empathetic pores, spread through my veins and clogged-up channels. Thousands of muffled cries and dried-up tears and pleas and prayers for protection from all the darkness that exists here on Earth.
Some of you would call this a dramatic interpretation of the current, human state.
I would tell you, those who fear the drama, that there is no reason to run from the rising curtain and that rather, this is merely the gift of sensitivity, bringing to light the energy that lies beneath the rug.
The threads of life binding us all together. The spirits within and without and the ever-fluctuating state of the pieces that make up the whole.
And this sensitivity, this aliveness, it deserves to be felt.
At the same time, though, there are very real things that we can do, here on Earth, as protective mechanisms from certain elements of spirit becoming too much for our fragile frames to handle.
And as I explore these countless healing mechanisms, I continue to learn what works and what does not so much, for me, personally.
Because a lot of what they swear by are simply sugar pills filling bottles of deception.
Be careful of what you adhere to. That is all I will say on that note.
In my opinion, true healing takes account of the whole and brings us to a state of balance.
Thousands of routes, no two alike.
And in my quest for balance, I’ve come face to face with many of the qualms that will prevent me from ever finding such a thing. The latest surfacing of which is something I fear far too many of us artists, deep-feelers and writers alike share. The deep-seeded fear of happiness.
Because happiness is a fickle houseguest. She brings in her bag treasures that we cannot quite put our pinky finger on. We feel the blind taste of sweetness on our lips, or we catch a waft drifting across the shore, without ever quite holding the fruit in our palm.
We can stroke her soft cheek and know everything is right with the world, for that one split second of time. And then we spend years allowing the memory of it to fill us with glimpsing pulses of energy unlike anything else.
Years ago, I gave up the quest for happiness. And then I realized that my heart beats the pulse of a happy home within, telling me everything always is, actually, okay. Even when it’s not.
But still, I fear the unique ring of happiness that I associate, in my mind, with the balanced state of being. I fear that when balanced, I lose the ability to create.
The artistic path is like walking blindly through dripping tunnels, using my hands to feel my way along rocky crevices. Sometimes, fairly often, I fall to my knees, and crawl through a mess of tangled branches. Other times, I stand tall and dance. A weird and wildish dance. The true dance of when no one watching.
But then there are moments when the tunnel falls away, and I find that I am floating in a capsule of space.
In those rare bits of time, Spirit takes over and transcends through my fingertips. And those moments, however few and far between, make the whole journey seem so beautifully perfect.
Yet those moments, for me at least, haven’t always come from being balanced and happy. Rather, they’ve come through feeling. Feeling every last bit of life coursing through my veins. Letting all the feeling swirl around in my cells until my fingers can make form of the nonsense and carve something tangible.
Not thinking about what the words might possibly mean, but rather just writing the waves as they come.
If I become balanced, do I lose this ability?
If I protect my energetic orbs from taking on everything that is happening around me, do I lose the ability to write from a deep place of feeling?
These are all questions I hold, loosely, in my palm, as I decide, once again, that if it does happen, it is okay.
And in the next moment, I will tell myself, again, it is okay.
And again in the next one.
Because as each of these fears arise, they really just shine the light on the roots growing deep in the muck. The fear of not being enough. The desire to be loved. Writing to generate that very love or attention, rather than just for the sake of writing. Every human qualm clouding my soul. Every broken bell sounding out over my voice.
When I asked my Ayurvedic practitioner if, once balanced, I would lose the ability to write, she assured me that, on the contrary, I would uncover a deeper story within, that of my true self emerging.
That sounds nice to me.
But, even if that doesn’t happen, even if I never write another word in my life, it is going to be okay.
We are given so few breaths, so few heartbeats, so few pangs to feel within our chests. All I can do is spend them living. Balanced and happy, or not.
And I would tell you, fellow writers who fear the happiness, that this morning as I write these very words, I feel pretty damn happy, and lucky to be alive. So maybe your voice does not actually ring from the darkness, but rather the life within, screaming to get out…
… the life that contains a unique blend of sprinkles of happiness, despair, indifference, love, and a myriad other emotions.
Bretton Keating is a Yoga-fanatic, clean-eating junkie, artist-because-she-doesn’t-know-how-to-be-anything-else. She never sought this lifestyle, rather it found her; after years of attempting to be ‘normal’ she realized that simply doesn’t work. Now she strives every day to live from a place of authenticity, and aims to inspire others to do the same both through teaching Yoga and through her words. Bretton grew up immersed in stories. Through years of practicing Yoga and meditation, she has learned to ground back down to Earth, and realized that she has the power to live her own story. She is passionate about sharing her experience and the process of exploring this life, particularly in the realm of mind-body-spirit health, however she can. She writes because, quite simply, she knows that she must. For more of her musings on Yoga and life, check out her blog.