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(re)learning how to balance

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“We are all falling above the infinite groundlessness of life & we learn to become stable in flight… the final resting place is not the ground but the freedom that arises from knowing there will never be a ground & yet here we all are… together…”

It surprised me when I first read these words by Joan Halifax. It smashes so many platitudes and promises of what I can expect from life. It feels stark, pessimistic, a sharp-tongued retort from a wise and trusted friend. And then I sat with it for a while…

to become stable in flight

Balance requires continual motion.

In another week, I go in for the second arthroscopic surgery on my hip in less than two years. After 8 doctors, and eight different diagnoses from the top hospitals in our country, there are no promises, only approximations. With each diagnosis, possibilities have changed, altering my identity as I define my self by what I will or will not be able to do.

…to become stable in flight…

We talk a lot around here about not knowing, of beginner’s mind, of widening to encompass a more vast view that is beyond our own biases.

Even with that in mind, sometimes I want to be certain. I want to trust where and how the food I eat is grown, I want the companies I purchase from to be transparent and fair to workers and good to the planet. I wonder about the real value in extended warranties, guarantees and insurance, and about trusting the creations and determinations of others which deeply affect the most ordinary moments of living.

…to become stable in flight…

It’s amazing to relearn through the body something you’ve spent a lifetime doing with ease. I’ve started the countdown here. Concocted a before and after list: what I can do now, what I won’t be able to do then. Things-to-get-done before the surgery, knowing my change in mobility affects not only me but also Brian, the business, and Yoshi. Using the past to reference the present and predict the future. 

Approximations at best.

…to become stable in flight…

Halifax is accurate.

We are not anatomically built for flight, and I wonder if this is the very point. Despite this, to let go of the ground… to let go of manmade assurances detailed on paper… to let go of things we were never meant to control because it flies in the very face of what living is…

That's the thing about balance. It's not something we're born with. It's something we learn.

Always in motion,


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  • Just found your blog – my, how you spoke to me with the last three days.
    Is it possible for you to put me on your email? Thank you.

    Elsa P Taylor on
  • You have a GIFT of light-hearted wisdom and inspiration. We are blessed! I will add my prayers for the intrusion that is to come to your hip area. Speak tenderly and thankfully to the parts that will support the weakest part. Your body is an amazing team…. may this experience unfold with lovely surprises of grace and mercy new each day… kindest regards.

    becky cowart on
  • Thank you, your words always touch my heart. Thank you again and again.

    Connie lineberger on
  • Thank you so much for this insight. I, too, have orthopedic issues that need addressing and cause anxiety for the future. Balance… how do I keep my focus on “what can” be even through the “what is.” Best wishes for your procedure and the future.

    Ruth Hicks on
  • Just thanking you for this message today. It really spoke to me. I am also sending prayers and good wishes for a positive recovery….

    Kerry on

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