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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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  • Dear Brian and Fia. Your message this morning about leaving really ‘hit the spot’ for me. I had just received a note from my beloved granddaughter who graduated with a degree in Engineering last year. She has finished her first year in a job she does not feel passionate about, and lives in an area, though beautiful, that does not fill her soul. This is what she said:

    “I’ll be going back to school in the fall! I’m going to get a dual masters degree in urban planning and transportation engineering. My job has been good, but it has made me realize that it’s not the kind of work I really feel passionate about. And I’m super excited to be moving closer to home!”

    I will be forwarding your drawing and message to her. All the best to you both, and my thanks for making your thoughts and drawings available to me each morning. Muriel Gilbert

    muriel gilbert on
  • Dearest Fia (& Brian) ~
    This piece on (re)balancing is sooo timely as I prepare to return home after spending a month in Rome caring for my beloved & quite mentally interesting sister. Being with her & her family’s suffering has left my heart more broken (open) than ever. And pushed my own spirit so completely off balance that I’ve cried myself to sleep every night. I pray we ALL learn to “….become stable in flight..” and how to enjoy the ride❣️ 3 Breath HUGS & many bright blessings to you & Brian on YOUR flight. CAL

    Cheryl A. Lowitzer on
  • It feels so GOOD to read your wise thoughts and allow them to sink in and make a difference in my life:) Thank you both for your gifts to all of us:) Sending prayers for an easy recovery to each of you:)

    Ardy shapiro on
  • Just what I needed to read this morning as I begin my day. What the world calls balance is often so far from where I am. I love how you define it. Thanks Fia🌺

    Kate on
  • If you are open to a purely spiritual approach to physical healing, you could read Science and Health with Key to the Scripture, by Mary Baker Eddy. (Might want to start with the last chapter of testimonies that encourage.) Ideas in it have healed me (and my hip) when doctor-options were no longer good. May your motion always include dancing!

    V on

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