A single cell organism is always struggling for balance by pushing away bacteria and taking on nutrients. Our bodies constantly seek homeostasis, regulating the systems within our body. So even at a cellular level we are constantly pushing away adversity, trying to dispel the unwanted and clinging or grasping onto the good stuff. So when adversity strikes how do you react? When work piles up or we have an unpleasant interaction with someone, when someone lets you down or fails to love you the right way what happens to you? Do you push hard times away by contracting or running, or is there another middle ground?
Today in our yoga class I pushed the students to the edge of adversity, just that teetering point where you can either cave in and go running for the hills or harden up, contract and refuse. Just to the point where you have a choice and if you are not monitoring your internal tipping points you can go either way. We get to this point often in our day. So what is your choice here?
Here is a story which illustrates action amongst adversity. I stole it from another yogi (thanks).
A mother was talking to her daughter about right action when faced with difficulty. She demonstrated how we can become when we are pushed off our balance. Into some pots of boiling water she placed an egg, a carrot and some coffee. She boiled each pot for 10 minutes and asked her daughter to observe what the changes were. The carrot had gone mushy, the egg had become hard. The coffee was the interesting one. In times of stress instead of becoming weak, soft and unable to act like the carrot or hard and contracted like the egg, it had changed the water into coffee. The lesson here is that we can either be like the egg, the carrot or we can bow to the winds of intensity and change something to make our situation less of a roadblock and more of a path.
Practice for today: You have a choice when life tumbles and piles on top of you. Carrot, egg or coffee. React or respond?