I recently received an email which contained a video of an amazing Russian balancing act. A young woman stepped onto a spongy pole held, on either end, by two young men. She proceeded to do flips and somersaults, high into the air, always landing on that suspended pole, which because of its consistency and the skill of the two young men holding it, acted as a trampoline. Each time she did so, ones heart skipped a beat as breath was held while waiting for her to land sure-footed and okay on what had fast become a very fine line between her and disaster. When another young man joined her on the pole, even balancing her on his shoulders as they both flipped and landed securely, it was apparent that this balancing act had been taken to an unimaginable level. It was a stunning performance and one that deserved a great deal of applause.
Until now, I have steadily encouraged you to break your silence and to begin to establish the most important dialogue you will ever partake in: that one with self. That is after all, what I am about. But, because I have focused on the breaking of silence, I must now lend a few moments to keeping silent when it is appropriate to do so, and the fine line between those two opposing points. A very different kind of balancing act, but just as precarious as the act I have already mentioned.
There is a distinct freedom in breaking ones silence and beginning to speak, to express ones self, no matter what form that expression might take. Doing flips in the air between one moment and the next is only one of them, and I hardly think we have exhausted the list of possibilities in that arena. However, every freedom, no matter how small or large, also entails at least one responsibility, if not many. There is the responsibility of maintaining the freedom one has allowed oneself to grasp hold of. There is also the responsibility to see that no one is harmed or damaged in the process of claiming said freedom. If freedom is possessed at the expense of another, then it isn’t really freedom at all.
To finally allow oneself to speak of thoughts and feelings, to begin to define ones world, and ones place in that world, is a very heady proposition. And yes, it can be a delicious secret one carries around and hugs to the self out of sheer joy for the new freedom one is experiencing. But, as with all secrets, there comes a time when it spills over its confining boundaries and must be shared. Its fact, reality, and resultant outcome is just too good not to slip out somewhere along the way. To keep it a secret, is to silence it, which lessens its value as a freedom. It must be allowed to grow, to expand, and learn what it is ultimately meant to learn and, therefore, to teach.
Did I just say teach? Yes, I did (quite a flip, hunh)? I believe that each one of us is hard-wired, before birth, with a message that must be expressed. Most of our growing and development is centered around learning that message and how best we might let it be heard. I keep repeating that the dialogue with self is the most important one of all, and that is the reason. How can we express the message if we don’t even know it exists? It’s as simple as breathing.
The word spirit means: breath, of the air. Likewise, the word inspire, means: to breathe in. And unless, one intends to hyperventilate, or pass out completely, one must exhale, express what has been breathed in. As we move through each day, each moment, we breathe in all of our experiences with our senses, cataloguing them, sorting them out. We need to exhale what we have inspired. We need to define that experience, find words that allow us to understand what it might mean to us and to our ongoing existence, or run the risk of exploding, or imploding, take the risk of completely missing that fine line completely, and smashing into hard ground at high speed. None of which is truly healthy for the self or the world around us.
In the course of sorting and cataloging all of that information, we can and do find that message, the one expressed by the very manner in which we deal with all of those experiences. How we see it all, feel it all, and the thought process we use to understand it, is the very message we express by how we respond to the world around us. Which brings us to even more definitions. Do we react, simply move automatically into learned by rote behavior, or do we respond in the moment, giving that present moment all that we, as individuals, have to offer it?
Is your message Anger? Indifference? Apathy? Or is it Compassion? Awareness? Enlightenment, or Chaos? How do you know, if you haven’t taken the time to discover that? The present moment is all that we truly have to possess. It is the fine line we are balanced on before flipping forward to the next, or backward to get our bearings so that we can proceed to the next one. Do you greet the next moment with utter silence, or thoughtful expression? Do you shout your message, perhaps making it incomprehensible, or offer it wisely in its appropriate time and place? Or, do you simply remain silent, letting the moment pass, never to be seen again?
There is a fine line between silence and whatever message we have to offer. We have far less than a moment to find that line, and land on it securely. Sometimes it is best to remain silent. Only you can decide in that one moment we are allowed. But, silence can easily become a habit that leads to repeated bouts of hyperventilation, or worse. Have you taken the time to discover that fine line in your own experience? How do you breathe? Do you know where and how to plant your feet on that fine line suspended in the air that you breathe, ready to spring up and meet the next moment? Prepared to grasp that freedom whenever and wherever it might arise? It has been said that a wise man keeps and uses his words carefully. Are you such an individual? If you hope to be, it might be best to begin finding that fine line, and practicing your own personal balancing act. And please remember that patience is also a balancing act, especially when and where it concerns the self.