Feeling out of sorts. I know the feeling quite well. When I roll out of bed, slip on my house-shoes, and make it down the stairs to the living room. And the feeling hits that nothing is “right” in the world – I need to get back up the stairs, and go back to bed. And yet, when I seek that momentary explanation in my head – when I reach of for the reasoning of ‘why’ — my closed hand comes up with nothing. And the hardest part, is that this typically happens when I have to be in my classroom within an hour of that moment – to lecture on some topical point of Business administration or some salient point on how computer technology helps bolster a business’s practices towards the successful movement of their chosen product. In other words, I need my head on straight, and I need to be able to make cogent points. Or to put it in more practical terms – I need to not be speaking like I write here in the blog. 🙂
For me, its a matter of finding where I am out of balance. Easy enough to say as a simple sentence, even more difficult to describe in-depth. I usually revert to other initial step descriptors when I am at this point – I need to find a comfortable sitting point in the saddle, I need to regain my focus, I need to become grounded and centered on my daily path. All nice statements to make – and if anyone else has been in the same position – an easy way to get your point across. But, if you are trying to explain this to someone who has no understanding of these statements, it can increase the misunderstanding of what you are saying/doing – and place further conversation trying to explain the lack of balance to the neophyte individual seeking answers towards a new way of complicating that lack of balance. I have been at that particular moment many times during my time on this Path.
One of the best descriptions I have managed in trying to explain being out of balance comes from trying to get the querent to put themselves into your moccasins, so to speak. Have you ever leaned back on a four-legged chair, so that you were balancing on the back two legs? You find that position where your weight perfectly balances the chair in the impossible position of being on just the two legs and not falling forward or backward. And then, you make a tiny shift of weight, and the chair begins to fall backward – and you manage to arrest your momentum at a point where you felt where you were going to fall. Remember that feeling? That is how being out of balance feels for me. Except that it doesn’t dissipate after I catch myself – it lingers. That’s being out of balance is for me – feeling like my momentum is going to carry me forward to where the chair comes to rest in its normal four-point stance – or knowing that the chair is going to fall completely backwards and land on the ground, where I may bump my head on a hard surface (trust me – many people say that such a thing would likely not hurt me).
For me, solving this takes about ten to fifteen minutes of time for me – ten to fifteen minutes of undisturbed time. That’s even more difficult to obtain these days, particularly when I have an 8am morning class. Where I am in a rush to make it to campus, get the door opened, and get the class settled for a lecture, presentation, lab, or test. So, I try and get at least some aspect of being partially balanced. When I reach campus, I spend a few moments in the car, practicing my breathing exercises. One long breath in, two shorter breaths to expel the air. All the while, I push any thoughts out of my mind for the moment. It doesn’t always work, so sometimes I think of erecting a tall, fence around me with those thoughts just on the outside. And once I achieve that moment – I come back to remember who I am, why I am, and hardest of all what I am. I don’t need full answers – just a little reminder that my foundation is not about to crack, and that I can get this done until I can spend more time in a stronger point of meditation and reflection.
Yes, its a band-aid method. Its a short-term fix, not a long-term solution. That comes later, after I am done teaching classes, after I have finished all other commitments, and can close the door to my office, turn out the light, and turn off my phone. When that happens, I can turn my focus towards doing my full meditation and ground and centering. To be honest, I do prefer to do this outside, where my bare feet can touch the ground, but that’s not always something that can happen. When I first learned the meditation of grounding and centering, it was sitting in the classic Lotus position, which tends to bring pain to my knees very quickly. I shifted eventually to sitting on my legs with my lower legs tucked directly underneath me. However, this also started to bring me pain. Then one day, I stumbled across this video on YouTube, while searching for other videos on the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD).
Its this style of meditation that I use to focus and ground myself – in essence, bring myself back to balance. This is where I remind myself of who I am (TommyElf), what I am (Professor, Teacher, Priest, Pagan, Friend, and whatever other hat that seems appropriate at the moment), and why I am (to help others when asked, to be an example for some to follow, to be respectful of all including those who do not respect me). And once those reminders are back in place, back in primary focus…I feel balanced and “right” with my surrounding environment.
I know there’s a lot of other ways to go about doing this type of balancing method. This is the one that works best for me…and answers the question of a couple of viewers who had thought to ask.