Finding your Middleway
by Ann Zimmerman, LAc.
In a time when we are constantly feeling pulled between the desires to get more done and to relax, finding the “middle” is an ongoing daily effort. To find your personal balance point between more or less is to find your “way.”
When trying to understand the concept of balance, it is helpful to approach it through very simple questions. For example, is it good to never eat or to eat all the time? No. The pendulum here can swing from gorging yourself to starving yourself. Those are the two extremes of the pendulum: the yin and the yang, expansion and contraction, and non-doing and doing. If you are in balance, you eat when it is time to eat in a way that maintains the health of your body. To do otherwise is to waste energy dealing with the effects of eating too little, too much, or eating the wrong foods for you.
Extreme behaviors begin to carve grooves in our landscape that we get stuck in. As a result, we spend much of our energy on the effects of the extreme behaviors. Our extremes teach us what imbalanced behavior patterns feel like and why we do not always stay up super late or eat the whole chocolate cake. I love the saying, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” My 99 year old great Aunt Dot attributes her long life to this saying.
We know that if you pull a pendulum thirty degrees to the right, it will swing back until it’s thirty degrees to the left. The middleway is the place where there is no energy pushing in either direction. The pendulum has been permitted to come to rest in the middle. This middleway can be concerning food, relationships, sex, money, doing, non-doing, and everything else. It is the place where the forces of the extremes balance quietly.
How do we stop the pendulum from swinging to the outer edges? You stop feeding the extremes with energy, let them go and your pendulum naturally moves toward the center. And as it comes to the center you are filled with all the energy that is no longer wasted.
As we wake for another day and ponder how we will find the right combination of relaxing and working hard…..consider how your pendulum is swinging. Is there a place in your day or night when you can balance out your tendencies and find your resting place in the middle?