Thursday, March 3, 2011

Duality Thinking

The other week a friend sent me this wonderful quote from Breakpoint and Beyond by George Land and Beth Jarman...

"Every human being is both child and adult, both masculine and feminine, both sensible and crazy, both illogical and logical. The idea of both... and is critical to make the successful crossing to a new worldview. The fully evolved human being is both playful and serious, both poet and engineer. The notion of either... or, of dichotomies, of duality thinking cuts us off from our full wave of potential and ultimately from our full creativity."
I shared this quote with my yoga classes, because it happened to find me at a particularly trying and applicable time. One of those times in life you feel too much of something and not enough of something else. Too passive, not assertive enough. Too serious, not playful enough. Too sensitive, not sensible enough. Too judgmental. Too distracted. Too impatient. Too impassioned.

This quote reminded me of what we all too often forget. We are everything. Together, as a species, we are a perfect mix, the sweetest combination, of loud and quiet, of rational and irrational, of silly and pensive, of confident and curious, of joyful and sorrowful. There will, indeed, periodically be imbalances, fluctuations,  cycles, and changes (like everything in nature). Yes, some of these characteristics will be more dominant in some people than in others. This is what makes us unique. But no, this does not mean you are stuck that way, that you are powerless. What I've reminded myself and my students, is that if there is something that you feel is out of balance about yourself, something you don't quite like, you should feel really good and free knowing that you have the power to change that. Let that liberate you. Know that you have the capacity to adjust what needs to be adjusted, just as we adjust physically on the yoga mat, we adjust mentally or emotionally, our perspective, our attitude, our approach, our worldview. This is what leads us to our "full wave of potential." Allow yourself to indulge in what you love about yourself and what may be present in excess, and allow yourself to balance out or practice discipline in what may be lacking. Discipline is liberation as well, not limitation, like so many of us are taught to believe. Once you have a degree of control over your own being, your creativity and potential is limitless. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't even know if you will read this comment. This post is more than 2 years old and your writing is just as relevant to then as it is today. This why I practice yoga. The teachings have been around for centuries and will continue to inspire eternally. I have crossed paths with you for a short time on my journey. I don't know how long it will last, but I am forever changed for having had you as a teacher. I hope you continue to write, so that no matter where you are in space and time, your teachings will continue to be a part of my life. Many blessings to you in your travels. All who meet you will surely be blessed. Peace and light.