Norma Penchansky-Glasser, Pivotal Space
Some days, you and I go mad.
Our bellies get stuffed full,
Hearts break, minds snap.
We can’t go on the old way so
We change. Our lives pivot,
Forming a mysterious geometry.
Life revolves. You cannot go back one minute, or one day. In light of this, there is no use marking time in any one position. Life will continue without you, will pass you by, leaving you hopelessly out of step with events. That’s why you must engage life and maintain your pace.
Don’t look back, and don’t step back. Each time you make a decision, move forward. If your last step gained you certain amount of territory, then make sure that your next step will capitalize on it. Don’t relinquish your position until you are sure that you have something equal or better in your grasp. But how do we develop timing for this process?
It has to be intuitive. On certain days, we come to our limits, and our tolerance for a situation ends. When that happens, change without the interference of concepts, guilt, timidity, or hesitancy. Those are the points when our entire lives pivot and turn toward new phases, and it is right that we take advantage of them. We mark our progress not by the distance covered but by the lines and angles that are formed.
Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao
“We mark our progress not by the distance covered but by the lines and angles that are formed.”
I really like that line. Sometimes people seem so focused on moving straight ahead, and don’t even realize they are actually sliding sideways, or that they’ve run into a wall and can’t possibly move forward any longer the way they are going. Or our lives take what seems to be a sideways turn, that ends up leading us in the right direction. Or we might realize that we need to turn a corner before we can start moving in the right direction again. How can you even move through the day without changing the direction you are walking? So why do we think life always moves forward in a straight line?
I try to get to yoga at least once a week (not very succesful at this lately, unfortunately…) and the great thing about yoga is moving your body through so many different positions and angles. If you can do a little more in the pose every week, you’re making progress. You might not always be in perfect form, but that’s ok too. I try to incorporate at least a bit of yoga into every day – a forward bend here, a spinal twist there, or going through a few sun salutions for a five minute workout. We need to move through different positions throughout the day, not stay in the same fixed position all day.
And so it is with our lives. We need to keep moving, and changing, and growing. If we become stagnant, too full, or try too hard to cling to something or someone that doesn’t want to be part of our lives anymore, we will go mad, or become unhappy, or snap. Yeah, been there, done that, too. And things changed. And now, I’m happy, fulfilled, and no longer searching for anything outside of myself to make my life better. I am becoming the woman I’ve wanted, and each day, I can look at that poem, which is posted in my bathroom, and smile, because I am more that person every day.