The past weeks have been filled with a series of destinations: arrivals and departures, moving walkways nearing their end, and almost constant interaction with other humans. I enjoy this immensely. And it depletes me (introverts unite!). On my flight home on Sunday, I was no longer fit for conversation, and, frankly, smiling and making eye contact even became a stretch. I had hit my own point of no return--I can sustain the social state (and love it) for as long as it takes to do good work, but when it's done? when I've pushed on just a little too far? I'm hard-pressed to even carry on a casual conversation for a while.
In yoga this evening, as we were perched in half-moon pose, the instructor's words, "balance is not a destination" lifted me beyond some of my self-judgment about feeling so out of whack. Balance is not a fixed point we reach and then are able to sustain; it's a wavering wobbly state, with moments of perfect alignment. And as I looked up, and felt my left leg shake and sway (and my arm follow suit), I was grateful for this perspective. Off the mat, it makes even more sense to me, particularly when I'm feeling as off-balance as I am right now. My skin is a bit tight, my nerve endings are closer to the surface than they usually are, and I can feel every bit of me retreating, needing to re-store, re-gain, and re-configure my self before I can enter back into the fray.
A colleague last week said to me, "I bet you're ready to be home." And, caught off-guard, I thought, "I have no concept of what that might mean right now." And then realized he meant Oakland, my apartment, etc. This is home in the sense that my car is parked here, more of my stuff is here than anywhere else, and my mail arrives at an address in this city. (And, when I woke up a couple of weeks ago from a rare night in my own bed, I thought, "wow, this hotel has much better bedding that the last place I stayed.") But, the biggest gift I've been offered in the past year is being able to settle into the acknowledgement that the destination where I've arrived, wherever it may be, is home, for as long as it is. And that it will shake and wobble at times, but there will be balance no matter where it is. This understanding that I am home wherever I am? To develop an interest in the destination? To not cling so tightly to any one? Priceless.
"Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music--the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself."
And when it's time to retreat and provide some time for self-care and regrouping? To acknowledge that I need some space to recover before I can once again take in all of the riches? Priceless.