Have I been wronged? What is duality, anyhow?

Rainbow.jpg

So here’s a conundrum for you to ponder. Imagine how life would be if every single human being was kinder, more honest, more giving, less taking. Would that be okay? Of course, being a better person is a good thing to strive for.

If you’ve ever been in my yoga class or read my newsletters or heck, even had a conversation with me, you’ll know I have a pretty sturdy and high soap box when it comes to talking about how we all should be kind, honest, better at sharing, not being greedy. And yes, I stand by my sturdy soap box opinions. BUT. Do we need the bad stuff? Like, the really crap stuff that happens in life sometimes?

Wise people have been telling us for centuries that life is a delicate balance; take Dolly Parton for example, bless her large heart, “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”. Now THAT makes perfect sense to me.

Our ‘go to’ typically British conversation starter is how shockingly bad the weather is; it’s so cold / so much rain / too cloudy / it’s too hot / the grass is parched. Now, I love a sunshiney holiday as much as the next girl, but a few years ago being fortunate enough to spend time in Egypt, I looked around at the arid, dry land from the window of the airport transfer coach. Everyone was hot, tired, crabby, and I thought to myself how lucky are we in this country to have such diverse weather. We get to experience all of it. We complain about the snow, but imagine the faces of not just the Egyptian children if the snow started falling around them the way it does here sometimes? Imagine how it might feel for a Siberian child walking through a green meadow wearing shorts and t-shirt rather than head to toe insulation?

The weather is a great example of how we can see the need for balance. Of course human beings are experts at adapting to environment and were we live is perfect for us, we have the technology to allow us to live and grow comfortably wherever we are.

What about bad people or bad situations? Can we apply these things here?

I don’t believe that any one individual is wholly good. Or wholly bad. I think we all have capacity for love, happiness and joy as well as anger, fear and rage. We all make choices based on the lessons life has taught us so far and we can chose how to see them. All situations enable us to grow and develop, the good ones and the bad ones. Illness and death happen and sadly, that is a part of this wonderful human experience. These times afford us even more reason to enjoy the small moments that make life precious. If we perceive doom and gloom, as sure as eggs is eggs, that’s what we’ll get. On the other hand, knowing that sometimes bad stuff happens can invite an opportunity for us to learn and become stronger, kinder or more tolerant.

What can we learn from this idea of duality? That in order to have balance, we must have something on both sides of the scale. If you happen to have something bad happen to you, you can do your very best to find out what you can learn from it about yourself. If you do something bad, acknowledge it, hold your hands up to it. Apologise sincerely from your heart, if you need to. Don’t do it again. Learn from it.

Should we always have the most amazing, enlightening, fantastical time on our yoga mat? No, probably not. Sometimes, you won't be able to balance or quiet your chattery brain for toffee. That happens. Sometimes, you might feel really irritated with the person next to you for breathing too loud or with the yoga teacher for giving you the pose that you hate. That happens. Sometimes you might even feel an overwhelm of emotion and find yourself having a couple of tears. That happens, too. Whatever arises on your yoga mat is supposed to happen. If you have tension, physical or otherwise, it's got to come out somewhere. It's fine. If you enjoy your physical yoga practice you will be aware of the wonderful feelings of exhilaration, accomplishment, peace, calm, happiness, all of those kind of things that can happen, too. It's all fine.

Next time you see a raincloud, know that it was needed somewhere and that maybe, there is a rainbow presenting itself for someone.