Finding a balance between thinking & doing
Lessons on getting "unstuck" from dance & fútbol
I often find myself oscillating between extremes like over-doing or under-doing, hyper-active or burnt-out, overstimulated or numb, grounded & fully present in the moment or dissociated. Often, I don’t know how to exist in the “grey area”, a middle ground of serenity & ease or complexity without my body sounding alarms saying “something is wrong”. Since capitalism forces binaries & all-or-nothing absolutes onto us, nuance can feel off-putting in our bodies. Balance & middle ground can feel dangerous when we’ve spent our lives in fight/ flight survival mode, sandwiched between intense periods of action and severe burnout (inaction or stasis). Given that we’re deprived of true agency since day 1, we’re often forced to merely accept, respond or react to whatever the system hands us. Even if I have more agency now in specific niches of my life, it’s hard to know what to know what to do with it because I’ve never had it. So how can we shift momentum & ignite change when we feel stuck, paralyzed & trapped in our old patterns?
Last year I began learning Kathak, a traditional South Asian dance form, more intentionally in weekly classes to rebuild a relationship with the healing parts of my roots. Recently, while I was trying to nail down chakkars (spinning circles/ pirouettes), I stumbled, tripped on my own feet & crashed to the ground. As I lay on the floor with the dance studio swirling around me, I realized Kathak had already taught me how to strike an intricate balance between thinking & doing… a lesson that can be applied to LIFE in general. My partner echoed these realizations that he had derived in his journey playing league fútbol (soccer) in Chile.
But what is the thing that can ultimately help us find a balance between extremes? When we’re stuck in action or inaction, what kicks us out of our inertia?