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Balance by Summer Intern Morgan Haefner
July 17, 2014

One of my favorite lines of music comes from Laura Marling’s song “Failure.” The lyric reads, “If he made me in his image, then he’s a failure too.”

I thought of this lyric today as I snickered at my appearance in the mirror. To give myself credit, it was 5:45 a.m. and the only item of clothing I wished to touch my body was sweatpants.  So I decided to put them on. I thought about Jesus in a pair of sweats. “Well,” I thought, “He’s a failure too.”

*Not that sweats correlate with failure or anything, but I love to dress up when I leave the house. So wearing sweats is a personal, fashionista failure* 

I drove to Early Risers Bible Study, coffee in hand. I sat down, expecting to muster up some spark of energy to delve into reading, analysis and application.  Contrary to my assumptions, leaders devoted much of the study’s time to “The Morning Watch,” a simple meditation accompanied by prayer and desk yoga. I considered doing a jig in my sweats. “See, I’m not a failure today. I’m smart, comfortable and ready to do this.”

It was not until I began the meditation I realized how out of balance my body felt. I sat down, straight back and shoulders perched as directed. That felt good for about five seconds, and then my body urged me to shrug my shoulders. My back waged a battle with my patience and contemplation. As the battle ensued I ceased to gain a moment of peace.

After the meditation we eased into sitting yoga. My body instantly let go of holding my mind hostage with its aches and complains, instead yelling, “Thank you for finally paying attention to me.” My muscles soaked in every stretch and extension. My spine eased its aching. My shoulders welcomed the slow, strong movements. All the while my mind felt peace, thinking of my body and how close the two intertwine.

My body has been crying for attention, but lately I’ve been telling it to keep quiet and take a back seat. I didn’t know how much doing so would affect my clarity of mind. “Balanced” is not a typical word people use to describe themselves. The phrase “out of balance” is. But I think the first is something we should strive for. Balanced with our bodies, our physical and mental health. In tune with our faith and where it is today, at this very hour. I think as an attribute, this is one of the best traits a person can grow into. It takes time. It takes listening to your body when all it wants is sweats but you feel the need to wear jeans.

Listen to your body and you might hear your mind. When you listen to your mind it becomes clear. A clear mind allows you to focus on breath. When you hear your breath, you hear God.

That’s balance. 

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