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What You Know May Kill You

(…or Simply Drive You Bonkers)
Nicole Newman

As defined by the World Health Organization’s Constitutional Preamble, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

I’ll subscribe to that definition. Our health is comprised of a complex interaction of biological, psychological and socio-cultural factors. But how is balance of these variables, which are constantly in flux, established and maintained?

I venture to espouse that dancing through life in a more wide-awakened state contributes to a healthier balance— up to a point. Über-mindfulness, 
hyper-awareness and individuated sensitivities can herald a cascade of unpleasant diminishing returns, invoking a host of anxieties.

Knowing too much about the innumerable, often contradictory theories on striking, what ostensibly should be a mellifluous balance, can result in some serious imbalance. My teacher prudently advised, “Think less, feel more.” Maybe all that’s needed is silence, mental space and self-compassion. Balance is not about being perfectly still. Slight adjustments constantly need to be made, just like in challenging yoga postures, or when playing music in tune.

I am reminded of the steadfast focus of Arjuna (a hero of the Mahabharata, an Indian epic), as he exclaims to his teacher, "Sir! Now I can't even see the body of the bird. All that I can see now is the eye, which is to be my target. If you are to ask me whether the eye belongs to a bird or to a beast, I am not in a position to reply as I see only the eye and nothing but the eye." (Quote Source)

Laser-like focus is often required to masterfully execute intensely challenging tasks. But, as a long-term strategy, it may be most efficacious to hone the ability to zoom in and out, with mindfulness, so as not to get saddled into a rigid zoomed-in focus. Although the calibration of this inner lens will vary from person-to-person and will change over time within each of us, it is an invaluable skill to come closer to balance in an ever-changing internal and external environment.

These days, I find myself agreeing more and more with the adage, “What you don’t know won’t kill you.”

We each experience a unique cocktail of stressors that overload and weaken our inner-balance and can make us feel marooned on the shores of imbalance. Breathe. Move. And, repeat— all while thinking less and feeling more.