The Paradoxical Nature of Life

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the paradoxical nature of life and how accepting that one fact can facilitate a more peaceful and joyful existence.

The truth of this began surfacing the more I reflected on my journey out of anxiety and panic disorder. Basically, my treatment consisted of my staying put, both physically and mentally, as my sympathetic nervous system started revving up. I would be feeling the “fight or flight” response running rampant throughout my body and mind and, instead of reacting to those feelings, I would just stay present and accept that this was the experience I happened to find myself in at the time and that that was ok. I had to learn to allow both active and totally peaceful states to coexist.

I started paying more and more attention to what frightened me or made me uncomfortable or upset and I kept finding that the actual problem was that I wasn’t able to allow two seeming opposites to exist together, my experience was consistently unbalanced. Rather, the natural progression of events was disrupted by my inability to let them be. 

Wise teachers and guides have been saying this for centuries, that the way to true joy is to simply be present to what already is. We are both observers and participants – we’ll know how to participate effectively once we learn to observe properly. This is another paradox, in order to know how to act, we must know how to be still. There is no one way, there is only balance, and it looks different for everyone.

“…in order to know how to act, we must know how to be still.”

Where is the imbalance in your life? Do you know when to be still and when to act? Start by paying attention, notice where the kinks are and make some space for them to relax back into the natural flow.

Blessings and peace.

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