So, what can we learn from a yogi, a stone balance artist and a world class juggler that will allow us to balance life and juggle it’s busy demands more easily and effortlessly? As I discovered, many things!!
The Art of Balance - Lesson One
Michael Grab is a masterful stone balance artist from Bolder, Colarado creating and documenting the most exquisite, mind boggling, gravity defying stone structures everywhere he goes. Stone Balancing is a fast growing community around the world. Michael started doing it one day in Bolder Creek about 10 years ago and it turned into a therapeutic activity, a practice, a ritual. He’s been doing it every day since and is committed to mastering this art.
Michael talks about something he calls the “zero point”, that moment he knows that everything is balanced and he can let go.
He also talks about the importance of finding a "zero point" or silence within yourself.
"Some balances can apply significant pressure on your mind and your patience. The challenge is overcoming any doubt that may arise. "Try not, there is no try...only DO." - Yoda"
“DO,” he says, "Don’t think, just do.”
"If you think too much about it then it collapses”
And we know this, right?
In fact, most of the time any of us get into trouble in life is because we’ve started overthinking things. All that busy chitter - chatter, internal dialogue, tying ourselves up in knots, going round and round in useless, effing circles, getting ourselves all wound up.
In the field of NLP, we know that this internal chatter is one of the things that messes people up in a variety of ways. It stops people from being able to absorb information in the context of learning. It messes with people's ability to perform. It gets in the way of being able to connect and engage with people. When you can get out of your head and quiet that internal chatter, then you can stop commentating, stop questioning if you're doing things right, stop doubting yourself, stop wondering what other people are thinking and be fully present and engaged, responsive to what's actually happening in the moment, that is when we are are connected with our internal resources and able to perform at our best.
So, how can you silence the pesky chit chat?
Try this experiment. I mean DO! Do or do not, there is not try! haha!
- Find a focal point, around eye level, somewhere in front of you.
- Allow your foveal vision, that's your vision directly in front of you, to soften so that everything is less clear, de-focused, a little fuzzy even.
- While maintaining this soft, central focus, bring your awareness also to your peripheral visionary field on both sides.
- Maintaining this soft central focus and noticing just how far you can see out of your peripheral at the same time, allowing your tongue to rest gently on the roof of your mouth, maintain this for just a little longer now...soft focus, peripheral vision and notice...what just happened to your internal dialogue? Is it even there? Or has it gone quiet now....
Pretty neat, huh? Your very own volume dial for your internal dialogue and thoughts.
Now, what do imagine life is like when your attention is on the outside? When you find your "zero point". What is life like when you see yourself moving through your daily and weekly activities without self doubt, without the internal chatter? Without "I can't", without "this is hard". Moving through everything with internal silence, responding in the moment, connected with your inner resources. In a state of flow. We often hear high performing athletes talk about being in a flow state, or in the zone and this is the kind of state they are referring to. Not thinking, just doing. Just like Michael when he is balancing stones.
We explore this in much more depth and how to cultivate this "zero point" or high performance flow state at my NLP High Performance training and in my coaching practice but even just practicing the exercise above, you can silence that internal dialogue any time you choose. Get out of your head. Stop trying, stop doubting yourself and do.
If you enjoyed this brief lesson in the Art of Balance and are keen to read more, feel free to sign up for my newsletter by clicking SUBSCRIBE ME in the top right hand part of the menu above or follow my Facebook page and you'll be the first to know when the rest of the series is available to read online.
Want to know more about Michael Grab or see more of his amazing Stone Balance Art? Visit www.gravityglue.com and stay tuned as we'll be hearing more from him throughout the series.