What meaning do you make of this photo? Feel free to personalize (who am I in this/What does this mean for me?); Observe it (what is happening here?) or Objectify it (What does this say about the world the messages the world is trying to tell me?)
Story of First Yoga Experience….tried to make the pose perfect - to be in perfect balance….. she finally looked at me and gently invited me to breathe….For me, this was a reminder of the beginning - an God breathed - God spoke and the earth came into being. Conversing with the body through breathing IS where the body came into alignment - not balance but alignment. We hope to invite us to a new world - not where we arrange the pieces to be in PERFECT BALANCE but where we invite a complex conversation of the many parts and discover that all these things are abundant….
What are our many vocations that give us life? (Lindsay says I live most abundantly at the intersection of preacher and mother). What are we/were we passionate about that brought us to this place? (Leadership Class)
When most of us hear that life is a balancing acts…this is how we end up acting….when life is abundance of possibilities in our multiple vocations, we recognize that wherever we are, there is more than we can ever enjoy - so our response is to be present - to love and be guest in the abundance.
Mustang Island taught us that all things we expect to control are beyond us…. yet goodness happened. NEXT slide: balance sets things against each other…david whyte says
NExt slide - this is how it looks….
Then we seek balance within each of these pieces….we have to get it right! We think of these things as entities…. think more in terms of polygamy (David Whyte calls these things The Three Marriages and they must not be balanced but placed in conversation together for their richness…
This lifelong practice of balance turns itself to tenure…the rules, the policies, and the process continue to pressure us to buy the lie of balance - hold everything together IN PERFECT BALANCE! The balancing is exhausting, for our teaching is our day jobm writing our night job, and service our weekend job….. and never shall the three meet….this is the problem of balance~
These pieces are about the marrying of richness in your vocation. This is what Wabash is trying to do, in part, in the new Grant and Fellowship Process - HOW DO THE MARRIAGES WITHIN YOUR VOCATION CREATED A MORE FRUITFUL MARRIAGE? HOW DO YOU HOLD THESE THINGS TOGETHER- how does publishing affect your classroom (twinning is winning).
read quote from david whyte
Balance is leiros
Balance is Leiros
Living Abundantly amidst Our Many Vocations
What we Hope for …
Understand the problematics of balance in pursuit of a theological vocation
that claims life is abundant.
Recognize our own implicit and explicit assumptions, values, and
expectations for living an abundant life? Ask, “what kinds of choices are we
already making to support or contradict our assumptions, values, and
expectations? How do we practice full human agency and make our values
about life explicit to our colleagues, students, and deans/administrators (and
Recognize that abundant life invites celebration amidst the multiplicity of
vocations, amidst the vulnerability, and even amidst the suffering.
Enter a reflective time to understand one’s own failures and frustrations in
balance (lay them down) and begin to enter an understanding and
engagement of life toward its abundance.
Oh mind you carry on your back
Your actions like a heavy sack.
No wonder that your shoulders ache
Another strain's enough to break
So drop this stupid load.
This is the last stop on the road
where you can find rest
Stay, be Loves guest.
equally distributing separate entities
against each other as to allow all to
remain upright and steady.
Balance assumes conflict
assumes isolated entities (work-
assumes YOU are the primary
and only agent (loneliness)
assumes we have the control to
keep all things upright and
The Three Marriages:
Reimagining Work, Self, and
“People find it hard to balance work with
family, family with self, because it might
not be a question of balance. Some other
dynamic is at play… something that does
not quantify different parts of life and
then set them against one another. We
are collectively exhausted because of
our inability to hold competing parts of
Service to the
“We should stop thinking in
terms of work-life balance.
Work-life balance is a concept
that has us simply lashing
ourselves on the back and
working too hard in each of our
commitments. In the ensuing
exhaustion we ultimately give up
on one or more of them to gain
an easier life.”
“The antidote to exhaustion is not rest but
invitation to wholeheartedness in
a marriage of marriages
Could you still live your life, pursue
your loves, in the midst of life’s
marriage of marriages
assumes mutual and multiple
agents - ask for help and be
one for whom others ask
assumes making the implicit
explicit - a conversation
assumes entry through “a
doorway of vulnerability”
assumes desire for abundant
life which is peace, joy,
happiness, and reconciliation
a marriage of marriages
“Marriage is where all of these difficult
revelations can consign us to
imprisonment or help us become
larger, more generous, more amusing,
more animated participants in the
letting go/being present
“It is a difficult discipline in all three marriages to let a
person go, continually, to see if that person comes
back, to let a work go so that it can be reimagined or
to let a fixed idea about ourselves evaporate and be
replaced by something more flexible.”