We like to rate things, judge things, and label things. We call it the way we see it; “Good or Bad,” “Right or Wrong,” “Pass or Fail,” “Us or Them.” We label things with our solid and accurate judgement and in doing so, we create “ORs” and draw hard lines in the sand creating division. Often times, the division we create with our “right” way of thinking pits us against everyone else who is thinking “wrongly.” If we call something good, that means there is a bad. If we say there is a right, then there is clearly a wrong. The lines we draw, whether we mean to or not, leave little room for grey areas. It’s black or white. Period. 

This is something I’m struggling with lately. In the last few years, I’ve started wondering if there is “something in the middle.” What if things or thoughts aren’t right or wrong? What if things or thoughts just are? Or maybe another way to think of it is, what if there was just beauty in everything? In every thing or thought? 

Hold on, I might get this going somewhere that makes sense in a second…

One story that really makes me think about our labels is the Story of Creation found in Genesis. Don’t freak out! Anyway, in the Creation story there were two trees specifically mentioned; the tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil and The Tree of Life. As the story goes, man was told not to feed off the tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil, but to feed off the Tree of Life. But man didn’t listen and he didn’t eat from the Tree of Life, but instead fed off the other tree containing Good AND Evil. Do you see it? Good AND Evil are found in the very same tree, the tree man wasn’t to eat from. Notice there is no “OR” in that tree, it’s “AND.” But Life was to be found in the other tree, the tree that apparently didn’t know anything about Good AND Evil or even Good or Evil, but just Life…

Again, thinking on this story, what if we were only supposed to know Life, to view everything in it as beautiful and in a state of being without labeling it? Or what if in the Tree of Life, everything was simply Good, with no other alternative? 

This is a conversation that has depth beyond limits, but to keep it more shallow… What if pain wasn’t “bad?” What if movement, any and all movement, was just good? What if there was beauty in a stiff back – beauty with the potential to express itself further? What if there was no weakness, but only strength in varying expressions? What if it weren’t whether or not we could dance like Fred Astaire or Justin Timberlake, but whether or not we chose to dance? Or, what if a smile was a dance? 

I guess I’m wondering should we label things? Can we or could we try to feed from the Tree of Life and see the good, the beauty, and the gift in everything, regardless of what it is? Can we see the beauty and the gift in everyone regardless of who they are, where they are from, what their culture is, what they do, or even what they say and how they act? Can we see the “is-ness” in our differences and not see the differences? Can we find the joy in moving and being without comparing, rating, or ranking it? 

I know I’m flipping back and forth, but if it’s Life, it’s Life. And if it’s not Life, it’s something else from another tree, a tree that has no Life in it…

Oh yeah, can I tie this up full-circle and show how this relates to Original Strength and Pressing Reset? Not neatly. But, I can tell you this: A breath, no matter how shallow, no matter how deep, no matter how restorative it is, no matter how anxious it is, is a gift. It is a beautiful movement coming from and into a body that is amazingly and wonderfully designed. There is Life in it. 

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