Edgewalking

Our resilience is inextricably tied to our ability to sustain.

As we are stretched and challenged by circumstance, relationships, children, world news, climate events, the ebb and flow of our own inner landscape – the demands on our resilience undeniable – it is our ability to keep going, to willingly wrap our arms around the full girth of what we face that fuels our body and psyche’s ability to move through.

And by that same weave, our capacity to sustain draws directly on our resilience.

It is our cache of energy and strength, courage and trust that galvanizes any effort to envelop the whole of what confronts us, venture into the arena of the long game, rally ourselves to reach into territory that feels exhausting before we’ve even begun.

For sustenance and resilience to be equally matched, each reinforcing the other, we must be willing to engage in the practice of Edgewalking.

Endeavors by which we allow ourselves to extend beyond the familiar, take ourselves to the edge of what is comfortable and known, learn how to balance there. Look in all directions. Feel the burn as we flex new muscle, expand into territory we never thought possible before now.

All while having the courage to tap into our reserves, expend more energy than is customary so that we might shake awake unused parts of ourselves that have gotten entrenched, comfortable in their undisturbed slumber.

The caution here being to not burn through those precious, finite reserves without regard for the consequences of an empty well. The impact of pushing beyond the edge, past the point of no (or painful) return.

For there is no reward that comes with stretching yourself to the point of breaking, exhibiting feats of superhuman strength just so the world and your loved ones can see how responsive, capable and indestructible you are.

Because when we go to those extremes, spreading ourselves so thin that we can see through our skin to sinew and bone below, we have gone too far. Become brittle and diluted, unable to bounce back, be responsive in a way that is uplifting and affirming, accessible and repeatable.

If we constantly press to the point of burnout, our resilience burns with that same effort. It becomes fragile and unstable, a web of ash and air, nothing about it a friend to sustaining.

And then there is the alternative: Inaction.

A decision that the effort isn’t worth it, the disorienting, terrifying fear of all that might and could go wrong freezing us in our tracks. Or spurring us to seek solace in reassuring distraction that keeps us from facing an experience that may very well get uncomfortable or ask something of us that is decidedly not at the top of our to-do list.

In this case, the potential isn’t for burnout, but the slow burn of stasis. A quiet, from-within erosion that often accompanies inaction. Atrophy fed by absence.

And while it may seem implausible, Edgewalking is in fact the middle ground between burnout and inaction.

Because Edgewalking is, inherently, about responsiveness. Elasticity. The skill of testing our borders, understanding our limits, shaping and reshaping ourselves without compromising our ability to bounce back, allow for intermissions during which new information is digested, absorbed, integrated.

What can bolster a tremulous heart facing the daunting prospect of Edgewalking is the knowledge that it is a skill. Prowess that can be taught and learned, finessed and forged over time. A dance constructed of small steps, grand leaps, and moments of intentional suspension designed to fortify the essential relationship between resilience and sustenance.

The reward is that you will amplify your resilience, bolster your ability to sustain through confusing, heart-piercing times, meet the fray with eyes wide open, all because you chose to enter into the beautiful, brilliant, bracing experience of Edgewalking.

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2 Responses to Edgewalking

  1. Steven Anderegg February 9, 2024 at 8:07 pm #

    My first thoughts on’ Edgewalking’, as I understand the meaning and description give, is that to be conscious of and edge one must be one the path, so to speak, and not stuck in objective identity. What I mean by ‘objective identity’ is that for the most part mankind see the world that is perceived through the senses as separate from them selves. Off one edge there is this world out there and on off the other edge there is this of self-conscious, ego state. The edge being the fulcrum, the relationship between, where one finds Stillness. In which one knows that the world perceived (and the values given to images) is the creation of the state of awareness of ones true nature. The Self looking through tinted glasses, and beliefs form that the would is green or blue, a mistake, it shouldn’t be that way, etc.
    So maybe point is that, to me, the edge represents a state of Oneness, the world is but a play of the Light into energy, positive and negative force. Find the Stillness within consciousness and find Oneness, Knowing.

    • Kimberly Jonas February 13, 2024 at 9:21 am #

      Love this, thank you Steve. “Looking through tinted glasses” strikes me here … leaving that behind and allowing the stillpoint to be our place, our point of reference for a play of energy (at least as I interpret your words!).

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