How are you doing? I mean REALLY doing? Are you feeling like your life is in balance, or are you feeling like you are overworked, tired, scrambling to do all the things you SHOULD be doing to find balance, and then feeling guilty to boot? Is the pursuit of finding balance even maybe…exhausting you?
Balance in my opinion, is one of the most overused words in personal development and yoga circles. People talk about balance as though once you find it everything from now on will forever and ever be perfect from here on in. Like, you just have to find the magic formula (people make a lot of money off this) and…Ta da! Your life is changed, you have no more problems or stress, and now you can relax because you’ve found balance and now life can go tickety-boo. What a load. Honestly, do you know anyone that says they’ve found balance in their life? It’s a flat out lie and we are eating it up, believing it, and even more stressed out because of it. Balance isn’t something you find, it’s something you practice and create moment to moment. It’s about making choices every single day to keep you in a state of equilibrium, and it is usually somewhat imbalanced anyways because life isn’t the steadiest ground to work with.
In my 20’s I was either working 2 jobs, or working full time and going to school full time. I would run to and from work during my day job, then go to work most of the night. Or run to school during the day and work all night. I did yoga, ate well, and didn’t sleep. I was exhausted chasing the dream of having a career that I could be proud of and not knowing what that could be, and too tired to have the relationships I wanted. And although I have always been cheerful, I had terrible self-confidence and on some level didn’t believe I deserved much better, or that I could even get something better. I felt totally out of control and everything in my life felt hard and out of whack. Maybe you can relate to this too? Thankfully, it has been 7 years since I left that part of my life behind and I am on the other side of it now and want to share what I have learned along the way.
In yoga balance is a process, and there are a series of things we do to balance in a pose. We fix our gaze, steady our breath, feel our bodies, and distribute weight evenly. We get present. We shift a little here, and then a little there, to find the midpoint. It’s an intentional process that doesn’t just happen on its own, and we also get better at it the more we do it. The Yoga “Sutra Sthira Sukham Asanam” translates as this: effort without tension in the pose, or as my book of sutras defines it “Yoga pose is steady and comfortable position.” That is how balance is accomplished, but putting effort where it’s needed and relaxing the rest.
Here’s the other thing, balance is a concept to be put into practice, not an end goal. There will always be externals putting strain on your perfect pedestal of balance. As my coach says “life keeps on life-ing,” it’s what you do in spite of it that counts. Even in yoga practice your body is different day to day, and you get to work with what’s here, and adjust as needed. If you cling to the idea of balance being somewhere you are going to get to or find, you’ll (as Jack Kornfield says) get rope burn.
Sometimes that means doing the things you may not want to in the moment but knowing they will make you feel good in the long term (this is the effort and steady part). An example might be sweating everyday even though you are tired, but knowing how good it makes you feel and how much more energy you will have from putting the effort in. It also means stopping doing some things that might make you feel good right now, but make you feel terrible long term (this is letting go of the tension and settling into comfort). An example of this would be letting go of watching TV for hours every night because you know you don’t sleep as well because of it. A big one is learning to say no, so you can say yes to yourself.
It’s also helpful to take a close look at your life, the way you are currently living it, and asking some hard questions, like getting clear on:
Why am I even doing this? For what purpose?
Does this feed and nourish me? Physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Can I really have, and do it all, and why does it even matter? To whom?
Who is impacted by the choices I’m making right now? What’s working, not working, about those choices?
Where can I cut myself some slack and be nicer to myself?
What are my real priorities, and where am I actually spending most of my time?
Do what will make the difference in your life, and be okay with letting go of what’s not. You don’t have to do it all, and really why should you? To be someone else’s idea of an ideal? That’s a waste of your life and a waste of your genius. Stop it. Please, stop it right now!
When you get clear on what’s really important to you, you have a stable ground for your practice of balance to stand on. You can more easily say no, create better boundaries, and decide to commit to the things that serve you, and those who are important to you.
Balance isn’t found, it’s created every single moment of every day. A little here, a little more there. Let yourself be flexible so you can flow with what life throws at you without losing your ground and what is most important to you. Imagine yourself like a tree that might get blown in the wind, but its roots will hold it firmly in place. I’m the proof that this works.
If you love this stuff and want more, then I want to give it to you! Are you sick of feeling like you are working your ass off at everything, trying to do it all (with a smile), and still ending up feeling exhausted and guilty for not having anything left to give to those that you love? And what about you? Do you even remember what you love to do? What makes you feel most alive? Maybe there’s also this part of you that is ready to make a real shift, and you realize that you can’t do this on your own because you’ve been there, done that, and it didn’t work.
I hear you, and I totally get it. Email me to book a totally free Alignment Session and see what’s possible for your life. Let’s face it, if you really could have done this on your own, you would have a long time ago. The truth is that we are interdependent and we need each other to see ourselves. I have a few spots becoming available for one on one coaching, and if you saw yourself in the above paragraph, I would love to work with you. I’ve got your back my friend, let’s connect.
Now, I’d love to hear from you! What do you think about balance? Is it something you struggle with? What do you do to work towards it? Please post below to leave your comments.
Do you know someone who could use a little support with balance? Then please feel free to share this blog with them! We all need support, and we can’t do it on our own. Share the wisdom and the love below.
Just so you know, you are my favorite. Thank you for being the beautiful person that you are!
Love and Light,