I once went to an all-day workshop for female entrepreneurs in Los Angeles and listened to a speaker who came out and stated “Balance is bulls*it,” right at the start of her talk. Being a health coach with the business name of “Balanced Health & Wellness” (which eventually turned into “Balanced Mamas”), I was slightly taken aback.
I wanted to stand up and say, “You’re not trying hard enough! It’s different for everyone!” and defend the beautiful word that so many holistic wellness enthusiasts preach about every day.
What does balance really mean? Deepak Chopra says that when we’re in an optimal state of dynamic balance, we naturally tend to listen to our body with love and reverence and make choices that support balance, happiness, and wellbeing.
That sounds legit.
The dictionary defines balance as keeping something in a steady position so it does not fall, an even distribution of something or to offset one thing with another. Well, when it comes to motherhood, my mind, and my body, I want to remain upright and make sure that nothing “falls.”
So, what does it mean, in today’s world, to be out of balance? If your stressed, upset, tired, resenting parts of your day, your relationships and feeling like you have lost your ability to find peace, joy and activities you enjoy, you’re probably out of balance. When your body is reminding you regularly (via pain, poor sleep, poor immunity, digestive problems, low energy or depressed/anxious thoughts) your body may also be off balance a bit.
In my opinion, balance means finding a way to prioritize all of what is most important to you so that you don’t feel any of those icky feelings listed above. One might say, balance is the lack of feeling out of balance. Balance is not the same as perfection. It’s feeling at peace. It also allows you to be the best that you can be at everything else. Making time to honor and nurture your mind and body allows the space so that you can be devoted to your spirituality, focused on your work, and committed to your family and relationships.
We’re all busy. It’s part of our country’s culture right now. But we are also way more concerned about the views and opinions of “everyone else.” So, it appears that many of us, specifically moms are concerned about how we’ll be viewed or judged for our choices. (“If I prioritize my workouts, or alone time, or time with my spouse or friends, isn’t that selfish?” “My kids need me” …or we end up revolving all schedules and activities around our kids’ preferences to “make them happy” or “giving them the life we never had.”) This can lead to making choices that go against our gut. Women may find themselves taking on more than they really want to, creating unrealistic or unsustainable expectations for their kids, or even losing a bit of themselves in parenthood and commitments.
But guess what? We have more control than we want to admit. Admitting that we can make choices that are better for us, is hard. We may not want to hear the judgments and resistance from other people (kids, PTA people, think Bad Moms, our parents, other parents, etc.) It can be hard to change how we take care of ourselves and prioritize our own health and sanity. And that is ok. It’s ok if it’s a little hard. Everything that is worth it in life is a little hard. And it also comes down to a simple formula…What do you want? What does it take to get there? And what will be better when you get to that point? (Oh yeah, and then take inspired action.)
We have the control and power to choose how we spend our time. So, whether you spend your hours in each day eating ice cream or greens, going for a walk or watching Netflix, attending EVERY single baseball game or half of them, signing up for a class to learn something that inspires you or heading to happy hour, you get to choose. Every day. And none of those types of choices make you “good” or “bad.” Just know that these are the types of decisions that may affect how you create balance, whatever that means for you.