Why Balance is a Lie (And Seasons Rock)
“You can have it all.”
“You just need balance.”
Home life, work life, sex life, social life, family life. And on and on. Why are we fed such a lie?
[Before I go too far down the rabbit hole, I want to pause and say if balance is working for you, then congrats! Please share your secrets. But if you have experienced a little bit of balance, then felt out of whack as something changed in your life and you are stuck wondering how to regain that so-called balance, then read on…]
After working with so many wonderful humans, I realize that we all fall prey to similar traps. We all think we need to achieve balance to somehow “win” life. (Or at least not “lose” it!) We swing from thing to thing to thing, while we try to manage it all.
But more often than not, it’s just too much. We get spread too thin. We feel like we’re not fully present in any aspect of our lives. And sometimes I can’t help but blame the idea of “balance”.
According to Dictionary.com balance means:
1. an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
“she lost her balance before falling”
2. a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
“try to keep a balance between work and relaxation”
Even the definition references this need for “balance”. But let me ask you something, do you consider are all areas of your life to be in “even distribution”? Would you even want them to be? Seems to me that balance assumes equal footing. But what about seasons? What about when you have to crank out a little extra? (Like when your child is sick and you need to drop everything to care for them? Or when you are trying to finish a big project at work and you need to dedicate a bit extra to it?) How does that impact balance?
The other example is interesting too. “She lost her balance before falling.” Isn’t that just the truth? You can be balanced for a bit, but as life changes, so too does your footing. You have to make a change so you don’t end up falling. In my opinion, balance is a lie. Or at the very least, balance is pointless because things change so fast. Seriously, maybe decades back balance was achievable or a valiant goal, but these days, the world is moving so quickly. We don’t have time to balance. Our time is precious.
In my experience, things are changing all the time. As soon as you get one thing down, there’s a new thing to handle and adjust for. Therefore, trying to find balance only seems to throw you off course. It’s like we can spend all our time “trying to achieve balance” rather than just living and embracing our priorities.
When I stopped caring about balance, I started to experience so much freedom it was crazy. Suddenly I didn’t have to do it all. I didn’t have to maintain the mirage that I could do it all. Instead I chose what actually matters to me and my family. I stepped back and actively and intentionally identified my values and current priorities. That, my friends, is the most amazing activity!
Then I looked at my time and what the heck I was doing with it all. (Sobering, yet powerful experience!) Once I had that birds’ eye view, aware of the big picture, then I could begin to live more confidently. Then I was able to adapt more easily to whatever curveballs came my way. I could see how to pivot according to what was most important to me in my overall life and in my current timeframe.
Ok, if this is sounding a bit crazy, maybe it is. But let me tell you, the changes that I have seen in my own life and the lives of my clients are insane (in a good way). Life doesn’t change, the way we look at life changes. And that is the real deal.
We only live once. We only have today. Yet why do most people live on autopilot, reacting to what comes their way rather than being prepared for it? Seriously, most people live on autopilot, yet they aren’t even sure of the destination they are heading.
When you get dressed in the morning, do you throw on anything that you see first? I doubt it. You probably pick out a shirt that looks good, then you match some jeans or shorts, and then adorn it with some fun jewelry that represents you and makes you feel good. And that’s just a regular day.
What about when you have a big date or an important meeting? Then you probably try on a bunch of different outfits, shoes, and accessories, right? And then think about a huge event, your wedding. You probably spent a long time thinking about and picking out the perfect dress, shoes, jewelry and more.
The details and the plan matter. And the bigger the event, the more impact it will have on your life, the more time and effort you give to it.
So let me ask you, why don’t you do that for your overall life? Why do you treat your day-to-day life reacting to whatever comes your way, feeling like you know you have more to give but you just can’t seem to figure it out? Maybe it’s because on those days you are just grabbing the first shirt you touch in your closet and throwing on the shorts that were sticking out of your drawer as they were the most in your face.
Don’t let urgency beat out intention. Said differently, be proactive in creating an intentional life. I promise that by taking the time to design your life from the bigger picture you too can experience the joy and freedom of living a life you love regardless of what results you have or have not been able to accomplish yet.
The accomplishments are great, but they aren’t “it”. How you are being in the moment is. How you are being is everything. (For example are you being overwhelmed, stressed or rushed? Or are you being poised, confident and magnetic?) Life exists in the moment. In the moments of flow, in the moments of stress, in the moments of play, in the moments of unknown. If you can bring your own inner peace and inner knowing, you use own inner-compass- as my friend Danielle Kloberdanz writes in her book, Inner Compass Mom- then as far as I’m concerned you have already won life.
Seasons come and go. Sometimes you need to lean into motherhood. You need to change diapers, plan playdates, make ten thousand snacks in one day, clean up toys and do laundry and laugh and cry. Other times you need to lean into your friends and yourself. You need to go out dancing, read a book on the beach, grab coffee at your favorite spot with your dearest friends. Some seasons are for staying in and taking care of yourself and your family. Some seasons are for going out and adventuring in the world.
Pretty much every season brings change.
IT IS OKAY TO BE OFF BALANCE.
IT IS OKAY TO FOCUS IN ONE AREA FOR AWHILE.
IT IS OKAY TO FOCUS LESS IN OTHER AREAS FOR AWHILE.
IT IS OKAY TO EBB AND FLOW.
IN FACT IT IS EXPECTED TO EBB AND FLOW.
PS- Just look to nature for endless examples of this. Each season brings change. Letting go. Growth. Renewal. The cycle of life is beautifully depicted in nature. We can bring that magic to our everyday experience as well.
What’s that saying? Friends come in your life for a reason, for a season or for a lifetime. I think that life is like too. Areas of your life shine for a reason, for a season or for a lifetime. The more you can get in touch with you inner wisdom, what lights you up, and what fuels you the better you can craft a life that is full aligned. As you align your life, your energy naturally frees up. Ideas and opportunities magically show up at your doorstep. Friends call out of the blue. Emails or DMs show up in your inbox for the exact thing you need to move your business forward. Synchronicities line your life and fuel you forward.
Don’t let the lie of balance hold you back. You are an amazing human being. You have unique gifts to give this world. But the truth is, you are already doing it. You are already giving your gifts by simply showing up each day. When you pair your own gifts with an intentionally crafted life by design you are inviting in possibility. You are being instead of doing. Balance, shmalance. Season, intention, love, flow.
What are you leaning into in this season of your life? What do you need to give yourself permission to be, to do and to stop doing? Sometimes it is in what we stop doing and stop telling ourselves (and stop being, like judgemental, doubtful, mad…) that gives us the most space. In that space gorgeous creativity can show up and blossom into a lovely, joyful life.
PS- Happy 1st day of fall to everyone in the northern hemisphere. Pretty funny as I wrote this awhile back then we inspired to post it today, not surprisingly, the first day of a new season. I hope this new season enlivens you to embrace whatever seasons you are in, in your own life. And, if you’d like support in stepping into your greatness, reach out. I have a couple exclusive complimentary mini sessions that are open for you right now. Cheers.
Reason, Season, Lifetime Poem
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.