Recently I met with a moms group that has a good habit of getting together monthly, and one of the issues they find themselves discussing most often is balance.
I feel them.
It’s difficult trying to get the kids off to school or daycare, going to work, picking the kids back up, making some sort of dinner that doesn’t almost kill us all, homework, activities, baths and bedtime.
And that lineup doesn’t even include trying to make time for our husbands, friends, family, or the flipping PTA (why did we agree do that?).
And then, what do we have left for ourselves? What’s the “balance” of all this?
There are many different ways to look at the word balance, and I think it helps to examine ourselves from all angles in order to check our alignment, so let’s do so.
A Balance Sheet
Using a balance sheet example, balance is the difference between credits and debits in our bank accounts. It is what we have left to spend.
Or to save, sure, but let’s keep it real.
Obviously, we’re looking at the bank accounts of our souls, friends.
The balance is what we have left after we have paid off all of our responsibilities and obligations (some people call them children).
Credits to our accounts are things that make us feel good. Like taking time each day to have some fun. Dance party!
We need to make sure there is something left over. If there’s a repeated pattern of not having a healthy balance of the soul then we are not managing appropriately.
One of my favorite sayings in business is, “If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed.” And there is a way to measure balance, too.
For me, I can tell when my life balance is out of whack because it will show itself physically. I feel exhausted and anxious and I get snappy with people.
In turn, when I’m well-balanced I feel energized and enthusiastic. Use your body as its own barometer. Our feelings will guide us.
Anything that drains our energy and makes us tired, heavy and exhausted are the things we need to be letting go of.
Another type of balance is a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions to each other. This is the type of balance we usually think about when the word comes up.
Do you have anything that is way out of proportion in your life?
Have you ever been called a workaholic?
Are you spending too much time exercising?
Is the Netflix getting out of control while dishes pile up?
Spending so much time with friends that your family is starting to feel neglected?
We don't want any part of our lives to be out of proportion. It is just as unhealthy to focus completely on our families without leaving time for self-care as it is to spend too much time doing things we enjoy and ignoring our responsibilities.
Examine how you are spending your time, and really listen to people who are trying to subtly communicate that you seem out of balance.
It may sound something like, “Exercising again today?”
But more than likely it’s just a look. You know the look. Come on. The look...from the couch.
Balance as a Scale
As a noun, the word balance is also used to refer to a type of scale.
I like this one because I believe our bodies are a tool that we need to constantly maintain and calibrate.
If you think about an old-school scale with a central pivot point along with a pair of scales to measure counter-acting weights, our bodies are that central pivot point.
OMG. We’re going to start talking about chakras. I’m so excited. Can you feel it, too?!
Calibrate the scale. Take some time at least once a week to stretch, breathe deeply, be quiet and think about those seven chakra points up and down your spine.
If you don’t know what chakras are, you can find a good explanation here.
Basically everything in this world, including our bodies, are made out of energy. That’s just science. Just as there is a push and pull happening between the moon and the ocean, there is also push and pull between our bodies and the world.
This oscillation comes organically from nature since it is also made from energy, and of course from the different weights we are putting on our scales.
Have you calibrated lately?
An Even Distribution of Weight
Balance also means an even distribution of weight – enabling ourselves to remain upright and steady.
So what kinds of things have been weighing on you?
In order to maintain our equilibrium we need to add some weights on the other side of the scale as well. This means taking time for ourselves to have some fun, or to do things that add purpose to our lives.
I strongly believe that my purpose in life is to help women and moms who are overwhelmed, stressed and have lost themselves. I help them embrace the chaos and shift their mindset so they feel fulfilled, grateful and worthy of the best things their life has to offer
That is actually my mission statement for my work as a life and wellness coach. I’m lucky because it is very rewarding work I get to see the outcome of our work together as they begin to thrive and find happiness. It adds positive balance to my life.
Humans Were Designed to Serve
Evolutionary Psychologists contend that back in the Stone Age it was essential for man to create communities and then help each other in order for the human species to survive and advance, therefore we are hard-wired for acts of service.
It may be easy to see how living with purpose came more naturally in a tribal setting when people were bound to contribute, and how difficult it can be to satisfy our instinctual drive to serve with today’s technology and plentiful resources.
So let’s make a point of incorporating it into our lives. It feels great.
However serving looks to you - it could be on a large-scale platform with intentions to change the world, or just effecting change locally within your community - in service is where we find purpose.
And it doesn’t have to be a big deal, friends. Just think about what talents you have cultivated and pay it forward by teaching others.
Invite friends to yoga or meditation class
Offer to teach people how to crochet or knit
Start a mom’s group at work
Reach out to a friend to see how they’re doing
Activities that bring us calmness, clarity and lightness should be our focus when adding positive balance.
This week’s assignment is to examine your balance from all angles and think about how you can contribute and shine bright lights on your community. Then, write to me and let me know how it went!
Have a great week!