We hear this word all the time.
It is something I constantly aspire to.
But what does it mean?
I dream of myself standing still in tree pose balancing
But when I am in tree pose in the peace of my local yoga studio
There are no children yelling, wrestling, playing underfoot.
There is no dish or laundry pile.
There is no work deadline.
It is just me in my yoga studio, imagining I’m a tree.
Outside that yoga studio life does not stand still and quiet, granting me the space and peace to balance myself like a tree.
(Not my life, anyway.)
My life challenges me to balance along multiple axis, moving forward in the complex and multi-faceted terrain of motherhood.
If you can imagine one of those circular balance boards with a pivoting round ball underneath it, challenged to stay on a tight rope that winds along a path, up and down through mountains and valleys with unexpected storms meeting me along the way.
Yup, that’s what I need to integrate the tree pose into.
And those multiple axis that I’m constantly navigating and negotiating go so beyond the whole work-life balance that everybody talks about.
Each and every day I ask:
Am I working too much?
Do I need to spend more time with the children?
Do I need to rest more so when I do spend time with them, I’m quality company?
That means earlier nights.
But I do love that series so much.
Or, maybe it’s lack of exercise?
Should I do more of that?
More cardio to get the heart pumping.
Or more yoga to quieten the mind.
Am I nourishing myself well enough?
Do I eat too much meat?
Do the kids?
A disguised veggie smoothie, perhaps.
But the time to make it.
Should I just let it go and force them to eat peas?
But forcing them to eat is bad.
I hate it.
They hate it.
Studies show it isn’t that important.
But then it does help with their self-discipline.
Or does it?
It’s their responsibility ultimately.
But perhaps some gentle nudging would be useful.
To give or to take?
To go or to stop?
To cook or to order in?
To buy or to hold back?
Clearly balance is not a state of static being.
It is a verb (not a noun).
It is a journey (not a destination).
Balance is not about evening everything out
(Because even if you did, they’d uneven into a state of chaos pretty immediately).
In my mind balance is about aligning your actions with your values and priorities.
And sometimes this means stopping and reflecting in the moment about what those are.
A mental tree pose?
Here are 3 balancing tips to help you start living balance.
- Assess what is important to you.
- Determine how much time and energy you are willing to devote to the different areas of your life.
- Make decisions from a place of balance in your life, by taking a breath and checking in with the heart and mind.
This might mean bring that tree pose into your mind so it can help you stay present each balancing act of the way on that balancing board, and along that crazy path.
We know that we make the best decisions when we approach the decision-making process from a balanced emotional and intellectual foundation. And the key to doing this is minding your mind, owning your time and nourishing your soul.
Let’s balance our way into 2016, Mamas!