B is for Balance or Bulls..t

I had the pleasure of spending the evening with some wonderful solopreneurs recently in my Her Corner (www.hercorner.org) group. Many of us DallekCoaching_BisforBalancein the group are moms and business owners.  An interesting theme was echoed about achieving balance in 2014 with a caveat of “I don’t believe in this balance stuff”. I could not agree more with this sentiment.  Balance belongs in the vault with body perfection and doing it all.

One problem is that our perception of balance got off track.  Let’s give a few examples.  If you ever strike a balance pose in yoga, most of us humans, sway back and forth.  If two kids get on a seesaw, one usually has to push off a bit harder to get the same motion.  Even when we balance out a scale, there is an adjustment of each side to make sure the amounts equal.  Have you ever seen a gymnast on the balance beam? Even the Olympians have to regain balance after a jump or they bend their knees to prevent a fall.

For a long time, many of us believed that balance was a perfect striking of equal parts.  The problem is that the parts never equal 100. What would it look like if I asked you to create a percentage of the time you’d like to spend on family, friends, work, self-care and life’s necessities (paying bill and doing dishes).  You’ve probably already realized that there would not be enough hours in the day to do all of your desired and required tasks.

Ergo, we need to shift each day, moment, week, month and year to honor the priority of the moment.  We could be wholly focused at work and get a call about a sick kid.  Then a snowstorm hits and shoveling the walk becomes our priority.  A family member falls ill and paying the bills may go down on your must do list.

If we can just strive to stay upright most of the time, then we’re doing a pretty darn good job.  Next time you try to “balance”, remember to adjust and leave the self-criticism behind.