My new friend in Hawaii bid me farewell with a few choice words. She said, “You need to go home and work on balance.” I’ve been pondering the idea of balance ever since I got back from my trip. I’m not exactly sure how to create more balance because I’ve got such a full plate. I wish it were as easy as busting out in tree pose at the end of a long day.
My schedule is quite full right now. I work a full-time job as a travel agent, teach at least five yoga classes per week, and write for Breaking Muscle. I take yoga and CrossFit classes at least two to three times each per week. I have a couple pets and help out with my nephew. In between all that, I try to stay on top of the household chores, finances, and life stuff. I have had some major life-altering personal and medical situations that add stress on top of all that. It’s not surprising that I find myself exhausted at the end of the day.
If I could create the life I wanted, it would look something like this: I would wake up every day and practice yoga and meditation. I would have time to teach yoga, travel the world, and take more yoga workshops. I would live nearby a Trader Joe’s grocery store and have time to make delicious healthy meals. I would be in close proximity to a beach and be able to listen to the sound of the waves. I would have a giant bathtub with Jacuzzi jets, heated hardwood floors, and a comfy king-sized bed. I would have the ability to spend time with family and friends. I would be healthy, fit, and cancer-free.
Creating more balance for me means I’m taking steps towards the life I want. I don’t have much that I can cut out without sacrificing my goals. Right now balance consists of taking baby steps in the right direction. I believe it is possible to create the life that you imagine if you set your mind to it. It’s a matter of positive thinking, setting your intention, and taking risks. Balance for me is sometimes just saying no. It looks like setting aside the laundry, and meditating in the morning or taking a short break to have a cup of tea.
Here are some things I do to create balance in my life:
- Practice five to ten minutes of yoga every day or at least one handstand
- Soak in the hot bathtub with homemade bath salts every day
- Use the word “no” or say “not right now” when necessary
- Set aside the household chores for a change and do something for me
- Make a Starbucks run for a chai tea latte
- Spend time with people who lift me up, encourage me, or make me laugh
- Do a random yoga pose whenever I feel like it, whenever or wherever
- Relax, unwind, or take a nap in the middle of the day
- Set aside my phone, don’t answer emails, and avoid Facebook
- Drink more water, exercise, and eat healthy meals
- Allow myself a little splurge (like Dagoba lavender blueberry dark chocolate)
When I step back to look at my life, I wonder how I manage it all. It’s not this perfectly wrapped little life with a pretty bow on it. It’s a mess, and I’m doing my best to keep up. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning or about to go under, but then it all works out.
What I’ve realized is that balance involves having both the yin and the yang, the darkness and the light. We cannot exist without both and we have to face it. Balance may not look like what you picture it to be. To the best of your ability, try out some bite-sized bits of balance. It’s much more attainable and might make all the difference in your day. Ultimately, it’s a journey and not a destination.
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