Balance in life is something we hear about often, and something that we constantly try to find. One day, you feel like you found some balance, then the next day, it’s gone. Where did it go? Why does this “balance” thing seem so elusive and slippery? I have found that one can find balance in a variety of ways.
For myself, and many others, the easiest way to find balance is in the doing or changing. It is easy to look at our lives and see what needs to be changed, added, or taken away. Last school year I was working 30 hours a week as a Kita teacher, and teaching yoga classes in the afternoons/evenings. As well as trying to find time to be mom, wife, friend. Needless to say, it was too much. I knew something needed to change. The hardest thing was, I loved everything I was doing, but I knew that it wasn’t sustainable, my schedule was going to drain me. I made a change. After summer break, I cut my hours at the Kita in half, and now have more time to teach yoga, and have more space in my life. It feels more balanced. I feel like I have the space to feed and fuel myself, as well as, give of myself. Isn’t that what balance is? The ability to give, as well as, take. Be able to do, as well as, be. This is an easy example, and I had the ability to be able to make this change. You might be saying, I want that, but I can’t make those kind of changes in my life.
The other way to find balance in life has to do with attitudinal change. We still have responsibilities, things we need to do, people we need to care for, even when we are maxed out emotionally and physically. How do we find balance in the midst of chaos? How do we feed ourselves while giving at the same time? When I was in my crazy schedule of life and venting to Sita, she challenged me to find the Beauty, goodness, emotional/spiritual food in the craziness and breathe it in. Really uptake it and feel it. These little uptakes allow us to be more present. When we are more present in our daily life, we are more able to see these opportunities to uptake soul food. When we are more present and able to uptake the goodness and beauty that is there, we are happier. Then the crazy chaos doesn’t seem so draining and heavy. When I was able to carry this attitude through my day, it was amazing what I found as my soul food. The hugs from my children, the way my husband shows his love for me and how he makes me laugh, seeing a child learn, being part of someone’s growth, the sunshine, watching a butterfly, the colors of nature, yummy food, time with good friends, finishing a task done well, the first sip of my favorite chai tea... my list can go on. I knew I liked all this stuff before, but I didn’t always allow myself to really uptake, and let in these things, in a way that fed my soul. These small gifts and blessings are all around us. Can we be present enough to see them? Can we stop and actually breathe in the Beauty? Uptake this soul food to feel it deep into the center of our being?
Balance takes both, doing changes and attitudinal changes, but it is not a magic formula either. Each moment is new and needs something different. Balance is there. It will continue to be elusive and slippery at times, but you can always pause to take a breath... a nourishing breath that allows you to uptake and feed your soul with the Beauty and goodness that is there.