Why a “Balanced Life” Isn’t Something I Strive For

By March 15, 2017Life
balanced life lexlee overton

“A Balanced Life…”

You’ve heard the term.

You’ve talked about it, read about it, and wished for it.

I get it: that elusive hope that we will wake up and feel like we have achieved the ultimate – by giving equal attention and time to work, family, health, relationships our communities and even the planet.

By definition, “balanced” means “taking everything into account; having different elements in the correct proportion.”

When we don’t have equal proportions in all the areas of our lives, we begin to judge ourselves for failing to do and have it all.

We create “routines” to help us supposedly manage the proportions.

And we think the routine of “to do” lists and set times and deadlines for achieving it all will help us muster the fortitude to make it all happen.

For a while, I tried to wake up by 4:30 a.m. every morning to meditate, write, and exercise.

This routine honors my commitment to dedicate time to stillness, to nurturing my body and mind.

And some mornings I succeed. Yet some mornings, I can only groan when alarm sounds.

And here’s the thing: because I made the commitment, the voice in my head begins to judge me for failing to get up. The voice doesn’t give me a break for working late and needing rest. It only harps on all of the boxes that will go unchecked for the day.

And once you start the day with that type of energy, the day begins in a negative way.

So I started to reconsider a “balanced life.”

I think that having “a balanced life” is a myth. A boring myth. The idea of being truly “balanced” makes me feel stuck …like everything is supposed to be “equal” and everything being equal feels very predictable and pre-planned.

A balanced life just isn’t real life.

Life is always changing. It’s messy and unpredictable. And being unbalanced feels exciting – if we can allow it.

Some days flow the way we think they will, and for the rest, we have to allow for the opportunities that will arise for something different.

Some days I can conquer most or all of my “to do” list.

But usually the list is written out, and then I allow life to give me a different list.

Some days work gets more attention than my children.

Some days a friend calls and needs help, and none of the “to do” list is accomplished because  I choose to allow for the role of holding space for someone else.

Some days the house is immaculate and some days the dishes and laundry pile up while I find the time just be present with my children.

Some days my day begins perfectly with meditation and intention. Some days, the demands of “others” doesn’t allow for the time to slow down.

And there are also some days where I just forget it all, lay on the couch, and allow myself to be lost in a book.

It isn’t balanced. It is messy. It is real. It feels “Alive.”

I don’t want balanced. I don’t want set routines. I want to allow for the unpredictable. I want a life that flows. I want to be excited about spending my energy in different ways…focusing more on some things and allowing others to wait their turn.

I want to allow space for the universe to create days where new people enter or new opportunities for growth appear. I want to  be surprised. I want to be in anticipation with excitement of what might happen. I don’t want to plan and control it all.

I want to allow for what really matters.

I want to not care about clean house or losing ten pounds and allow for the things that really matter, that feed my soul.

Some days will be inspiring and some days won’t.

But if you allow it, every day can be amazing in it’s own perfect way.

 

Power up in it all,

Lexlee

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