Balance is a struggle. It's not always like those neat little pie graphs that lifestyle specialists share with us. I am
always amused by those graphs, as I think a more accurate depiction would be a bunch of hands reaching in and trying to pull pieces of the lifestyle "pie" away from center. Isn't that what life is like....constant pushes and pulls away from the balance we strive for? And the subsequent guilt we feel about not being able to balance it all? Feeling guilt as the kid's eat a Happy Meal, or you didn't make it to the gym today, or you are slacking on your new year's journaling resolution. Who are these people who can create this little utopia of wellness, live off kale and meditation, and can balance it all?!
When our staff met for 2015 to set goals for us as a practice, one of the words we felt strongly about building into our values was "sustainability". We wanted our clients and ourselves to find a way to work the type of wellness that works for them into their daily life in a manageable and sustainable way. Giving our clients a break from the guilt of "not doing enough" and finding peace in "today, I did something" is powerful and the foundation that true sustainability is built upon.
A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation about smoking a cigarette before a yoga class...to which my (fabulous) instructor said "it's better than having one without doing yoga". She was so right.
It has struck me that maybe balance isn't about doing everything, but balancing out what you do for yourself to be well and stay well with the things that we previously felt guilty for. Maybe you had a beer last night, but made sure to hit yoga in the morning. Maybe you haven't hit that journaling as hard as you want, but you treated yourself to a massage. Maybe you had that pizza last night, but found time to make it to Pilates today. Maybe you overslept and forgot all your coping skills for stress management, but called and opened up to a friend. Plan and build in what works for your life in a way you can succeed with, and make wellness manageable.
Let the wellness you do build in define you and find pride in what you can manage and sustain. Love the life you live. I, for one, will be at the beach today....and even though there is plenty else I could be doing, this is my balance.