Everyone seems so busy these days! It’s the new norm. According to scientific time studies, American women spend more hours working and parenting today than we did 50 years ago. And men are feeling the squeeze more too. We’re not making it up. We are busy! What’s the cost of all this busy? Maybe you feel depleted and adrift. You are always juggling multiple balls, shifting tasks from home care, to caring for others, to producing professional results, to planning the social calendar a week in advance, and so on.
Balance is the goal, right? We strive for work-life balance, balanced checkbook, balanced diets. Like it or not, if you are reading this, you probably live with the first world dilemma of unending choice.
Life rarely achieves a balanced equilibrium (and if it does, it doesn’t seem to last!) For me, and many of my clients, life is more multidimensional and dynamic than two opposing forces steadying each other. Striving for balance can sometimes feel like a defeating task where you are at the mercy of an overwhelming number of life circumstances and situations that just can’t be won. This is one manifestation of victim mentality: life is being done to you, and you have no control or efficacy. Not a very powerful or satisfying perspective. The bottom line is that we always have a choice.
Personal well-being is not a game that can be won. There is no finish line to eating healthily, nurturing supportive relationships, or connecting spiritually. . .self-care is, quintessentially, a life-long journey.
Which may be why many people (including me!) have so much resistance around prioritizing consistent action for a holistically healthy self. I like tasks I can cross off my list and projects that come to a celebratory end. But so much of life requires daily awareness, intention, and continuous innovation. How can you create sustainable, consistent health choices?
The socially accepted question when we meet new people is usually “so, what do you do?” Have you ever felt trapped by that question? Is what you do an open door to share yourself with the world? Or is it a frame that rigidly defines how you relate to, or express yourself.
Maybe sharing about what you do is a welcome invitation when things are going well: you’ve landed the job, or gotten the award. But none of us are winning awards every day! So what about the days when we’re in between jobs, or not liking our lives very much? In those moments, what you do is an utterly inadequate and frustrating expression of you.
‘Tis spring, the season when the bees get busy! I wonder if the bees feel stressed as they buzz from one flower to the next? Or do they feel motivated and inspired as they go about their important work? How about you? Are your days full of busy buzzing, but lack clear direction and a sense of purpose? Do you give and serve and do more because that seems to be what life requires? Or do you choose your life?
Do you want more from life?
Do you somehow make up that it is wrong to want more? More ease, more fulfillment, more connection, more adventure. . .
How loud is the voice in your head that asks “Why can’t I just be content with my pretty good life? Am I being selfish? Too big for my britches?”
Thank you for wanting more. I think wanting is a core attribute of being human. We desire. We dream. We want.
The day after the inauguration, women from all over the country journeyed together to take a stand for respect and human rights for all. In my small hometown, many dozens of women were up before the sun to board two buses headed to Washington D.C.
One bus was about two hours late arriving to pick up the expectant women (and children, and a few men). Fast forward about an hour and you’d see the same bus broken down on the side of the rushing highway.
Enter our everyday heroes.
These past months I have been fully immersed in a soul-searching process of re-invention, re-working, and re-aligning my coaching services to support my clients with improved clarity, boldness, and power. I began this phase of reinvention bright-eyed and full of inspiration. I felt an uneasy yet exciting sense of trepidation and courage embarking on an unknown quest for, what my intuition indicated, was a more authentic and effective way of supporting my clients. I took two figurative steps forward on my journey and ran smack into my good friend, RESISTANCE.
This summer, I am practicing the art of enjoying and celebrating the normal, everyday wonderfulness of my life.
As with most anything worth doing, this is a practice. I’ve never found the light switch that turns on and keeps on gratitude and bliss. Instead, I practice searching for the rays of light in my life.
For the past several months I’ve been working with a woman who left a prestigious job because she wanted to pursue a career that felt more meaningful to her. It was a big, scary choice, full of unknowns. Recently, the risks she took and the seeds she planted have started to bear fruit and it’s incredibly exciting and inspiring to witness. Not only is she finding success in her chosen path, but she loves the life and the life balance she has created too!