For the past month, I’ve been participating in a yoga challenge on Instagram. There’s a new pose every day, and the idea is to simply share of photo of you doing said pose. It’s been a fun little challenge, if for no other reason than because I really didn’t have any pictures of myself doing yoga, and now I do. I obviously love all kinds of yoga, or I wouldn’t have become a teacher. I love how strong it makes me feel, how connected and in touch with my own body. My favorite poses to learn and work on though are the balance poses, the ones my teachers affectionately referred to as the “party tricks” of yoga.
For one thing, they’re just super fun. More than that though, is that natural high you get after trying and trying, that moment when everything’s aligned, your body is just humming, and if even for just a second…… you balance.
That feeling is amazing.
And because life is one big interconnected circle, the same holds true for parenting. My biggest personal challenge for the entire 17+ years I’ve been a parent has been finding and maintaining balance. It’s the great question that no one else could answer for me….. how do I do it? How do I fix my alignment when its off? How do I balance being a present and involved mom to my kids, and a present and involved wife to my husband? How do I balance taking care of the kids, and the house, and life… and still have time for my own hobbies, my own professional or personal pursuits, my own self-care?
What I eventually realized (after a lot, a lot a lot, of stumbling followed by unproductive self-flagellation) is that you can’t have perfect balance all the time. Life doesn’t work like that. Life ebbs and flows in seasons. Sometimes one thing or person needs more or less of our attention than at other times. Equilibrium is found in the overall journey, but only through a million little ever-changing, in-the-moment decisions. Even now, just choosing to take the time to write this blog post means I’m not emptying the dishwasher, or answering any emails, or doing any conference planning.
And that’s okay! It absolutely has to be okay, because the alternative is to believe that I can do ALL the things, ALL the time, and to beat myself up if I don’t. And that’s really not acceptable to me. So for now, I write. I write with 100% of my being. And in 15 minutes or an hour when a sleepy little voice calls out, “Mama! Come!”, I’ll go to her with 100% of my being too. And the dance will continue. Some days humming along, as well orchestrated as a symphony…. and others an awkward limp, full of stops and starts and missteps, the saving grace being that there’s a new moment, a better moment, coming down the pike.
Much like finding balance in yoga, finding balance in life is an ongoing process. Sure, you learn some “tricks” along the way, things that make it easier, but there’s always more to learn. Always a need to up your game. Always a new trickier pose as it were. It’s a fluid, living organism, one you can only understand if you’re right there in the moment. Not worrying about tomorrow, not stressing about yesterday, but being right here. Right now. Breathing… Trusting…
Knowing that if you just stay with it, you’ll eventually have it. Those toes will eventually come off the ground,
and you’ll balance.