Balance Isn't a Thing

You are enough. You do enough.

Many days – shoot – many times a day, I doubt this. I want to do more, be more places, practice more, write more, read more, teach more, be more. More, more, more.

But in the back of my head, I hear this little voice that whispers, “You are doing enough. You are enough.” But I forget. Many days, many times a day.

I balance a full time career in event marketing and public relations, being a student, running my own business, helping my husband with his, being a wife, a daughter and a friend, and, of course, teaching. Each and every day I think, “If only I had more time to do [insert activity], I’d be a better [teacher, wife, colleague, student, person].”

I start running through scenarios where I’m a full time teacher, where I’m the most dedicated student, where I’m the most put together wife, and in my ideal world, if just one thing would give a little, I’d have it all. Because that’s how it works right?

But here’s what I believe. True balance, an equal division of effort between all parts of your life, isn’t a real thing. It simply can’t be. We often equate effort to a percentage. Can you give 100% of yourself to your craft, to your career and to your family? That’s 300%… 200% more than you really have.

And if you were to give 33.3% equally to your craft, career and family, that means you get exactly 8 hours in a day to focus on the task at hand. 24 hours. No sleep, no resting, just pure excursion of 100% of your energy. Not real life, right?

I know I’m being extreme, but this idea of balance – equal effort to all things – needs to give a little. One week I can rock out my practice, feet and hands on the mat every day. Then the next week I need to give 75% to my day job, so perhaps I don’t give 75% of my energy towards planning my classes (*gasp*) (because 75% + 75%  > 100%).

With that, however, I start to feel extreme guilt and hear the soundtrack of “not enough, not enough, not enough” play. So I’m trying to call it quits on guilting myself and, rather than trying to do it all, allowing myself to focus fully on what I am doing. I’m no less of a teacher, a student, a person because I can’t dedicate 300% of myself in a given day. But I better make damn sure that the energy I’m giving is committed, engaged and present.

As a teacher, I think it’s important to remember this not only in reference to our students but also for ourselves. Even though yoga encourages us to slow down and find balance, let’s be realistic about what balance looks like these days.