Why I've Stopped Seeking Balance
I've been seeking balance for a long time. Balance in all forms. Balance in my body, balance in my mind and more recently; balance between work and family. As a mom of little ones running a busy business, I am capable of feeling out of balance. Kids are off from school – not enough time to focus on my business. Business is busy – not adequate time to spend with family. I found myself chasing a sense of balance that eluded me. And because I'm a thinker and a doer, I attempted to think and plan my way to balance. That didn't work either.
Just for fun, lets dissect balance. Balance is static in nature. It refers to a moment in time. And in each moment in time, wherever our attention is, we can find balance. We can find balance if our attention is 100% in the moment wherever we are. This is hard. Have you ever seen me trying to finish up working at the studio while my 3 year old plays baseball with the crystal spheres or tries to pick-pocket the jewelry? So in a modern world, we are all monks without monasteries. We have busy lives that are constantly changing. Life situations happen so fast and they all compete with our attention. What then, do we do?
Instead of connecting with balance (which remember, is static in nature) – lets connect with the flow of our lives. Life flows – like a stream. My friend and Spiritual Teacher Selina Maitreya refers to our lives as our “life stream” and I love this because that is what life feels like. Sometimes the stream is straight and you can see whats coming, sometimes it curves a lot and what is ahead is a mystery. Historically, I'm one who's always trying to climb a tree to see whats ahead; but jeez, I realized that was taking up so much of my valuable energy. Now, instead, I find myself simply residing in the mystery.
How do I do that? Simply put, I am do-ing less and be-ing more.
Over the course of my day, as best as I can, I cultivate presence. I'm not in my phone (as much) when I am with my husband and children. I'm in the shower when I'm in the shower (not planning my day), I'm walking down the street seeing the trees, the bustling city and people rather than staring at my phone and/or daydreaming about whatever. It takes effort. My mind wanders and I really like to distract from the present moment by lurking on Facebook. And I do, but much, much less than I used to.
This takes effort at first and then it becomes more effortless. It becomes a pattern to notice thinking and then come back to the moment. Once I truly realized the ONLY place for me to reside in was the moment, it was a huge relief. When I find myself worrying – I come back to the moment and I am soothed. When I find myself planning – I come back to the moment and my shoulders soften. When I find myself staring into my phone when my child speaks to me, I turn it off and I am happier. She is happier. My life is happier this way.
So this is how I reside in the flow of my life stream. I simply reside in the present moment. This doesn't mean I am a passive participant in life; it just means I respond to life as it unfolds before me in the moment. I have goals and dreams and wants and desires; but I don't knock down doors to achieve them. I do the legwork and I set the stage and then trust that if an experience is useful for my spirit, it will happen.
Balance was about controlling my life. Flow is about experiencing my life.
So, I'm going with the flow.