I was going through my notes, looking for ideas of what to post when I found a journal entry that I wrote about keeping life balance in equilibrium nearly a year ago. I am posting it today because it is just as fitting now as it was the day I wrote it. The main difference is that now my daughter is an unbelievably amazing bike rider. I hope you enjoy the reading and glean something good from it.
As I am immersed in this dynamic of growing my business, also know as, too much to do and not enough time, I am struggling with keeping balance in my life. Balance between spending time with my family, investing time in growing my Movement Coaching business and investing time in myself. Sometimes the juggle gets to be too much and I start to get a little nutty. My poor family and I keep getting nuttier the further we go along, I am afraid.
I was having these thoughts while attending an Open Day recently at John Polley’s Be Free; Movement, Lifestyle and Wellness Studio, where I am a Movement Coach. A colleague of mine, Jeremy Watkins, a Performance Transformation Coach, spoke about this balancing life act that we all do. He very aptly re-framed the ubiquitous balancing act as keeping life in “Equilibrium” rather than in “Balance”.
The point I take from Jeremy’s talk is that keeping life in “balance” implies that you are balancing 2 things on a scale, “work and “life”, and are trying to keep the weight of them even. Well, first of all, who the hell only has 2 things to worry about? I think we all have a whole heaping lot of sh** to worry about, don’t you? Not to negate how important my work is to me; but LIFE, quality of LIFE, aka; family life, personal life, creative life, inspiring life, living life is a heck of a lot larger than work life.
Okay, so maybe Life really isn’t a balancing act as much as it is trying to find equilibrium between all of the elements and forces that are involved. Rather than thinking of life as a choice between one thing or the other, or having to moderate one aspect of your life in order to allow the other aspect to thrive, think of life as flowing in equilibrium with equal give and take.
What is Equilibrium?
For kicks and grins I have included a few scientific definitions of equilibrium below. I have a science degree, so I tend to gravitate towards the chemistry definition of equilibrium, which can be described as:
I have had a little exposure to physics too, so I’ll include these definitions as well.
A condition of balance among forces acting within or upon a body or material system such that there is no change in the state of rest or motion of the system.
A state of balance produced by the counteraction of two or more forces; equipoise.
But I also like these definitions of equilibrium found at www.swirk.com.
Static equilibrium is achieved when objects do not move. Objects do not move when the sum of the forces acting on them is zero.
Motion equilibrium means continuing motion with the same speed and direction.
The idea is to allow or enable the forces and dynamics of the many elements in your life to flow evenly back and forth so that they are in equipoise or equal distribution.
So what about this pressure that I feel ALL OF THE TIME to get things done? I need to be growing my business, studying, observing, planning, admin stuff, social media stuff, feeding the family, keeping the house livable, taking care of myself, investing in my community…AGH! But at the same time being torn with the earnest desire to be PRESENT and INVOLVED with my family when I am with them and making time to be with them. Not just being there in the room, but being in the moment. Engaging with them and appreciating that they are the people who are most precious to me and that above all, they are my absolute priority.
I have a strong desire to be fully focused and present with my family. I know that you do too. We all need to have work = family = personal time in equilibrium, so that the forces flow back and forth evenly. Unfortunately the daily stress of trying to juggle it all can become overwhelming and cloud our clarity for how to best accomplish that. Franca Carrera, our Health Coach at Be Free; Movement, Lifestyle and Wellness, helps her clients find equilibrium by encouraging them to open and listen to their hearts. Her coaching has helped me to be able to listen to the quiet heartfelt voice inside me that all too often gets drowned out by the steady drum of everything else.
Having an outside perspective from a trusted source can go a long way towards helping you keep equilibrium. John Polley, JP, my lovely friend and mentor at Be Free, is similarly invaluable in his calm introspective guidance and talent for helping me to clarify and prioritise my vision of what I want to achieve; so that I can see the rainbows through the sometimes dense dark clouds.
So your equilibrium should ideally allow for relaxed family time without the distraction of worrying about the busy-ness stuff that needs to be done. Because let’s face it, no matter how much you get done, there will always be more that needs to be done. Am I right?
Having equilibrium sounds like it flows effortlessly, but it can require a conscious effort. If you put in the effort, the rewards that come back to you are tenfold. For instance, when my daughter was finally ready to try riding her bicycle with the pedals on, I was damn sure gonna be there. I wasn’t going to miss it for the world.
To train for this great event, we took the pedals off of her bike and let her ride it as a balance bike. A few times a week for about 6 months, she would “ride” her bike to school and back while I walked with her. It was a great strategy. She was able to develop her balance and steering without the added stress of having to learn how to pedal at the same time. She learned at her own pace and pretty much sorted it out herself without a lot of interruptions from her parents.
Gratefully, her appreciation of Motion Equilibrium and Static Equilibrium on the bike was able to develop without having to pay her gravity bill too much, if you know what I mean.
To her cautious credit, she was actually physically ready to try riding with the pedals on long before she was mentally ready. But we waited and supported her and let her build up her confidence. Until just a few weeks before Christmas, she did it. She got up her courage and rode that bike like it was nothing. She smoked it!
Watching her generate her motion equilibrium while maintaining her balance and her mental equipoise was a shear thrill. Her Father and I were so proud and it was exhilarating to see her absolutely beaming! I loved being there and being present for those moments. I am grateful that being able to have the flow of equilibrium in my life enabled me to help her learn about finding and maintaining equilibrium in her motion and balance.
So now, when she says to me, “Mommy, can I ride my bike to school today?” I say, “Yes, Honey, you can ride your bike.” Even though it means that we have to leave a little earlier and that after dropping her off, I have to race home to get in the car and hurry to get to work on time. As a proud Mom who wants her child to develop and challenge herself and have a flow of elements in her life, how can I say, ”No”?
As I continue on this crazy, busy, business owning, Movement Coaching, being a Mom, being a Wife, and being Me roundabout, let’s hope that it stays in a dynamic equilibrium and doesn’t become a static one!