Balance is 🔑. It’s probably been one of my most challenging and life changing lessons so far.
I’ve been to the place where I did everything to the max all the time: my workouts, filling my schedule, & stretching myself in a million directions physically and emotionally. Let me be clear, what I am not referring to when I say “max” is living from my heart or living into my fullest expression or potential. What I am talking about is hustling to prove something to myself or someone else...hustling to prove I am enough and worthy of having the life I have essentially.
This was a place and a P A C E that led me straight to physical burn out, a hip injury and digestive issues that lasted over 6years. This was the place where I mentally lived in a whirlwind of being flaky, chaotic, and always feeling like I was trying to catch up. When I say catch up I mean catch up on my work but I also mean catch up to the I M A G I N A R Y line of “You’ve worked your @$$ off and now you’ve made it.”
I thought going to the max all the time was the only way to get things done. What I know now is that it really was never about getting things done. It was about attempting to satisfy my desperate emotional desire to feel like “enough”- fit enough, “can handle it all” enough, zen enough, yogi enough, good friend enough, dedicated family member enough, “Wow she does all that and doesn’t break a sweat” enough. This is the kind of energy that leads to
A N X I E T Y and panic from always running so hot.
On the flip side, I’ve also been to the place where everything was the opposite extreme and I had every excuse to not go anywhere near the edge or the max. The times where I’ve stopped having a consistent yoga practice, I’ve avoided meditation, I gave myself excuses out of workouts like “Oh I’m working on this other thing for work and I don’t have time,” & then eventually getting to the place of letting it go so long that it was straight up intimidating to jump back in to any sort of intensity. The final play my ego made on me(and sometimes still tries to make) was the “I’m giving myself permission to just B E right now, ok?!” & if you know me, you know my eyes are rolled back and you can hear the exact voice I’m saying that in to mock how sneaky this ego trick is.
If you practice yoga or you have done any work in the realm of personal development you know what I’m talking about when I call this a trick. Sometimes the tools we learn to save our lives and elevate our minds can be turned against us by the ego if we aren’t paying attention. For example, letting yourself off the hook for something you know in your heart you should totally be O N the hook for under the guides(in this scenario, excuse) of “I’m just gonna do me right now,” or “I’m honoring my truth” when you know damn well you’re making an excuse to actually avoid the truth or doing the work you need to do haha!
Now, I’m not talking about when I ACTUALLY needed time to myself, was actually working on a project that needed to take precedence or truly just needed to give myself permission to just be. I’m talking about getting so burnt out by living at the max that I turned into an excuse machine, sloth lady. On the flip side of anxiety, this kind of massive slow down or holding back is the kind of energy that eventually leads to D E P R E S S I O N if you’re there too long. Your body and mind thrive on the excitement of going to your edge and having new experiences.
What’s interesting is that I was actually equally unreliable, whirlwind-y, flaky, and exhausted in B O T H ways of being. Also not surprisingly, in both scenarios I was dying to feel like I was enough and worthy.
The moral of the story is, B A L A N C E! There is a time to put the blinders on & hustle, to work your butt off, to crush workouts, sit in meditation with rigor and discipline, and approach life like you’re going to kick it’s @$$ ...because you’re really onto something big. There is also a time to back off, skip the workout and take a bath or read, go for a walk outside instead of sitting in meditation, spend time with your friends you haven’t seen instead of going to your 6th yoga class of the week OR take the yoga class you’ve been skipping and pass on seeing the friends you see 3x a week...because you’re onto something big.
Balance is required for achieving the big things you are meant to achieve in this lifetime...yeah, Y O U. You will not find a truly healthy person that is living into their life's purpose or achieving big things that doesn’t have a daily mindfulness or "slow down" ritual to balance out the hustle of their day. Burnout is real and it hits fast. Mostly it comes when you’re not looking because it’s in the not looking(at the big picture) that we get pulled into the grind of hustling to prove our enough-ness or our worthiness as Brené Brown says. Who are you trying to prove something to? What are you really trying to achieve by living at the max all the time? What’s the feeling in your life that you’re craving and could it be achieved faster if you made balance the goal?
You want to live full on? Start by looking at how you can restore balance E V E R Y day.