Balance is Bullshit: Here’s Why

Everywhere you look these days, someone is preaching the need for balance. Imploring us to find balance in our lives: to eat healthily, but also eat doughnuts if we want. To exercise daily, but also not to move from the couch until the entire season is finished on Netflix. #balance

Seeing this overarching theme across all social media platforms can result in feelings of guilt or shame for those of us who have yet to find “balance” in our lives. I’m here to tell you something, babe. Balance is bullshit. Here’s why.

Balance literally means “a condition in which different elements are equal.” Keyword being equal. As a Libra whose symbol is the scale, I know a thing or two about “balance.” Up until a few years ago, my life was a constant rollercoaster of striving for equilibrium. And let me tell you, it’s fucking exhausting. Why? Because it’s unattainable.

To have balance in all aspects of your life implies that every aspect of your life is given an dating website free search rencontre en ligne en replay partnervermittlung nach australien click over here find more here are the findings what do you call the guy you're dating echte frauen im internet kennenlernen location espace rencontre annecy le vieux equal amount of time, focus, and effort. (In what world is that realistic?)

The people who are preaching and advocating for balance are not talking about balance. They are promoting glorified forms of moderation. I believe that what most try to convey by preaching balance is of sound, genuine intent — but because it is wrapped in a seriously misleading bow called “balance” it sends mixed signals to the receiver of the message.

The girl on Instagram who is telling you that she had celery juice for breakfast and a margarita at dinner, #balance — that’s bullshit. Is she having a margarita every time she eats dinner? Probably not. She is probably showing you one dinner where she gave herself some leniency to find moderation in her diet and have an alcoholic beverage. Remember, balance implies that elements are equal. One celery juice and one margarita per day would have a fair argument as balance (equal proportions) but this one margarita at dinner after a week or two of not having alcoholic beverages is simply a form of moderation. (For the record, I am totally on board with this babe’s message — drink the marg, girlfriend!)

The man on Facebook talking about not working while on a week-long vacation in Tulum, #balance — that’s bullshit. Balance would imply that for every week of work you are also taking a week of vacation to slow the fuck down and find some presence in your life. That is not the case in this scenario. Don’t get me wrong, if you need a week-long vacation — take it! (Seriously, vacations are NECESSARY!) But this isn’t balance. It is moderation. It is avoiding burnout.

Where we must place our focus + effort ebbs and flows depending on the season in which we find ourselves. There will be seasons of hustle. Seasons of rest. Seasons of relationship. Seasons of singleness. Seasons of feeling found. Seasons of feeling lost. Seasons of extreme joy. Seasons of extreme lows. Seasons of struggle as you climb the mountain. Seasons of accomplishment as you sit atop the mountain.

Instead of being so focused on balance (which is bullshit anyway), honor the season that you are in. Look for ways to incorporate more moderation in any aspect of your life (it doesn’t have to be everything at once). Maybe that’s saying yes to a glass of wine when you typically say no. Maybe it is accepting a social invitation for a night out on the town instead of working all weekend. Maybe it is recognizing that your body has been at rest for quite some time and it’s time to add movement into your routine.

There are people that can hustle and grind for six months straight with a focus solely on work. There are other people that must religiously carve out time for their family to feel grounded. It looks different for all of us. The real goal should be to not take our #goals so seriously that we forget to add in the things we want/need in moderation to avoid burn out.

The truth is, our lives operate on a spectrum. Think of the ocean tides, the currents fluctuate from high tide to low tide. There isn’t anything we can do to control that aside from riding the wave. Going with the flow. Embracing the tide (or season) that we currently face. We are allowed to fluctuate, as the tides do. We are allowed to live in seasons, as nature does.

You are allowed to want to bust your ass every damn day if that is your autonomous choice.

You are also allowed to want to rest and be still every damn day if that is your autonomous choice.

Don’t let anyone guilt you into living your life a different way, because it doesn’t match their flawed views of life in #balance.

Let’s stop idolizing the unattainable form of perfectionism that is #balance. Instead, let us give ourselves grace. Let us meet ourselves where we are at and find acceptance there.

Drink the margarita. Take the vacation. Or if you’d rather, keep your head down and get to fucking work! Balance is bullshit, babe.

If You Knew When You Would Die…

Earlier this week, one of my favorites yoga instructors, Jade Alectra, posted an Instastory of a book called, The Book of Questions. She had screenshot one of the questions inside of this book with a poll giving two options: yes or no, so you could give your answer.

The question? “If you were handed an envelope with the date of your death inside, and you knew you could do nothing to alter your fate, would you look?

Before you read on — answer the question for yourself.

In all transparency, I answered “no” on her poll. I wouldn’t look. I wouldn’t want to know. I wouldn’t want to live confined to a timeline, anxiously anticipating my own death. I wouldn’t want to live with a countdown of this-many-days-until-I’m-gone. Or so I thought.

The day after Jade posted this to her Instastory, she made an Instagram post about her answer to the question. In this post, she explained that her answer to the question was “yes” — and she explained why. She describes death as being “the deepest, quickest, clearest awakening from the bullshit you think matters.” She talks of how knowing the date of your death would keep you from the disillusionment of having all of the time in the world to complete the things you want to complete in this life. She speaks of treating the next year of her life as if it is the last year of her life— executing more and shifting more towards what matters. Jade also mentions an “imaginary wait pile” — to which she refers the place we put things that may be too daunting to attempt in the now. She talks of how dying without putting her book into the world pains her to even imagine.

This post ripped my heart wide open. It completely changed my answer. I have read the post over and over again. I, without a doubt, would look. I would want to see and know the date of my own death. It would allow me to put into perspective how much time I really have left to do the things I want to do. Buddha said, “The trouble is, you think you have time.” I think it is fair to say most of us are in this disillusioned, hopeful state that we will live until we are old and gray and our days may feel infinite as we peer down a long, imaginary road of 20, 30, 40, 50+ years left of life.

Reading Jade’s post, I was reminded of a phrase from Crazy Horse, the Sioux Lakota Indian leader.  He is remembered saying, “Hoka Hey, today is a good day to die!” to his Sioux Lakota tribe as they fought General Custer. Aubrey Marcus, human optimization expert and one of my favorite podcasters, speaks of “Hoka Hey” often. In one podcast episode, Aubrey talks about how he strives to live in a way that when his day to leave this earth comes, he will be able to say “Hoka Hey” and truly feel it is a good day to die; knowing he lived fully each day and did what he came to this Earth to do. He says before that day comes, there is still so much of his medicine that he needs to give to the world (by his medicine he is speaking of healing he can provide that he doesn’t want to take to the grave with him).

I’ll be honest, I am nowhere close to being able to comfortably say “Hoka hey, today is a good day to die.” There is so much that I still want to do in this life. This question really makes me think, “What in the hell am I waiting for?

What if am I going to my grave in one week? One month? One year? Five years? Twenty years? Having a “wait pile” a tall as the dreams I’ve dreamed? How can I continue to push things off and shove them into a dusty, dark corner in the back of my mind for “another time” that I know damn well may never come?

Ask yourself, if you were to die next year, would you be okay with not writing that book? Not telling that person you love them? Not taking that trip? Not leaving that job? Not marrying that person? Not moving to that city? Not taking that chance? Not chasing that dream?

If you knew you only had one year left… what would you do differently? Would you stop to watch more sunsets? Walk more slowly? Stop and smell the roses? Relish in those slow mornings with a hot cup of coffee? Eat that cupcake? Start that business? Create that podcast? Paint more? Feel more? Love more? Would you call your parents more? Spend more time with your friends?

If you knew you only had one year left… would you still care about expensive clothes? Or cars? Or Instagram followers? Would the opinions of other’s still carry so much weight? Would you still base your decision’s off of the expectations that other’s have placed on you? Or would you finally let your heart lead the way?

Now, let me ask you again — “If you were handed an envelope with the date of your death inside, and you knew you could do nothing to alter your fate, would you look?

5 Self-Development Books That Changed My Perspective on Life

I am a book-worm. I used to fly through fictional love stories like nobody’s business (I own 15 Nicholas Sparks books). As I have gotten older, I’ve strayed from the fictional genre and my heart fell in love with the personal development space. With personal development books, you’re learning and processing information that can help you transform your life with every page you turn. The key is being open to new perspectives, different thought processes, and being honest about how you can implement the new knowledge into your life.

I always share my current reads and love to recommend books that have deeply resonated with me. With 2019 underway, I know a lot of us (myself included) have goals that include bettering ourselves on some level. Knowing that, I thought this was a great time to share some of the books that I’ve read over the past few years that have drastically changed my perspective on life (for the better). These below list is in no particular order, I love them all. I have given a brief synopsis on the book and why I love it. 

The Four Agreements — Don Miguel Ruiz 

In The Four Agreements, Ruiz offer readers insight into a code of conduct — or rules to live by, based on ancient Toltec wisdom. This code of conduct is made up of only four singular rules that one can apply to life in order to lessen our own personal suffering and smash through self-limiting beliefs. The book is only 139 pages — so it’s a quick and easy read. I have read this book numerous times. The wisdom in it is worth revisiting over and over again. One of the biggest lessons I took away from this book was in The Second Agreement, “Don’t Take Anything Personally,” in which Ruiz reminds us that nothing others do is ever about *us.* This really helped me step away from internalizing other’s actions or letting how others treat me affect my self-worth.

The Desire Map — Danielle LaPorte 

With this book, LaPorte completely transformed how I look at and approach the goals I set for myself in this life. “You’re not chasing the goal, you’re chasing a feeling you hope reaching the goal will give you.” This book will teach you how to identify the feelings you want to have, which will in turn help you better identify what your goal really is. The best part? This book is also part WORKBOOK, to help you work through and better understand why the goals you have are the goals you have — and help you identify the feelings you’re really trying to achieve (in all aspects of life). I love putting pen to paper. It solidifies things for me and makes things feel much more real when it’s physically transferred from the thoughts in my mind and onto a tangible piece of paper.

The Untethered Soul — Michael A. Singer 

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself is a book that helps you identify and step away from egocentric thought processes and sit in the seat of consciousness in the mind. You will learn how to detach from your ego and live your life unattached. The biggest truth bomb that I took away from The Untethered Soul is that we cannot identify with our thoughts. We witness our thoughts. That inner voice is an annoying, chatter box roommate that with argue with itself into a black hole if we let it. Choosing to no longer identify with the thoughts crossing your mind will create a freedom in your life that will allow you to reach a higher level of consciousness. 

You Are a Badass — Jen Sincero 

You Are a Badass is one of the most relatable of all self-development books I have ever read. Jen Sincero is so grounded, down-to-earth, and real. In You Are a Badass, Sincero will teach you how to identify and demolish the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that put a limit on your life. And she does it by telling you true, relatable, real life stories of her own. As a recovering, self-proclaimed queen of self-sabotage — this book literally kicked my ass in the best way possible. Not only did I learn how to move away from those acts of self-sabotage, I also laughed and fully enjoyed myself reading this book.

Daring Greatly — Brené Brown 

Hands-down, Daring Greatly was the best book that I read in 2018. For a multitude of reasons, but mainly because it made me realize that, as someone who prides herself on being vulnerable, I learned that there are still many ways that I hide my insecurities and shy away from being vulnerable in certain aspects of my life. Was that uncomfortable? Yes. Was it needed to keep progressing and moving forward? Hell yes. In Daring Greatly, Brown discusses why vulnerability is a strength (and backs it up with her 12+ years of psychological research) and how it is a sign of courage and how it can cultivate stronger, deeper connections in life. In the book, she also navigates the subjects of shame, the “never enough” mindset, and how we can all dare greatly — by being vulnerable in the way we live, love, parent, and lead.

These books are just a few of my favorites — trust me, if I really sat down to build a comprehensive list it would up pretty lengthy, probably topping 20 books. And the best part? I still have many more to read — which means more books to share with you in the future! I sincerely hope that if you decide to dive in to one of these books that you come out the other side a better person.

What self-development books have you read that have changed your life? I am always looking for new books to add to my “must-read” list.

If you’re a bookworm like me, and enjoy self-development books, I would love to have you join my Life In Alignment Book Club ! Simply click the book club link and request to join the Facebook group. We are reading 1 book per month in 2019. The Life in Alignment Book Club community is growing and it would be an honor to get to know you on a more personal level as we read + grow together.

*Disclaimer: the links to these books are affiliate links. I make commission off of purchases from these links. I appreciate your support + greatly you for supporting me if you choose to purchase from these links.*