Balance is Not One Size Fits All

By Jacki Carr

I have been thinking about balance. My meaning of balance. What are all the things I actually have to balance in my life? How does balance feel? And the biggest question: am I actually in balance?

I find it can be an elusive, confusing and almost confronting word.BALANCE.

Balance looks different to every single person and how they operate their lives, what their values are, what their beliefs are. I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all balance. So, my personal definition of balance is a space within my mind and body where I feel stable and responsible for my actions.

Often times we are so wrapped up in asking if we have balance, we rarely take the time to define what the word means to us. We look at the proverbial Mr. and Mrs. Jones next door or on Instagram and borrow their definitions instead. It causes a lot of drama,  unnecessary comparing, and woe-is-me.

Here are my ways I explore balance in my life with my own definition:

1) I know what is most important to me, what matters to me, what fills my soul cup way up. Do you remember that vase analogy? You take a vase and you have sand, little rocks, and big rocks to place in the vase and a glass of water. The big rocks exemplify your priorities, the little rocks are more secondhand priorities on the to do list, and the sand is like little details and less priority. It goes like this: You put it all in starting with sand, then pebbles and big rocks, and you pour a glass of water and that vase runneth over. However, you start with big rocks, then little rocky pebbles, and then sand, and there is way more space and water fits in that vase. It is magic. Actually, it is science and spatial awareness. Are you putting those tiny, lower priority details first and living your most important priorities last on your list? Know what is important, I do this through aligning to my core values and knowing my vision and goals.

2) When we talk balance, we have to talk about TIME. So many of us are living with beliefs that go like this: “I never have the time.” “I am always late!” “Who has time for that?” “Where does the time go?” We live in reaction to time. My new belief with time is: “Time is on my side and we work together”. This is where I take responsibility for my language that creates the lens in which I see the world, in which I watch the clock and how I make it all happen. This is where I take responsibility for everything that goes on my calendar because I was the one who said YES to it.

3) I have a powerhouse group of people in my life that I have hand-selected and given permission to call me out, often. These people are on what I call my Board of Directors and they are the ones who reflect my actions when I am too deep in the details and perhaps way out of balance. Choose your people wisely, appoint them to your board, and pass out the permission slips for accountability.

4) I listen in to my own body.  I really practice listening to my body. I would say from my teens to mid-20s, I tuned out the channel that is called BODY. I listened to my mind, I compared myself to others, and I tried to prove, prove, prove. As I started to rebuild a relationship with my body and allow the sensations to speak to me, I found common themes that set off an alarm when I was out of balance. I urge you to listen in, even if you don’t want to. The awareness is where choice lives. And choice to say YES or NO is the key to balanced living.

5) Forgive faster. When it comes to balance, I have learned to forgive myself faster. The awareness creates choice, therefore forgiving yourself for going out of bounds and returning back to what really matters to you.

Your turn.

What does balance means to you?

Perhaps try on a new language twist, clarify your values, and make them your big rocks so you can forgive yourself much faster. Through this practice, we get to meet ourselves in the present moment and get responsible for our own balance.

Jacki Carr is a goal coach, writer, motivational speaker, and mama. She is the co-founder of Rock Your Bliss, a transformation company with a mission to bring your intentions to action. As a leader in transformation, Carr’s coaching style includes real, honest conversations and true connection to your most powerful and whole self. She has a Lightyear Leadership certification, a 200-hour yoga teacher certification, and Gems of Excellence Level 1 & 2 certifications. Carr has worked with companies such as Patagonia, lululemon and Nike on leadership and culture.

Hear from Carr live and personalized IAA members at the September Power Lunch! 11 a.m. Sept. 13 at the Marriott East. Details and register here.

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