The Journey of Finding Balance

Photo by Wanda Koch Photography

Finding balance. What that means to each of us is going to look and feel different. But what I do know is that when the chaos of my life finds a calm point, or anchors into stability, there tends to be this trickle-effect. And somehow, that balance seems to spread into the lives around me with joy and happiness.

You’re probably thinking, “easier said than done.” And for those of us who typically put other’s needs ahead of our own (that’s me!), it certainly can be a challenge.

Let’s take a step back and ask ourselves, “what happens if we put ourselves first? Are things going to fall apart?” I always used to think so. If I didn’t get everything checked off of my to-do list the world would end. I did this for the first eight years of owning my business. Eight years! 

In retrospect, I wouldn’t change anything. I learned a LOT during those years. It took me having my son six years ago to realize, “wait a minute – I’m going insane.  I have no time for me, no time to breathe, no time to clear my head. What am I doing?”

An image from the first photoshoot for Iron Butterfly Pilates.

One day I was asked, “what’s going to happen if you don’t get everything checked off that to-do list every day?”  I didn’t have a viable answer, truly.  Was the world going to stop if I didn’t return every email, go to the farmers market, and make homemade muffins for my son to have for breakfast the next morning?  Mom guilt, business guilt, wife guilt. But who was really judging me? No one, just myself. 

It’s taken me a long time, but that was the day I began to try and find balance – and I still work EVERY day to make that happen. It’s been a little over six years, and I’m still challenged by all of my to-do’s. So each day, I choose to create my balance, meaning, every morning I look at my daily schedule to see where I can find 30-60 minutes for me, and I reserve that time. I do not let anything interfere with that. Those 30-60 minutes are different each day depending upon what I need. Maybe it’s a run, a CrossFit workout, yoga, a manicure.

The biggest hump is working on and through the emotional guilt about taking time for me. And do you know what it’s done? I feel happier, have more patience with my kids, am a better mom, a better friend, a better wife. I care enough about me to make this happen.

Me and my two kids, Cooper and Chloe.

One of my favorite daily reads is Inc. Magazine for inspiration. I recently was reading an article about the the habits of highly successful people, and this quote stuck with me –

“People who accomplish the most in life don’t conduct themselves like everyone else. Generally, they wake early, are good at planning and take care of their physical and emotional health.”

How does this translate to your every day life? What’s one thing you could easily let go of or change in your daily routine that could help you find your own balance? You have to start somewhere, let today be that day. 

One of the easiest ways to organize your day is to ask, “what’s most important to you? What do you care most about?” If someone asked me it would be my family, myself, my business, and my friends. Your list is personal. “What would be the top of your caring list?” Once you’ve figured that out, this is the hardest part – let guilt go. 

If I have learned anything, it’s that life is fast and furious. Taking time to feel and care, to have gratitude every day makes life rewarding – it makes everything you do worth it. Importance in life is what YOU care about. None of us are perfect. We are all doing the very best we can every day. We care. We find life balance. We find the joy in all the small things. We have to. We are accomplished people making a difference in the lives we encounter every single day.