One of my favorite bloggers, Allie of The Journey Junkie, recently did a Facebook live feed about choosing a single word to set off 2017. I can think of lots of words I want to use to embody my intentions for this year: love, joy, hope, gratitude…I could go on. But I decided that for now I’d explore the word “balance.”
Balance is a funny thing. One day you can ROCK it, and the very next you can’t even remember what it means. They say that in yoga, how you feel and behave on the mat is a reflection of how you feel and behave in life. This could not be more true when it comes to balance.
There are days that I can stand on one leg indefinitely. There are also days that I topple over during every high lunge. Sometimes the only way I can nail Warrior III is with the help of my friend, the wall. Others I feel like I was born to live on one foot. So weird, right?
Maybe not. Balance off the mat is so totally similar! Let’s look at my day today. I worked hard, got caught up, but still made a point to walk away from the computer at lunchtime, chat with coworkers, and disconnect. After work, I met up with a friend passing through town for dinner. I missed yoga to do so, but I only see this person once a year or so, so it was totally worth it. Meal-wise, I also did ok. I had a bagel with peanut butter for breakfast (I will love carbs forever, so sue me. I refuse to feel guilty for eating a bagel.), some fake beef-crumbles with veggies for lunch, and an awesome arugula salad with olives for dinner. I’m totally impressed with myself, no lie.
Pretty balanced, right? Unlike yesterday, when I ate most of a bag of chips in the afternoon, ice cream (soy) straight from the carton standing over the sink, white carbs with pretty much every meal, and watched a good 3 hours of TV after a totally stressful day at work. Hmmmmmm. Yesterday was a day that Warrior III would face plant.
But part of living a balanced life is accepting that there will be good days and there will be bad. I’m cool with that, as long as the good ones truly balance the bad, meaning I’m going to need an excess of good. I think that’s doable. So let’s do the math- who are the key players in this game of tug-of-war? Let’s make a list, shall we?
Food. Everyone’s favorite balancing act. People always seem to equate my being vegan with being super healthy, and are wow’d by my willpower. I hate to burst that Liz-as-a-goddess-bubble, but here are some foods you may not know are vegan: Frito chips, Oreo cookies, most bread, most pasta, most french fries (those that are not fried in animal product oil), Ritz crackers….the list is long, dude. And there are vegan versions of everything out there: cheese, chicken nuggets, bacon, cream cheese….oh yes. So a vegan diet does not a skinny Liz make. Thus, a need for balance.
Exercise. I love me some yoga. But I know my body needs me to do cardio more regularly. (And by more, I mean any. at. all.) In all honesty, I need to do yoga more often, too. I sit at a desk all day long, and this 36 year old body’s metabolism is not getting any faster. I think a lot about getting up an hour earlier to do yoga, go for a walk, go downstairs to the beautiful gym that is IN MY BUILDING. I think. I have yet to do.
Relationships. I talk to my mom every day and I love that. I actually talk to all of my closest loved ones pretty regularly on the phone. However, I don’t really have any friends here in Florida, where I’ve lived the past 18 months. And sometimes a girl needs to grab a girlfriend for a coffee or a walk and just talk face to face.
Money. I don’t have it often. When I do I spend it quickly. There is zero balance here in my life, and life would be better if that changed.
I know I’m not alone on my quest for a more balanced existence. I think it’s a step in the right direction just to be putting some thought into the subject and putting it down on paper (did I just pat myself on the back for a job well done/begun? Yes, yes I did.). What other areas of your life are you seeking to balance?