Balance. Is there such a thing?

Photos of my boys COURTESY OF CHRIS NELSON

It's so unlike me to take this long of a break from my blog. But, like everybody, I sometimes lose motivation and "can't find the time". If time is ever of the essence, SADLY, my blog comes last. I love doing it so therefore I make it a priority but because of the holidays and the many demands of my other business, my creative brain, has been on hiatus. I usually have so many ideas seeping our my pours that I can't type fast enough to keep up with them. 

My boys have been living off of avocado and brown rice sushi rolls, kale chips, raw vegan ice cream, green smoothies, pasta with red sauce, cereal, and some steamed egg yolks for the past 2-3 weeks. Oh and I can't forget to mention the holiday junk that has somehow made it into their mouths. 

When things get crazy, I get less and less healthy. It's a vicious cycle but one we can all relate to. Am I wrong? 

I have spent the past few weeks cleaning up the holiday mess, taking care of my little silly kids, meanwhile trying to attend as many of the holiday functions as possible, and if there is any time left I have been helping a sick friend of mine.

So anyways, I have a few thoughts I'd like to share with everybody.

I feel like the word BALANCE has come up quite a bit these past few months. And I definitely have an opinion on this matter. 

There is a book in my bathroom right now, on the floor, by Matthew Kelly called Off Balance, getting beyond the work-life balance myth. I haven't read it yet but the title made something click inside my head. Like DUH! No wonder I haven't found it. 

I think there is this facade that we will someday actually find balance in our lives. Like there is a tipping point where suddenly, you're BALANCED!? As if "healthy" or "successful" people have it all figured out. And they somehow found the perfect balance in their lives. And that's why they are healthy or successful. 

And prior to having this "ahha" moment I think I was doing anything and everything to find this balance point. Where my life would be EASIER. Somehow I would find the perfect way of juggling babies, mommy hood, running a successful food business, writing for my blog, being a nice "wife" and having some ME time {with friends or yoga or walks on the beach} all the while making my mark on this planet - fulfilling my so-called purpose? Wait, really? Let me say that out loud…I thought I could actually balance those things? YEAH RIGHT. 

Well, this preconceived notion had me left feeling like a failure.  Because my life is so chaotic. I half ass every sector of my life. So nothing ever feels complete and perfect. Everything feels sort of lacking. 

And so somehow I am left with random expectations that I can't seem to live up to. Expectations that I made up in my head and keep me always feeling bad about myself. Doesn't sound very logical or smart, does it?

Well, what if I decided to not have those expectations. To accept that everyday will be chaos and there will always be hurdles and bumps in the road. Hey, now, I can come home and feel like I am NOT a failure. Like life is perfect in an imperfect way. Could it be that simple?

These past few weeks have been eye opening for me. After a super strong, enlightened, loving/caring, RAW VEGAN single mom friend of mine went to the hospital for basically anxiety/depression/stress, I realized that although finding that perfect balance is impossible, I see the value in not being too serious or focused on one thing, even if it is your passion or your faith or your job!  

A) We are too hard on ourselves. B) We see struggle as failure. C) We have a hard time seeing outside that bubble we live in. And finally D) There is an element of FEAR in everybody's goals. Afraid of screwing up. Or dying. Or not living life right. 

I know I wouldn't have any sort of sanity if I didn't have friends, family and loved ones who keep me AWAKE to the world outside of my everyday bubble. My everyday insanity. As a boss, as a mom, as a business owner, as a workaholic, as an athlete or even as a nun or priest, whatever it is your put all your energy into, all your dreams and your passions --- there needs to be something to balance it with. Like a quick reality check. 

Surrounding yourself with only those that seem perfect or are the SAME as you can be uplifting and reaffirming but can potentially be brining you down. 

When I live in my raw food or vegan bubble or even my bubble at home around my two kids, I can get very critical. I become obsessive and try and find perfection. And then once I hit that mark it's not perfect anymore. I constantly strive to be better. And therefore more critical and more FEARFUL. 

It's important to befriend those who are different. Those who aren't in your "bubble" per se because not only do they make you a stronger and wiser and more accepting person but those "healthy" relationships will bring us down to reality. Make us take a deep breath and realize we are OKAY. We are like everybody else, maybe even doing a better job in some areas of life. A natural dose of prozac. 

Once I step outside and talk to others, have a drink, a discussion or a meal with others, I see that I am not only doing a great job but others struggle with the same stuff. 

 

  • You mean my kids aren't the only ones that throw tantrums? Or bite?

 

I thought I was a bad mom, because the action is so bad I can't imagine others having this same problem?

 

  • I'm feeling bad that I literally wanted to either take 2 shots of tequila right now or throw my kids in their rooms for the entire night?

 

But, I also just reread an article about how toxic alcohol is and how it causes cancer. Now I feel bad about that. Real raw foodists and vegans don't drink alcohol. I'm failing at this health food thing.

 

  • We don't EAT sugar. 
  • My kids don't have time outs. 
  • I'm a bad parent if I don't take my child to the doctor when he has a fever. 
  • I won't have a babysitter because my child cries when we leave. I am abandoning him. 
  • I don't eat pasta. It's not raw. 
  • I am a VEGAN. 
  • I am a raw foodist. 
  • I am an entrepreneur.  
  • I created PUREmamas, I can't give my kids any junk or I'm a hypocrite.
  • There are so many starving children in the world and I just bought a pair of jimmy choos. 
  • I'm feeling bad that I ate cooked noodles with red sauce instead of spiralized zucchini.

 

I just read on a raw food blog today how bad pasta is because it's cooked. I know better. I have no self control or will power and I don't have time. But time is not an excuse. 

 

  • I do yoga. 
  • We are "green".
  • I am a good Christian, I don't do that. 
  • If I choose to do that I am not serving God. 
  • All these other companies are thriving right now. Doubling their business this year. I can't sit here and play with my kids, I need to be working. 

 

{note: these thoughts are random examples, not thoughts that go through my head or are true to my life}

Our thoughts can be destructive and mean, causing fear and instilling failure. Our thoughts become statements that start to define us and we suddenly need to fit into those roles that we gave ourselves. Mainly because we want to find meaning in our lives and we want to define ourselves and identify with a group or a purpose.

This is normal.

And this can be somewhat healthy. UNTIL it becomes an obsession and creates unrealistic expectations that we seem to need to live up to. It then instills failure into our brains. It can consume and control our every thought and action. 

Instead we should see ourselves as beings human and exactly as the SAME as those who seem so different. 

We NEED friends or acquaintances to remind us that we aren't bad or doing things wrong. We need friends and neighbors to laugh with. Life is just crazy and funny and perplexing. There is no RIGHT and no wrong. Right/Wrong is a matter of opinion and/or created by our own minds and traditions.

Not to mention, it's okay to screw up, to fall off your path. You only grow and learn from mistakes. And so we can look back and find perfection in all that went wrong because it will only make that next job better. 

Some of the most successful peopled "FAILED" like 10 time before they finally succeeded. 

Striving for perfection and living in a bubble can cause serious health problems. I don't care what you eat or drink everyday, if you're feeling imperfect, sad, anxious, upset all day everyday you can't reach optimal health and you'll eventually get sick anyways. 

Some of the heaviest drinkers and smokers never get cancer and live until they are 95. 

I often find that LAUGHTER is the best medicine of all. It keeps us mentally happy and sane. I don't want to say "F it" and not care about our planet anymore or not care about my health and children or goals and passions just because "we could die at any moment" but we definitely are too harsh on ourselves, our partners and children because of these expectations.

I often envy those that feel no guilt, have no empathy and never have to say sorry. I wish I could just brush everything off, move on when things aren't perfect and not care. I overly care about who I am, what I do and how I affect people. 

I read a book recently though that talks about LIFE and death in a very spiritual way. There is a section in there about parenting. I loved this chapter because it explained to me that we often try and protect our children, keep them from seeing things or doing things that might hurt them, either emotionally or physically. But in the end it's that protection that is actually hurting them. No child will ever grow to be an EMPATHETIC, enlightened, spiritual, deeply loving and understanding adult if they feel no pain. It's the pain in our lives here on earth that develop our souls in that way. It's our job to instruction them through those times and be there for them but not to prevent those events from happening. 

This post might seem scattered because I'm talking about a lot of things in one sitting but my point is, if we are going to try and find balance, I think we need to balance the obsessions and passions with some light heartedness. 

Leaving my kids behind with a loving adult and going out with my friends is the BEST prevention when it comes to being mentally stable and sane. It means I'm a good mom, to recognize that I NEED help. I need time to gather myself so I don't take it out on my children. 

If a glass of wine, as toxic as it might be for us, helps keep you sane and happy but doesn't control your life, PLEASE indulge.

Again, take all the vitamins you want to stay healthy but no vitamin will protect you from being hit by the vitamin truck. Is that how the saying goes?

Set goals you can REACH. That will bring you a sense of accomplishment. Focus on those things you DO do well. Just don't obsess. Afterall, we have enough people judging us everyday, why waste energy judging ourselves? Instead LAUGH about your flaws. Laugh about others' flaws.

LAUGH UNTIL YOUR STOMACH HURTS. 

Joy and laughter truly can prevent and reverse an unhappy self.