Some days I amaze myself, other days I eat hummus with a spoon and no pants. It’s all about that balance, right?
Wrong. What if I told you balance is a lie. It’s a false ideology that you are never going to achieve and actually may cause you more heartache than inspiration. Well, that’s dramatic. But parts of it really ring true so let me help you shift your perspective a bit.
I wrote this blog post last night and I woke up early sat on my couch with my essential oils and my crystals and pressed play on the Calm app for my meditation as I do almost every morning. Each day has a theme and today’s was “Sharpening your Saw” I always wrack my brain for what it could mean and then it’s always better than I expected. Oddly enough(you’ll laugh when you read the rest of this blog) the meditation was about balance. But the sharpening of the saw analogy is one I must share.
A woodcutter who was very busy cutting wood started with a very sharp saw. The more he cuts the more dull the blade becomes and the less efficient he is cutting wood. But he worries about stopping the process to sharpen the blade because he already has so much cutting to do. Little does he know stopping will actually maximize his efficiency and improve the process overall. She equated this to our self care practices. Often times we believe we don’t have time to exercise, meditate, go for walks or take a nice bubble bath. But stopping to “sharpen our saw” doesn’t waste time, it in fact allows us to have more energy for all our other responsibilities and relationships. It might seem like you are using your energy selfishly for self-care but truly it is the most beneficial thing we can tilt our time and energy into. Listening to this was eye-opening and reinforced the concept I am about to share with you.
About a year ago I read an article, by my beautiful and talented friend Hollie, about tilting. I understood this concept for myself but I never knew it had a name. Hollie explained, “Tilting prioritises making choices each day depending on what is going on in that moment.”
In today’s society, especially as a woman, it is depicted through movies, social media and pop culture that women are supposed to have it all together. You can easily be a loving mother, successful business woman, a sexy lover, social and fun friend and still make time for your #cleaneating and #hotyoga. Right?
You’re allowed to have that donut or 7 cocktails on the weekend because #balance. You work hard for that money so you should totally buy that overpriced designer handbag.
Do you see how this notion of balance quickly spirals out of control?? It becomes a justification for behavior we don’t necessarily enjoy doing and sometimes an excuse for abusing ourselves.
Balance shouldn’t be thrown out the window because in theory, I understand the good intentions. But thanks to my friend Hollie, I have leaned into this concept of tilting this past year. Everything in your life will not be perfectly balanced 100% of the time. You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once. There will be times in your life you need to prioritize your career and other times family must come first. Deadlines at work might mean less alone time with your spouse but that can’t become the norm- it must remain the exception in order for you to tilt into what matters most at the moment in life.
What I love about tilting is that you are fully present and engulfed in whatever it is that you’re doing. When you are being a lover– be a lover. Be joyful, sexy, considerate and nurturing. When it’s time to work– you better werrrkkk (Yeah , I went there.) Be focused, organized, driven and purposeful. The most liberating part about tilting is that it is based on what works for YOU and your personal path through life. Tilting is not one size fits all.
This is where the comparison game has to end. You can’t tilt and compare at the same time. If you’re titling into family time because a family member is ill, you’re getting married or you were blessed with a new baby– don’t waste your energy or time being jealous of your friend who is excelling in her career. All of the energy you use comparing your life to others can be better placed into tilting fully into your current endeavour whether that be backpacking Europe for 5 months or writing your dissertation. No one path is more difficult or exciting than another they are just unique and beautiful. You have to trust in the timing of your journey, the Universe knows exactly what it’s doing with you. And before all this “New Year, New You” sneaks up on you– I really want you to soak in this concept of tilting. It’s life-changing.
Balance can’t be used as an excuse to make crappy decisions. Balance isn’t a way to justify wasting your time or money on things you don’t really want or need. Balance is not a way to find happiness. Instead focus on tilting your energy daily even hourly, allow your life to flow in and out of stages, ebbs and flows, and highs and lows. The better you become at fully embracing each part of your life and who you are the less you will even think about “finding balance.”
Lead with things that bring you joy, true and genuine joy and fill your life up with more of those things. Trust your instinct, learn tender discipline and most of all have fun. Life is too short to hold yourself to impossible standards of beauty, success, health and discipline, and I promise it’s much happier on the other side. This time of year, tilt into what brings you joy. Mulled wine and donuts, holiday runs or fitness events, drinking cocktails with old friends or spending time with family. Tilting is not one size fits all. Tilt into YOUR life and your bliss. Flow with your path, put your energy into what matters most at the moment and have some blinking(love this British slang) FUN. Maybe one day instead of #balance we’ll be hashtaging #tilting, and then we’ll really know we’ve made it. In the New Year, I don’t want a new you or a new me I’m gonna focus on tilting my energy into what matters most at any given moment and enjoy the ride. Happy Holidays. xxx