Off the Mat with Debi Grilo: Balance v. Workability

I had someone ask me if I could create a workshop on living a balanced life. I answered, “Sure,” but internally I was thinking, “Are you serious? I have no balance. I don’t even know what that would look like.” There is a lot of talk about creating balance. It is a buzzword that many people use when considering a job vs. family vs. social life vs. exercise, etc.… Instead of asking, “Do I have balance?” we need to be asking, “Is this working?” or “Isn’t this working?”

Many people and cultures have ideas of what a “balanced” life looks like. When we notice that our lives do not fit in to the societal norms, we begin to make the lives we are leading wrong. We have friends and family tell us things like, “You need some me time,” “You shouldn’t work so much,” “You should work more,” or “You should make more time for this or that.” Then we leave these conversations feeling like we have something we need to fix.

For some people, working 70 hours a week works. They are fulfilled by their work, and it creates a sense of accomplishment that moves them towards their goals. They enjoy their work environment and really would not choose to be anywhere else. Then there are the people for whom this choice would not work. They would be neglecting their other responsibilities and feel overwhelmed by the time commitment. This does not make this situation wrong or the person wrong. It is just simply that this situation does not work for this individual.

This is really no different than how we practice yoga. When we are on our mats, we potentially can be misaligned in all poses. There is not a “one-size-fits-all” verbal cue. Adjusting our poses so that they are aligned requires the practitioner to tune into what is working and what is not working. Then we adjust accordingly, based on what works for our practice.

If you sense that something is not working in your life, then take an inventory. Ask yourself, “Is this working or not?” Be as specific as possible. Remember that you are the only one who can determine this; what works will be unique to your life, and it can shift as circumstances shift. When you choose what works, you will show up more powerfully. The more powerful you are, the more your life will work for you.

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