If someone says to me, “You’re too busy, it’s not a balanced life,” one more time, I am going to…go get another massage. The day they are feeling just as in love with their lives as I am, then maybe I’ll listen.
Check this out: When you’re doing something you love so much that you could do it all day for free, when what you’re doing fills your soul and jazzes you up like nothing else matters so that you can stay up all night AND be super pleasant to be around, when creative ideas are flowing through your being and you can implement them one after another but not fast enough, you kinda don’t want a “balanced” life. Because the life you’re living is kicking ass.
My most creative periods have had me up till 5am – happily! Or I multitask and forget to go to yoga. Or I am so excited about what I’m creating that I eat pizza two days in a row and have expensive italian food delivered to my door - with a bottle of Chianti thank you very much – because I don’t want to go to the grocery store. Yes, even though gluten makes me feel bloated.
And you know what? When I launch that product or have that special call, I see others light up because of coming into contact what I’ve created. They set out into the world to make a difference, they live their lives on their own terms, they create their dreams. They are TURNED ON. Then, and ONLY then, can I rest. Seriously!
Guess what else? I KNOW this is the case with the entrepreneurs and other creatives out there that I know. Maybe not all, but lots (perhaps even most). Lots of happy ones, with fulfilling lives. My friend, Frederick Schilling, who created the wildly successful organic chocolate company Dagoba, says, “Passion is the fuel for doing the undoable.” Danielle LaPorte, author of The Fire Starter Sessions and one of my fave mentors, loves to quote David Whyte: “The antidote to exhaustion isn’t rest. It’s wholeheartedness.” She goes at it full-on, then unplugs from everything for a month at a time. And yes, she has a kid. My own personal business coach, Christine Kane, works joyfully for weeks – even weekends – then takes a month off (and she does this several times a year). My friend and coach Andrea Owen just spent weeks totally immersed, and cranked out a kick as Self Love Revolution program and then took a week off away from her family (gasp!). She has two kids. Maybe three. Not sure. (I point out the kids because not having a kid myself, I am often reminded how much is “not possible” once you have a kid).
Are we manic? No. We are inspired. It doesn’t mean we don’t get massages or acupuncture or have coaches that help us through the wild ride. It doesn’t mean we don’t hire people to help us do the things we don’t want to do like mow the lawn or fold the laundry. It doesn’t mean we don’t create special time for kids in our lives, or for our partners. It just looks different.
For me, I follow those wild times with not writing a single work item for a month, or not creating another product or training call for MONTHS, or sleeping in and waking up sipping tea and rocking in my hammock, or traveling to Africa and not having anywhere to plug in my iPhone for weeks. It is balanced…eventually. Just not the way lots of peeps think it “should” look.
So, perhaps I can rephrase: Balance is bullshit when you expect it to look like an 8 hour day, 8 hours of sleep, a session of sex and three meals a day and 30 minutes of cardio and 1 hour of yoga for everyone. That certainly works for some! It is also perhaps a balance of time, but what about a balance of energy – YOUR energy style?
Personally, I prefer the all-nighters of sex, then sleeping in, cranking out a program segment over the next 3 days, then going into the wilderness for awhile and sweating and having backcountry sex; Making green drinks every day with huge crunchy salads for lunch and organic yummies for dinner for a week or two, then having pizza and PBR and whiskey and staying up until 4am. I prefer days and days of creation, then lounging in my hammock and having hammock sex at lunchtime (see a theme?) and watching three movies in a row. I prefer forgetting to eat until its 2am and I’m starving and there’s nothing open to have anything delivered (see another theme here?) so I bake my frozen shoestring french fries and top them with leftover shredded parmesan and garlic salt. And maybe an egg. Then I make a green drink in the morning and practice yoga for an hour and a half. I love that feeling when I have created what I wanted, and then I sleep the deepest slumber and wake up psyched for what will show up next.
Find YOUR balance. How do you groove? Don’t spend so much energy balancing time. Balance your energy. Go with YOUR flow. (Hint - The the only caveat: if you’re ornery, you are likely not balanced. Ask me how I know ;)
You need to know when you’re at your peak and what type of work you need to do at your peak…It’s basically figuring out those times where you’re really creative, or really productive, or really energized, depending on how you want to look at it, and finding all that high leverage stuff, and doing it during those times, not trying to push those things when you’re tired.” ~ Charlie Gilkey (another inspired creative)