Anna Maria Locke

The Truth About Balance

July 2015Anna LockeComment

It’s a warm Friday morning and I’m sitting in my camp chair in the corner of my tiny front porch, this little corner I call my “summer office,” trying to calm my brain and organize my thoughts.

Ever since I got back from Nashville and my first Coach Summit last Sunday night, I’ve been riding this non-stop adrenaline and endorphin fueled high and can’t seem to calm down.

I’ve even stopped drinking coffee this week, but I still feel like I’ve downed a triple shot espresso at all times. I’m trying my best to stay grounded, stay present, take deep breaths, and remind myself that I’m exactly where I need to be, and that there’s no rush to get everything done even though I’m so fired up and want to do all the things RIGHT NOW!

This is a 180 opposite to how I’ve felt the majority of this summer so far. To be honest, I’ve been feeling pretty lazy with Ben at home on summer break, and my motivation to grow my business and make things happen has been at an all time low until now. Well, after hanging out with my coaches, absorbing the ridiculously intense energy of 25,000 other highly successful and motivated people, and having our brains and hearts blown wide open, the motivation is officially back and I’m so excited and anxious to implement all the amazing ideas and training I soaked up last week. BUT the structure and routine is still out the window, especially since we’re also in the process of packing up our apartment to move next Thursday! Am I doomed to live an all-or-nothing life? I don’t know. I’m still determined to find a sense of balance within the chaos.

This entire summer has been such a whirlwind of travel and change and growth.

This is life.

The thing is, I like to feel in control. I’ve been working to get better at letting things go, but it’s hard at times like this.

Everyday I strive to find some level of balance. Work/life balance, healthy balance, family/biz balance, introvert/social balance, it’s a never ending quest especially if you tend to be an “all or nothing” person like me.

Do you struggle with balance too? I bet you do.

Sometimes it's about little things like trying to find the balance between the desire to have abs and the desire to eat ice cream. Sometimes it's bigger, like balancing a career with wanting to have children. We're constantly bombarded with messages about how we have choices, but we also have pressure to do it all and do it perfectly.

Have you ever stopped to think about if it’s actually possible to “achieve balance” in all areas of life?

Because I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the past year, especially since I quit my job and started working for myself.

It’s easy to throw the word around, but I think it’s really important to dig a little deeper into what we ACTUALLY need or want when we’re striving for any type of balance.

Does balance mean spending equal amounts of time or energy on every aspect of life? Nope. Because that would be impossible.

Life goes by in seasons, in cycles, in a never-ending wave of time and energy and highs and lows. Some seasons are for growth, and some are for withdrawal and renewal. Some are for lazy summer days, some are for busting your butt to hit milestones with your career.

The secret to feeling fulfilled is realizing that you can’t do it all, all at once, and you can’t freak out when some things that used to be a priority fall to the back burner.

My amazing mother-in-law Pat told me a great analogy once. She described life as a tapestry, and all the stories and people and events in your life are like different colored threads. Sometimes certain threads come to the forefront and create the picture, but the rest of the threads are still there, hidden behind the weave yet still a part of the cloth as a whole, waiting for their turn to come back to the forefront.

Last week, before I left for Nashville, I knew that this trip would be a turning point for my life and career, and I knew that my motivation and energy would return afterwards. So I let myself feel lazy and unmotivated guilt-free because I knew it was only a phase. Learning how to trust myself, acknowledge my feelings, and respond to my energy levels instead of trying to beat them into submission has been one of the biggest accomplishments this year.

Don’t force things that just need some time. The more aware we are of our bodies and energy, the more we surrender to the season or phase we’re in, the easier things start to fall into place without even trying. Don’t push through. Just let go.

I’m still working on my own personal definition of “balance,” but I think it goes something like this:

Balance is the active process of becoming emotionally resilient to the rollercoaster of life.

Balance is not something we can achieve or force or check off a to-do list. It's incredibly personal and involves developing an awareness of your body and what you need in the present moment to stay focused on what's really important.

Sometimes it's about waking up early to work out, and sometimes it's about staying up late to drink wine with a friend. Sometimes it's about being the best mother you can be to your kids, sometimes it's about focusing on yourself. We don't have to "do it all" to "have it all," but we do have the power to tune into our own needs and take control instead of letting the demands of life take the wheel.

One easy way to feel more balanced? Wake up 20 minutes early and journal or go for a walk BEFORE you check your email or rush off to work. Try it and let me know how it goes!

Feel all your feelings, high and low. Ride the waves. Trust yourself.

So yeah. It might not be "the" truth about balance, but it's my truth right now.

  • Do you struggle with balance?
  • What does it feel like to you?

xo Anna