The internet is flooded with articles, discussions, suggestions and groups all promoting balance.
Balance for working people...to juggle their career and home life.
Balance for parents...to secure great relationships with their kids while fostering their time with their spouse.
Balance for teens...to develop extra-circular activities while excelling at academia to maximize their chances at getting into the best colleges.
The list goes on and on.
Everything must balance.
It is stressed to us that even our checkbooks and tires must balance!
But what if I suggested that balance is impossible?
Not just perfect balance, but even a moderate feeling or perception of balance in one's life?
Let me delve further...
The Fallacy Of Balance
Did you always know how to walk? Or speak?
Wasn't there a time in your life where your communication was out of balance with your need to communicate? Where your ability to maneuver and sustain yourself was out of balance with your need?
There had to be a season of growth before you could walk or comprehend language.
Nobody faulted you as a baby for not having balance - or perfection!
And so it is with the seasons around us. Plants are not in a state of balance where they are supporting fruiting blossoms and mature fruit throughout the year in every climate. Certain plants bloom at certain times and bear mature fruit at other times, plain and simple.
We do not experience a balance of temperatures and precipitation daily on any particular continent. Why to have freezing and boiling temperatures with sun and rain and snow every single day of the year would be chaos! To every time, there is a particular season.
Mammals, though they may be born in the wild able to stand and walk within a few minutes, still need time by their mother's side to develop instincts needed to insure their successful survival, yes? They need milk before they eat what the mother eats. Baby mammals are not born ready and able to then bear their own babies the very next day!
And even in far-flung space, we observe life cycles of galaxies and stars. No star is forming, giving light and dying all in one day, every day. There are dusty clusters indicating that matter is forming a planet or star. Steady twinkling through our microscopes shows us that a fully formed celestial element is fully formed and fully operating. Fantastic explosions and novas light up the sky as a star or planet dies and implodes. Millions of years go by in between each phase.
So why...WHY...do we think balance is an attainable goal in our lives?
Nothing is ever in perfect balance.
Not the garden, not a new baby and not us in our creative lives.
You will never achieve perfect balance.
And that is how it was always meant to be.
You are perfect in this human moment of imbalance - you are not a robot, but a creative person with times of growth and rest.
And when you enter a phase of growth in one creative area, you are allowed to not have to keep up every other area of your life with the same amount of intensity.
You are allowed to become obsessed with one creative venture while letting another facet of your creative life end or pause.
Maybe that makes you feel vulnerable...as if some will be disappointed because they have come to expect one creative facet of you to be the way in which they categorize you or define you. Maybe, you are known to your friends as 'the writer' in the group. You become anxious telling them that you have entered a new season where you are not a writer.
It's okay to feel anxious about that!
They might ask questions you don't immediately have the answer to. Or they might step back and seem to re-evaluate who you really are because of this seeming 'sudden' change. Allow them that moment. They are only human, as you are.
Stand up for this new chapter, this new season in your creative life. It's okay. You are the one who has to journey through your creative life, not them. True friends and family will respect that you're trying new things. Explain it that way. There are new things you are embracing and experiencing right now.
Nothing wrong with that!
But How Long Might This Season Last?
You may find that, once you have taken a break from a certain creative direction, that the hunger to pick it up again returns. Perhaps a month away from your brush will make you miss the canvas. Maybe six months without a pen in your hand will renew your passion for writing again.
It might not.
If you don't return to a certain creative outlet, know that it is okay. We are constantly evolving as people and sometimes, we really do find a more permanent calling through a temporary outlet. If you stop being a writer, give yourself permission. Don't feel guilty. If you no longer call yourself a sculptor, so be it. No child who ever tried the very first after school activity stuck with that 100% of the time, every time.
Didn't you try something in your pre-teen years that no longer serves who you are today? You don't beat yourself up for no longer being enraptured with a certain brand of toy or program. It was a season in your life.
Give yourself that same permission again now, as an adult.
Pack up the notebooks and stuff them away for a while. See if the feeling returns in a year. It is okay! Lend out the art supplies or the beads. Know you can celebrate a return to that outlet with a new set if the feeling returns in six months.
You are growing.
And that is a good thing!
You Are Still You
Embracing the mindset that you are always you and never any one skill or hobby is empowering. People like to categorize others, but deep inside, we know we are more than that. As long as we are in touch with what resonates most deeply with our spirit, we will feel more confident in stepping through to new seasons of our creative lives.
Enjoy the ebb and flow and don't worry about the perception of needing to balance!
What do you think?
Are you coming into a new season?
Feeling nervous about allowing yourself to change and grow?
Tweet me @aully1 - let's support each other in our individual journey!