Over the past couple weeks I have found myself having conversations about balance with a few different people which led me to this post. We are all constantly looking for it or trying to achieve the perfect balance between the things that make up our life. Finding balance between being healthy and indulging, between being a hermit and being social, between reading and watching tv, between meditating and blaring music as loud as you can and just dancing it out, between anything and everything.
We all know life takes balance but getting the balance right is the struggle. When is too much too much and not enough not enough?
In fact someone today was talking about a family who lives what we would all perceive as an ‘alternative lifestyle and by that they mean that this family very much lives a natural minimalist life. They grow their own food, use plants as medicine, and are genuinely connecting with the earth in ways so many of us don’t do. Obviously we aren’t all just going to up and move to a sustainable farm and leave our cable and wi-fi behind but that’s where the balance comes in. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and a lot of people think that it has to be.
I stopped eating meat regularly in May of 2014 (I eventually stopped all together) and while it ‘s easy for me because I don’t really like meat a lot of people give me the weird side eye like, “uh how are you existing without eating meat? “ To which I like to say because you don’t have to eat meat at every single meal and in fact you might find if you try and it’s actually pretty easy and delicious to not do it. It doesn’t mean you have to give it up completely if you don’t want to. Again, balance. Your body and the planet will thank you for going without meat a few times a week. You don’t have to be a full on vegan to enjoy a meal that doesn’t have any animal products or by-products what so ever. Even I struggle to find a happy medium between being vegan and vegetarian. In fact I just started telling people I eat as much of a plant based diet as possible, which is true. I get the “are you a vegan” question a lot because I make a lot of vegan meals but I’m not. I just try and eliminate as much animal product as I can though.
That’s just one example because it’s been one that I have talked about lately but literally everything in our life takes balance. Love, family, goals, expectations, emotions, everything. Without balance it’s too easy to let things get skewed one way or another. That’s when things can turn into bad habits, or unhealthy. That’s when too much does become too much and you might find yourself swimming in the deep end without a way to the middle.
There’s never going to be a perfect answer or a perfect way to balance everything. There’s not a scientific formula that will tell you how much you need of this and how much you need of that. Mostly because balance isn’t a one size fits all thing. What works for me might not work for you and vise versa. We can’t create balance for one another, only for ourselves. I want to keep trying to create it for myself though. I want to connect with the things that speak to me and that I enjoy and find the other side of them and then be able to meet in the middle. I don’t want to be defined by only one side of each spectrum. I want to find harmony and fluidity that leads to balance.
In the meantime though, I know I said it’s not a one size fits all but, if anyone does happen to come up with the perfect scientific formula for the perfect balance between eating cupcakes and eating kale then let me know because that’s the kind of important science I am here for.