Yoga - yes. Balance - no. And that's how I want it.

Am I living fully?

I think about it while on conference calls, while on my mat, while walking to work, while boarding a plane, while writing, while eating, while laying on the couch wasting time with Benson and Stabler on Law and Order: SVU. 

I find that these thoughts eventually lead me towards the concept of balance.

I hate the term work/life balance. I always have. And I hear about it A LOT. Do you have it? Don't you want it? Aren't you TRYING to have some balance?

Life is a constant state of flux - which is of course, to say, a move towards balance. But work/life balance, as it is thrown around, implies that it is something to be achieved - an end state. An exact tipping of the scale in a way that perfection stares you in the face: I love my job! I love my marriage! I love yoga! I help others! I love myself! I eat well! For my friends with kids - you should be an awesome parent all the time, too!


I call bullshit on that. Big time.

Have you ever tried to hold tree pose for an hour? How about 24 hours? That is what achieving so-called perfect balance in work and life and all of the other amazing things we ask ourselves to do would be like.

24 hours of Tree Pose...or boundaries and blending?

I don't know about you, but I would definitely not be able to hold the pose for hours on end, and it would be a really bad idea for my joints.

I choose against this notion of prescribed balance - in favor of boundaries and blend.

Surprising for a yogi? Maybe.

Boundaries - because ultimately, there are lines to be drawn. We need to know what is most important to us - and protect it. Perhaps it is time with spouses or kids, leaving work by 6pm, no blackberrying on Saturday, or getting to a class twice a week. Maybe it is as simple as having one meal a week without distraction. And if we want people to respect our boundaries - we need to share our boundaries with them - and try to honor and respect theirs. Boundaries are a responsibility - an active choice.

Blend - because our life is not a compartmentalized storage unit of experience. Work bleeds into play, and back again. We are learning and living, failing and succeeding - we are a whole mess of things meeting in the middle. Blending lets my mat be part of my day job, and it allows my work to be a part of what I bring to the mat. I don't want peace only in one place. I want it to take over. And while I don't want to work my life away, I do need the structure, and skills, and discipline that it brings to my world.

Blending allows me to be human - to spill out the different parts of me into real living, and figure out how to piece (peace?) my life together.

I'm still going to worry about balance when I'm on the mat. I'm not giving up on tree pose.

But I never said I wanted perfect. I never said I wanted everything all at once.

The question was: Am I living fully?

I hope so.