Hanging In The Balance...

As much as I feel I'm continuing to learn and grow, I often still fall repeatedly short of feeling as though I am 100% evolving. Why is that? I've come to the conclusion that the balancing act does not disappear, does not get conquered or controlled. I feel that mid-way through, perhaps following the birth of my children, was when I really started to feel the constant pinch of always feeling pulled from all sides, always running out of time, and striving to get ahead. The concept of time didn't really kick in until my 40's, not REALLY. Now I feel two ways: either like a hamster on a wheel or in limbo holding my breath until the next project begins but rarely savoring the snatches of quiet moments in between. This is the new goal. Actually, it's an old one but maybe if I pretend it's new and unchartered territory I'll be more apt to finally and permanently adopt it. How to find the balance? How to achieve a sense of equanimity, equilibrium, and calm in the midst of daily overwhelming information, looming future concerns, and present random BS? The only way I know how to slide over to visit the other side of "balanced" is to steal it, be greedy, and even a bit selfish. When I feel the overwhelm, angst, and stress take over I sometimes have to literally talk to myself aloud. I reassure myself that it will all be alright, that the world will continue spinning even if I choose-for the moment-not to, and that taking pause will only make me and everyone I encounter better for it. With that in mind I stop. I push myself away from the table, grab a jacket and go outside, check myself onto a massage table or shut down my electronics to regain my…balance. It isn't an easy task but as necessary (or maybe more so) than staying "plugged in", meeting the deadline or making the bed. Sometimes we have to just stop and put the whole of our lives on a momentary pause. That time-out doesn't have to mean a week or even a year but we can all spare 10-30minutes to just slow down. So while you're setting your standards high to achieve, to get the writing done, make the meeting, and to always turn in nothing but your best work, don't forget yourself. Remember to visit the other side of the balance; to feed your spirit and soul with accountability in showing up for digesting it all, for peace, and for quiet. Demand the time to honor a need for balance in your life. It can only replenish and contribute in the best way to ALL of you. Becoming a monk may not be a part of the path but momentary mindfulness doesn't cost anything but can return with infinitely important dividends. Namaste artists and enjoy the balance!


1.  SURROUND YOURSELF with a ALL things creative. If you're a writer you need to write but you also need to read! It isn't easy I know because I struggle with this myself. Having two children under college age and a very busy traveling husband makes the element of TIME a constant challenge. However, it's a challenge worth making time for. If you're a dancer you must go to class and dance but you also need to experience what other dancers are doing. You must continually expose yourself to the larger creative world around you. When was the last time to visited a museum, went to hear a symphony, see a play or musical or walk into an art gallery? Try making a commitment to do one of these things once a week or even once a month! And there are a lot of things to do that are free or at a nominal cost, you just have to do a little research and sniff it out. Inspiration begets inspiration but it doesn't always show up at your front door. Go to it!

2.  THERE'S A REASON THEY'RE called "masters". Rembrandt, Tchaikovsky, Ellington, Shakespeare, and Ella were masters of their craft. We don't hear the word "craft" referred to so much anymore but guess what, the commitment that's needed to be the best at what you do hasn't changed. To be the best blogger, PR maven, or self-published author doesn't just happen. I still have moments when I want to just close my eyes, spin around three times, and wish for instant success but  then I open my eyes, sit down to do the work, post, and tweet. Did I mention "work"? The work is the only thing. Although it seems that international beauty guru Bethany Mota woke up one day and became an overnight sensation, don't be fooled. I guarantee you any amount of money that she'll tell you a story about making endless videos all by herself in her bedroom, for quite awhile before anyone even noticed her. But she did her work and she never gave up. The masters are tireless in their approach to the work. Find the individuals around you whom you most admire. who have been the most successful, and inspire you. Forget all of the people who only talk about what they want to do. Instead, attach yourself to those who are DOING IT or have done it. There are no shortcuts to greatness. The magic is work, work, work.

LEAVE YOUR COMFORT zone, by any means necessary!

It's so easy to coast, to meander, stay comfy, and cozy. Like Steven Pressfield talks about in his book The War of Art, Resistance is chomping at the bit and waiting for you to stay safe, cave in and give up. Do not go quietly but fight that urge to remain comfortable and complacent with everything you've got! It IS easier said than done but it is dire to becoming the very best of who you choose and need to be. We must constantly be pushing ourselves, reinventing, and surrendering to the uncomfortable in an effort to evolve, stay relevent, and ever creative. So gear up, put on that armor, and steel yourself for battle; whether to sit down and write, go back to the ballet barre, or make the daily posts. Do it consistently, passionately, and creatively to mold yourself into your own master!