70% of women feel out of balance, even Oprah said it’s the one thing she “craves”.
Balance, although the definition is different for every human being, is linked to where we place our focus and what we value. When we are focused more on tasks for others, we can become a bit of a martyr. If we focus mostly on the self, we can become somewhat a narcissist. Naturally, there should be a balance and a connection between ‘self’ and ‘others’, and often we see the connection, but can’t quite find the balance. It can definitely feel like a bit of a tango : the Martyr vs. the Mirror.
Of course, I believe we must focus on others. It is our human nature to want to nurture. We are here to serve, assist, teach, learn. The affect we have on others is profound, just by “being”. But if we muddle what it means to be focused on others, we can become a bit of a martyr doing everything for everyone else.
In martyrdom, there is a price. It tips the scales of balance so that all of a sudden you are running around finishing your kid’s homework, picking up donuts and coffee for the office meeting, planning the PTA fundraiser, ironing your husband’s clothes, taking care of your best pal’s dog while she’s on a cruise in the islands, and then one day you look in the mirror and can’t quite make out that face staring back at you.
You begin to feel more and more pressure to do it all, you begin to experience negative stress which leads to poor eating habits, lack of communication (or ANGRY communication- not sure which is worse on relationships?), your exercise routine completely takes back seat to the “to-do” list, and meanwhile the outside may be looking a bit unrecognizable, but the inside is even worse. And we wonder why increasing numbers of women are turning to a carton of haagen daz or even pharmaceutical solutions to just “feel better”?
So, on the flip side, we must also focus on ourselves. Self-development and growth is key to contributing to the world around us, and because we are visual beings, and impressions can be made within the first 30 seconds, we should also pay some attention to the outside. But, again, if we focus too much attention on the self, a whole slew of issues come our way.
Narcissism, vanity and ego are the demise of the spirit- the internal self that allows your purpose and passion to contribute to the world, to help others, to be a good listener, to teach people, and to learn. Ego and vanity squash those ideas telling you that you already know it all, you are smarter and more beautiful, and you certainly don’t need to listen to that spiritual rubbish because the world is cut-throat, and you have to do whatever it takes to beat out everyone else. Cattiness and the need to gossip thrive in an ego-driven woman.
Judgment also becomes second-nature, just like breathing, to a gal who is too focused on the self. She judges other people’s choice of shoes, cars, careers, lip gloss, hair style. She ranks herself against other women, and worst of all, she judges herself. She can never please herself, she is never good enough, so she constantly tries to compensate by overworking the outside.
The (dare I say?) Balanced Babe
Balance is an elusive state of being. So, when I say “balanced babe” I don’t mean the woman who appears to “have it all” or have all of her ducks in a row. Her ducks can be turned upside-down, but she still feels pretty darn good!
The balanced babe does her best, knows when to pull back, has a cookie sometimes and doesn’t care, she loves with her whole heart, she has a purpose and passion, she has faith, she splurges every now and then on a pocketbook, she fails sometimes but doesn’t let it stop her. The balanced babe gives to others, but also gives to herself, she takes time to nurture her body and spirit because she knows the healthier she is the better she will be at all of those responsibilities she has in her life. She’s not last on the totem pole, she knows when to say “no!” but is great at offering an alternative solution.
I also refer to balanced babes as “inspiristas”, women who have style from the inside-out. Their glow and beauty come naturally from within, and they surround themselves with supporters (positive people) so when their own light is a little dim (we ALL have off-days) they can reflect the glow of their friends and family, and use their energy to help lift themselves back up!!
Use a Different Scale
So, instead of running to the scale every morning to weigh yourself, try to weigh your “balance” between martyr and narcissist. Are you tipping too heavily to one side? If so, do one teeny-tiny thing to take a step towards the other side. Pretty soon, you’ll find that balanced babe within- remember, inside each of us is AN INSPIRISTA!!