Maintaining balance in your life is a common concern these days, usually posed as an issue of work/life balance. People who seek work/life balance often want to work less and have more time and energy for family or for other interests. However, I'd like to look at balance through a different lens.
At its core, I believe that maintaining "balance" means examining how fully we value and honor ourselves. And to fully value and honor ourselves, sometimes we need to take a stand. We already take stands for causes we believe in, we advocate for our children, and champion our friends as they go after their dreams. Yet sometimes we forget that the most important person to take a stand for is the one we greet daily in the bathroom mirror.
Taking a stand means different things to different people. Here are some examples:
These are big, life-altering examples. You also take a stand for yourself when you say, for example, "I'm not cooking dinner on Friday nights" or "From now on, I'm leaving work by 5:30pm" or "I'm for the first time committed to losing these 20 pounds".
Sometimes the stand you've taken may not be popular amongst those nearest and dearest to you. And sometimes, you'll feel everyone is cheering you on! Sometimes it's a little of both. In any case, you have stretched into unknown territory.
Tips for taking a stand:
When you take a stand for yourself, you contribute to the world in a bigger way than you could ever imagine. The ripple in the pond analogy fits: When you value yourself and what you need, you inspire others to do the same thing. What would the world be like if each of us took a stand?