Perhaps you’re one of the many wise, kind and generous women who are stuck in a daily life that feels ridiculously busy – you’re doing everything you’re ‘supposed to’, and yet, you feel a little empty and a lot exhausted.
We’ve heard time and again the ‘can women have it all?’ argument and discussion, and typically the two answers thrown out to us are either:
Yes, you can have it all but not at the same time
No you can’t have it all, at all.
In other words, we’ve not landed anywhere helpful. We’re still stuck in that painful and exhausting place of doing all the things, often because we feel we have no choice, and with no-one offering any real tangible answers.
We’ve been asking the wrong question all along though. We shouldn’t be asking ‘can’ we have it all or not – that’s like asking permission. And besides, we’re already there. We’re already ‘having it all’ – namely a family and some kind of paid work – whether we want it by choice or not.
What we need to know is this: what needs to change so that we can have it all but without the overwhelm?
How do you manage it all – split yourself into a dozen pieces to go around – and be healthy, happy and not dead-tired?
What IS the ‘all’ we’re supposed to be having anyway?
Doing it all is not the same thing as having it all, and yet that’s what having it all pretty much looks like for most of us. All the doing.
It’s widely acknowledged that working mothers have a ‘double shift’ – they do their shift at work and then come home to the second shift of raising children and managing a home because they’re still doing the lionshare of household work and childcare regardless and in-spite of the hours they do in paid work.
Then you try to fit in all the things you should be doing, like exercise, and the things you want to be doing, like seeing friends, and invariably you just end up overwhelmed, overloaded and over it.
It’s not sustainable – you can’t just keep going and going, doing all the things for all the people and leaving yourself out of the equation with an expectation that you’ll be OK.
When you’re so busy doing all the things, you rarely have time to stop and ask if what you’re doing is actually what you want to be doing, or even necessary.
Even less so do you have the time to be asking: what’s missing?
Or if you do think about it, it can all feel too hard and too complicated to untangle and find a different way.
So you just keep pedaling and looking for ways to ‘balance’ all of the doing in some kind of weekly schedule. You keep looking at how to fit it all in, trying your best and hoping you get around to everything and don’t miss anything significant.
Meanwhile your stress levels stay high, you worry about your health, and the alarm bells in the back of your mind become harder to ignore.
Balance was always a thorn in my side – a problem I couldn’t seem to solve – until I realised that balance had nothing to do with a daily or weekly schedule in which you tick things off a list or allocate equal amounts of time, but was actually an ongoing process of moving between extremes.
The seasons are in balance, but you spend a lot of time in one before taking half a year to reach the opposite – and balancing – season.
Life balance is the same. You go from one extreme to another and the goal isn’t about fitting everything into your schedule, but more about considering what you need in order to balance out an extreme.
When I stopped looking at how to fit everything in, and instead started thinking about how I felt and what I needed to balance out any extreme feelings, I began to more easily slip back to that grounded centre, and began to feel like my daily life was more in alignment with how I wanted it to be.
The extremes became less so – I wasn’t reaching the end of a line before I realised I needed to adjust – I began to adjust before I reached the extreme.
I was able to let go of many of the things that were weighing me down or chewing up time I could have been using to do something else.
I was no longer (mostly) feeling pulled and pushed from one obligation to the next. No longer feeling guilty about ‘shoulds’ I wasn’t meeting or didn’t want to do.
It meant I was able to look at my life and recognise there was much, much more to it than work and family and that taking a different approach – to live completely or feel whole – changed everything.
From the Intro
Take a moment to see how you can live completely
When you know you’re out of balance, and life isn’t quite the way you want it to be, but you’re not sure how to make it right, take a moment with The Complete Life Project planner.
This 105 page e-book is an opportunity for you to take a deep five into your life and how you can live it more completely.
Inside you’ll delve into the 10 elements of a complete life – family, love, fulfillment, health, movement, connection, creativity, white space, soul space, and self-growth.
You’ll be invited to contemplate some questions, identify your needs and define what truly matters to you.
So if you’re finding yourself overwhelmed or a little lost and the pieces of your life aren’t fitting, the planner can help you find what’s missing.
A peek inside
A deepdive into the 10 elements of a complete life
Download your copy now
The digital version is a PDF, instantly downloadable on purchase.