I was born into a family of harder workers. Laborers, caregivers, support staff. Being a good worker, getting the job done, doing the hard yakka (you might have to look up that Australian slang) was a badge of honor for my fam bam. Aussie battlers, getting by, scraping through. I was taught to work hard and keep busy was noble and to slack off or kick back was lazy and frowned upon. It taught me many things, I admired the true grit, the dedication to service. I understood what it meant to work hard for your money, to stick at it, to show up. But something plagued me from a very early age. Where was the freedom to create? Where was the space to soften into joy and beauty? And why was I wrong to desire that balance?
Capricorn Sun & Leo Moon; I came into this world screaming “you’re not the boss of me” I mean, sometimes I will let you think you are, but let’s be really clear about one thing, I am the boss of me. And there you have my most strongly held belief. What is yours? Self-awareness is everything in the pursuit of your own form of balance after all.
Without consciously realising it was my drive for equilibrium, I always perused movement as medicine and found release on the dancefloor. Music spirited me away from the intensity of constant striving at university and jobs. I was hungry for creative outlets, pursued spiritual practice and lived life wedged somewhere between workhorse and intuitive fairy. While I felt the constant push to succeed, work hard and achieve I was pulled into a vortex of colour and wonder, I allowed expression through dance, club culture and fashion despite the inbuilt resistance.
It’s no surprise that eventually, after much struggle to embrace who I truly was, the universe would gift me with a wildly creative hula hoop business. Of course, I jumped in head and heart first. In the throes of fresh and fanciful pursuits, I embraced the mantra that “if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life” but the truth is that I was working my arse off. The worker bee genes where fully activated and I was prepared to grind myself down and give everything I had for success and in the name of service. As you can imagine that only took me so far and the anguish I experienced in the midst of this fight kept me on a long, slow track to burn out city.
I remember once a woman I was running an event with said to me “you are a machine” referring to my work ethic and constant on the go energy. I felt it spark an immediate sense of pride for my internal worker archetype and a deep pain in the heart of my inner maiden shut out by the toughness, the hardened hands of my worker.
Balance. I needed it. Don’t we all?
Initially, I thought balance meant time management. Yes, I’ll manage time. Ha! The greatest joke of all to think that as mere mortals we have the power to manage time. And yet we struggle to become more productive, more efficient, better time managers embracing the myth that this will give us more freedom when really all it is doing is making us more machine-like. I was not yearning to be the perfect daughter of industrialization. I had fought furiously to extract myself from systems and constructs why was I wanting to wedge myself back in?
Big side note: I am not disrespecting strategies that help and guide us to create clarity in our day and freedom in our work but I am laughing at us trying to use machine-like thinking to curb human brilliance. That’s a whole other topic. Magical time mastery; shall we call it?
After much seeking, it dawned on me that balance was only going to be found by embracing polarities. Here let me explain:
Balance breathes through all areas of life. And while some might say that balance is a myth, I think it is why we continue to exist. We can’t have one without the other. It’s where we chose to allow our energy that causes imbalance or dysfunction.
Yin Yang Night Day Shiva Shakti Sun Moon Heads Tails Hot Cold
Take a moment to think about those opposites and then draw your mind’s eye to a sweet spot that exists between them. They might not be entirely equal at that sweet spot but they are in balance.
The next time you jump in the shower become aware of what you do. Do you turn the hot water on first, let it come to a steaming warmth and then slowly turning the cold tap on to master comfort. Do you blast both on at once and dance around under the water for a few minutes looking for a soothing temperature. Do you spend your entire shower adjusting, assessing, feeling into shifts and changes in your body? Do you jump in and out and take no notice. Are you an all cold then all hot kind of risk taker? All of these options are the ways we seek balance. I am guessing you have had some pretty incredible showers when you have found that magical moment between the extremes of hot and cold.
Let’s take a moment to put a sweet layer of polarity over our business or any part of life and imagine that it has two sides, each side is distinctly unique from the other but also seductively compatible, they love to intertwine but first, they must understand how to do so. Let’s overlay the polarities of masculine energy and feminine energy.
What do you sense or feel when I say feminine energy?
intuition nurturing healing expressive wise sensual flexible patient
What do you think of when I say masculine energy?
logic reason action survival loyalty adventurous strengths
I’m not talking about gender, I don’t mean male or female. I am referring to masculine energy and feminine energy. It exists in us all and in every element of life.
Think I need to mention that I am not about siding with either end of the spectrum, I deem all of these qualities to be wildly valuable, my real work is about dancing in the beautiful meeting point of the two and I truly believe that alchemy resides in the harmonizing of these polarities. So let’s see if we can use this masculine and feminine overlay to reognise balance in our business or life.
I want you to think of a project or part of your business or life that you have been working on recently. Something you have been creating, maybe there is a sense of ease in this creation or maybe there is a sense of struggle. Just take a moment to think of an example.
Let your mind wander to your answers to these questions.
How did you come up with this idea, project or business? Did you daydream it up? Did you intuitively feel into it? Or did you see it as the next logical step on your journey?
How have you spent time planning this idea, project or business? Is the plan very loose, very flexible, allowing new things to come up as they will? Or is your plan very set in stone, logical and systematic?
Again remember there is no right or wrong. If you feel yourself leaning into a certain sense of negativity towards one way of doing things just allow yourself the opportunity to see how bringing more of that it might be a valuable way to embrace balance in times of imbalance.
Why are you pursuing this project, business or part of your life? Is it because it feels expressive and healing? Or is it supporting you in other ways? Is it a matter of survival or is it providing stability?
Does your example feel soft, playful and sensual? Or is it more adventurous and perhaps chaotic?
Are you committed to this idea, project, business because it feels expressive and in some ways healing for you? Or do you have very strong connections to it, you feel loyal and bonded to it for powerful reasons?
I think we can find balance in everything we do if we become more conscious of how we are intertwining the energies within us, with those around us and the way we chose to work and live. We need to be more aware of our extremes in the way we work and create. When one energy overrides the other, which it is prone to do when we allow it, then we butt heads with overwhelm, confusion, anxiety, imbalances; then we are left picking up the pieces and clawing our way back to equality of the energies.
So how do we maintain that sense of balance? We recognize that balance is not about being in a perfect middle point between 2 parts feminine and 2 parts masculine. We understand that it is like the hot and cold shower, we probably have to continue to adjust time and time again to keep it at a temperature that feels the best. That we can, by choice, bring in more expression, flexibility and play if we are feeling like the masculine is taking over. Or that there is no shame in laying out a clear plan, embracing some structure and enjoying systems for more clarity when the shakti is having her way with us.
Balance is not a target that we reach and then stop, but it is also not a myth.
So I invite you to move through your week feeling into how you can allow a sweet dance to happen more often between masculine and feminine energies int he way you work, play, create and live.