The almighty experts who are trying to figure out how women can have it all tell us that above all, we must strive for balance. Better yet, draw a pie graph and label each slice with a different area of your life and give each slice a number from one to ten. Then work harder on the low numbers. I have news for these experts, girlfriend. The people who create these graph exercises are missing the fact that for each woman there are many, many levels of pies all stacked up, some thrown and some eaten. A woman can eat a pie and bake another one that matches it and no one will ever be the wiser. It’s just not so simple. After years of following expert advice like a good girl, why am I coming up facing the same struggle and beating myself up on top of it? I’ve given this some thought, done some intensive research, and am realizing there are a few things I have to say on the matter.
First of all, a woman striving for balance is like a cloud trying to maintain precipitation without ever raining. Women are not linear beings going from point A to point B in one straight, even, carefully drawn line. The women I know are messy, neat, beautiful, disheveled, passionate, irritable, sweet, generous, terrified, confident, completely neurotic, powerful, sexy, intimidated, anxious, boring, exciting, insecure, happy, depressed, on fire, and so very much more. In fact, every single one of these adjectives could describe one single woman at any given time. The women I have experienced who seem to have their lives in perfect balance on the outside are often lacking a certain internal fire, a spark in their eyes, and are often on antidepressants. Just sayin. I’m personally convinced that balance is something water finds, scales measure, and construction workers who aren’t in a messy hurry find with a level.
The single thing that has lit me up and given me a sense of ownership and creative power in my life has been pleasure as a practice, combined with an internal experience of the sacredness of all of life, wrapped up in the love of other women. There’s a certain knowing that goes womb-deep that women hold for each other, unspoken, palpable, and in a silent language “bone”. It’s something we just know in our bones, as ancient as our ancestral line. Just as men have a language, women have a sisterhood that we need around us to survive well and to take the dives into the mystery that only women sense. It’s wrapped up in shadows and pleasure, passionate creativity, loss and grieving, and seduction mixed with rolling laughter. For us to find our center, we truly do need the love and support of other women.
The experts have the right idea you know, that there’s something we need to steer ourselves towards our joyful fulfillment in this life, but it’s not a perfectly balanced pie. It’s more of a sacred agreement to honor our core knowing, and to do it much as we have been taught by our bodies, in messy, loud colors and soft hues of rising and reposing cycles. We are to honor, cherish, and nurture pleasure in utter defiance of a culture that repudiates it. I’m convinced that balance takes care of itself when we are true to ourselves, and that pies are for sharing, the more the better. We can go ahead and use the graph to lay out a plan, but if we make the graph more important than our sense of bone knowing when the body says no, we risk coming from a flat line and missing out on the sheer pleasure of being alive. A woman knows, but a place where she can be heard tiptoeing towards her core with tears and fire is the sacred, cyclical, ever-changing map towards her true desires and her passion. Let this be the new “balance”.
Tags: ancestors, balance, circle, experts, Goddess, having it all, inner joy, inner peace, knowing, life balance, meditation, pie, pie graph, red tent, relationship, sister, sisterhood, spirtuality, Women, women's empowerment