Our guest blogger Tara Mestre who shared her story of Living the Dream – Packing it all in and moving to Spain talks about mastering the art of balance as a busy mother, creative worker and yogi.
It’s funny how life can happen sometimes. I usually find that when I spend all of my time and energy striving and focusing on one particular goal, it moves further away out of my reach, becomes virtually unattainable thus making me strive more and inadvertently stress more, making me doubt myself and and question why I haven’t achieved it yet. This can be a pretty frustrating cycle to get trapped in but I think it’s more common than we realise.
As time has been going by and since embarking on our little adventure, I’ve had lots of goals that I’ve wanted to achieve. I want to be a good mother to my son, a loving and caring girlfriend, a productive and creative worker, and someone who indulges their interests and keeps on top of hobbies, friends and frolics. This is a lot to try and juggle, trust me and I’ve found that the key to maintaining this juggling act is balance.
Balance can be quite tricky, literally! If you’ve ever practiced yoga then you’ve probably come across some balancing poses like tree pose, dancer pose and eagle pose where balance is key. When practicing these, your mind needs to be focused on the task at hand. If you try to think about what you want to cook for dinner you usually end up flat on your face. The important thing to realise here is to focus on the task, not the outcome…so you may still end up flat on your face but if you kept your mind focused then it’s just a case of practicing your balance, it’s a physical aspect that can be improved on.
I try to apply this principle to my life and my juggling career. I used to be the type of person who focused on everything at once, and wanted to excel in every aspect of my life which of course meant I went nowhere fast, got frustrated and never seemed to get the balance right. I would just frantically run around trying to achieve all of these things and flounder and fall and despair at my inability to succeed.
Now, I try to focus on one thing at a time. I don’t expect to excel or get it right, that doesn’t matter. I just focus on the task at hand and you know what happens? I get it right (most of the time) and what’s even more surprising I enjoy myself.
When I’m with my son, my phone is off, no emails can filter through. Work tara is paused, mama Tara is here. When I’m at work I’m completely focused on what I’m doing. This may occasionally mean locking myself in our van with the lights on wrapped in a sleeping bag because its freezing at the moment while the boys play indoors next to the fire but the point is I allow myself the time to focus on the task at hand. I don’t allow any of my other tasks to leak into the other. This may sound like it might be a logistical nightmare and surely I need to be super organised to make sure I do all my tasks and stick to my timings however the way I approach it is by being fluid with my time. I try not to set myself rigid time constraints that I know are unachievable. Basically I allow life to happen and take into consideration that some days, things just don’t work out the way you planned them to.
I listen to my gut, my intuition and this is what guides me every day. When I wake up if circumstances allow and I’m feeling motivated and productive with regards to my work I jump on my laptop and work efficiently for a fraction of the time that I used when I forced myself to do it because it was my allotted time. The same applies to time with Ben and Sol. If it’s sunny (or even if it’s not) I’ll suggest a walk on the beach, lunch or an adventure and we’ll spend time as a family. If I find myself with some time to spare ( which is becoming more and more frequent nowadays) I do some yoga, I connect, I sit still. The point is I allow my feelings and my heart to guide my decisions and not the other way round.
I manage to be the mother, the girlfriend, the worker and the seeker all at once, sometimes all in one day, but without trying to control it all, it flows, it just comes to me.
I’m aware that not everyone reading this lives in a van and works for themselves. But just like I’ve said before, don’t let your circumstances restrict you or dictate who you are. Listen to what your heart is saying to you when you first wake up in the morning, take note of what your mind drifts off to when you are bored at your desk, notice how your body likes to move, become aware of what your last thoughts are when you drift off to sleep at night.. these are all little guides, subtle signs that you actually know exactly what you want and what’s best for you. All you need to do is take a little time to listen to them and trust yourself enough to go with it.
This new way of being has me feeling nourished on every level. I’m no longer berating myself for my lack of goal scoring. Yes sometimes I fall flat on my face, but I just pick myself up again, focus my mind and try again. I am focusing on me and not focusing on what has to be done and by doing that it starts with me and moves outwards. You can never really go wrong when you take the time to listen to your heart and let it guide you.
We all have that beacon of light inside of us, it just gets drowned out sometimes by all the goals and achievements we set up for ourselves, but I really do think that if you just start with your heart all the rest falls into place and sometimes the most unexpected things happen which can turn out to be the most amazing experiences of our lives.
About Tara Mestre
Tara is an aspiring yogi and freelance wellness travel consultant living in Spain.