Friday, April 15, 2011

Why Be Balanced

There are these moments in life when we find what we are passionate about. For some people it comes in flashes. For others it's sustained over longer periods of time. Long enough that they can see it, understand it, and grab hold. For me, it's always come in flashes. I've been passionate about something long enough to feel that overwhelming surge of emotion and attraction to it. Then my mind kicks in, and I lose everything. I lose the focus and the commitment to pursue it. That's what makes me different than other people who have just picked up and followed their passion. Mine come in moments.  
In college I had a professor (my favorite professor) who changed the way I thought about living my life. He challenged the idea that living a balanced life is more fulfilling than living a life full of passion. Why be balanced. It's boring. He insisted that it was much better to find something that you're truly passionate about. Instead of trying to be everything at the same time, he argued that it was better to be completely devoted to and infatuated with that one thing. 
Sometimes it has to be about taking the time, and taking those breaths to figure out what your passions are, what pulls you in one direction or the other, before you can move forward. You have to get in rhythm with what's important to you. Part of the journey for me is starting to do more things for myself. Yoga happens to be one of them. It's something I can do for myself and by myself. Something that forces me to stop, and in some cases listen to my body, in other cases listen to my mind.
Being able to soak in those small moments has made a huge change for me in the past few weeks. I can see new habits forming and new paths opening up. Yoga is about balance, but it's also about focus. Perhaps that's what I need to take from it. Focusing on my self, my thoughts, and eventually I'll be able to focus on my whole life. Maybe that's what we're supposed to do. Slow down and find the one thing that we're passionate about and focus on that. Pour all of ourselves into that one thing until there's nothing left to give.
Selima Optique Sunglasses, Chambray Shirt from The Gap, 
Trench from Anthropologie, High Waisted Seven Jeans, Booties from Anthropologie
Necklace from Clyde's Rebirth

I keep finding all these things in my life that I've missed before I ever knew I really needed them. I'm hopeful that everything will continue to come together and that somewhere along the way I'll start to feel that surge again and that pull towards something. I do want everything at the same time, I do want balance. But at the end of it, what I really want is passion. Passion that will give me something to be proud of, something to be in love with, and something to be fulfilled by. 
Photos by my friend Diana, Thanks D!
Have a great weekend everyone. I hope it's full of balance, or passion, or both. What do you think? Is it better to live a life steadied by balance or a life full of passion?



Kate said...

I love this post & these photos! I'm not 100% sure how I feel, but I think I lean towards the balanced side. I'm not sure why - I think it's a combination, and sometimes, to me, balance seems more 'real'than passion. Like that sometimes we get caught up & enthralled with things, we get excited and lose that sense of reality... and when we regain it, things come crashing down. I had a conversation with a friend once about relationships, and I admired the passion that he & his partner had... they were intense and so passionate about each other. But then they'd also fight and hate with that same passion, which resulted in a bad breakup. For me, the ideal situation is to love deeply... to feel deeply... but to stay steady & balanced as much as possible. Anyway, this is long & rambly, but you got me thinking! :)

megannielsen said...

I know what you mean - it's hard always following passion though - I think I swing more towards a mix of balance and passion :) how unhelpful was that?!
By the way, I love these photos of you, they are gorgeous and so thoughtful!

Hope Adela Pasztor said...

beautiful photos! i love the ruffled cardigan and boots! =)

Anonymous said...

That last photo of you is just beautiful. I never practiced yoga long enough to receive the calming and focusing effect I know that it can provide. I will say though that I knew my passion very early on (age 13) and have spent much of my adult life learning to protect that passion from so many other things that want to intrude upon it.

amy said...

The sorrow of life is built beneath our wings. If it weren't for sadness, and aching, we would never know summer.

One day, you'll arrive. Until then, embrace the journey my gem.

Smile, because you're beautiful.

hope to hear from you*
love amy ^.^

kristin said...

Great post! I have always been more of a 'balanced' kind of girl, but you make a lot of good points for the passion side of things too. Very interesting.

I love your hair!

Mancina said...

grest post! I had chincken skin, when reading it! Not that all the other post from you are not great, but his one is really special. Maybe couse i feel the same way...? Hope you are having great weekend, kisses Mancina

sara said...

so, this is the post you needed to step back and *think* about. it turned out well -- i hope you were able to say all that you wanted to say.

H said...

First off wonderful photos and such cute booties! Second I feel like you have struck a chord on my little heart strings. I don't think that I could have articulated any better the way I feel than how you have just described it now. I am trying to figure out what I should do and where I belong. Passion is something that I have but it is hard to commit and take a chance on something without knowing what will happen next.
I hope you find your passion and give it your all, I am trying to get a hold of mine.

SWF_Terra said...

So psyched you're finding what you need from yoga. An individual can receive so much from just an hour and a half of posing, stretching and clearing the mind.

I think it's possible to have passion with balance. I think it's possible to drown in passion. It's also possible to dry up from balance. I live my life riding a pendulum, swinging from passion to balance and back again. I love the feeling of calm that my steady times bring and the feeling of exhilaration those moments of passion bring. Each one makes the other so much more savory.

Anonymous said...

Oh I completely agree! Sort off. Haha see, I've been on this path of discovering my passions and noticed, that once I only pursued one, it woud drive me crazy, because I couldn't do another one. Everyone has forced me into thinking that the best way to handle things is to take "one thing" at a time. But, I always go back to the old days when creatives and artists were also mathematicians and dabbled in physics, all while having their hobbies. Most great minds are all about mixing and embracing those different moments of inspiration.

I read a book called the renesance soul. where people who often find they can't finish one thing to jump t another or are in that search of their true passions, like you said in "moments". :) I think you'd enjoy it. It tells you how easy it is to embrace that attitude and gain from it. How many different passions can be mixed into one to create a happy life! They have a website called "hoe to get" this really really helped me in my "do what I love plan".

Also, LOVELY OUTFIT! Hehe sorry that rambled on and on. I really could relate to this post. I'll keep reading ya!

Take care

Laurel said...

I'm pretty sure I can only sustain passions for eight years at a time. That's pretty good, but not great. It makes me scared about starting new things, but it doesn't stop me. You should just go with it--you never know which passion will last, right?

Sweet Laundry said...

That's a tough question you asked, and I guess I would say that I try to live my life with a combination of both balance and passion. For me, I think it's important to maintain a proper work/life balance, because I don't want one (especially the work part) to take over the other. My passion is usually directed towards the life part of the equation. It can definitely be applied to work, but I just work a job that doesn't require alot of me so that I can put all of my energy into enjoying my outside work life. That's where the passion thrives, in the extracurricular activities. It's different for everyone though, and I think yoga is a good way to figure it out.

As always, fantastic photos! The trench and the booties make a simple jeans and shirt combo more edgy. And I love the necklace!

I hope you're having a great weekend,

Caroline said...

I had the best yoga practice this morning it has left me feeling so calm and balanced that I know will carry through my day. Gorgeous photos! xo!

Becca [Free Honey] said...

I'm so with you on flashes of passion. My problem is that I really like ideas and new things. Once I get a project rolling it's really hard for me to stay motivated once it's no longer new. Sometimes I fall back in love with things over and over, or sometimes I have a fling and am completely over my passionate moment in a month. It all depends. Per yoga, I've always enjoyed yoga, but never had a regular yoga practice. I just couldn't get into it. If I'm going to spend a certain amount of time a week on health, i rather really sweat and run and push. But yoga is still nice once in a while. I've always wondered what I would find if I ever did hunker down and start doing regular yoga. I'm thinking of trying to add in a couple days of yoga a week next month and see what I see. I'd love to hear more about your yoga experience if you're open to sharing.

Tieka, Selective Potential said...

Oh these photos are SO lovely!! I lovee the last one. xoxo

Rebecca said...

That is such a pretty, classic outfit. I like the booties and the jacket.

Ruby Girl said...

lovely outfit. looks like comfy chic. as far as life goes, i tend to go for passionate balance or balanced passion :) <3

Annie said...

If you love these looks as much as I do go check out and put it in your virtual closet! You will love how easy it is to make your closet instantly fabulous!

kelsey said...

I would (and do!) live in outfits like this.

P.S. Your hair looks so amazing!

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