International Women's Day ~ what does #BalanceforBetter really mean?
Happy 2019 International Women's Day!
This year’s theme of #BalanceforBetter has me reflecting on the accomplishments of so many amazing women leaders, changing the conversation in boardrooms & on social media, and thinking “How are we creating #BalanceforBetter with our business, through the people we connect, and the products we create & curate?"
A panel event hosted by Park Integrative Health this week presented the #BalanceforBetter theme in a very unique light - they did not begin in the same context presented in general media & it did not evolve as a typical conversation about large corporate gender equality or work-place imbalance.
Perhaps this was because the amazing female panelists represent local entrepreneurs & thought leaders who have already broken through many of the barriers of gender to build their own business paradigms. They have worked to carefully create environments where men and women work together, in equal power, potential and capacity.
What they were left struggling with is an idea of #balance in the space where business and personal lives meet, or in facilitating this experience for their families, communities and their clients.
This very personal conversation was about creating harmony in the relationships we value most.
The idea of creating harmony touched on many other important themes: where do we focus our daily energy, what does being "busy" mean to us, why does guilt show up so frequently, how are we changing conversations, how do we help one another, how does social media support or diminish our efforts?
We heard thoughts about holding space for our families to grow, showing compassion for ourselves and others in the journey to achieve & lead & be successful, and how that requires honoring our process of learning & making mistakes. That setting boundaries and saying no to the things that are just not a priority is critical to navigating the many demands of family and business.
I was reminded of the words of Brené Brown: “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we may risk disappointing others”. We need to release the guilt about being & doing enough for our families, our teams, & ultimately ourselves.
So much strength can come from the vulnerability of admitting that we are all trying to make this work, with all the same constraints and concerns and daily struggles.
Balance is not a destination. It is a daily effort to create the space needed to feel joy & gratitude, to bring love to yourself & those you care for most. To communicate when adjustments need to occur so that harmony can be restored.
It’s found in the moments that make it all work: in long walks with friends and a family meal, & cuddling your kids before bed. It’s grocery shopping on-line and dry shampoo, inspirational podcasts on your way to work, late night deadlines, early morning yoga & a green Juice.
I hope that today’s reflection on the accomplishments of women, and the theme of #BalanceforBetter inspires you to seek the harmony you need in your life. May we celebrate the many incredible women that make it possible for us to do so.
A special thank you to Mandy Trapp, Dr Neeja Bakshi, Heather Gazley, Hannah Hamilton and the entire Park Integrative Health team for bringing these ideas to light.