Oscar Wilde once said “Everything in Moderation, even Moderation” In this letter to the Moksha Modo studio director family, Co Founder Jess Robertson shares her take on
Welcoming a little Imbalance or Just Getting ‘Er Done as part of realistic Work-Life Balance.
Hi sweet Sangha,
It’s great to be back from maternity leave! I have two kids, how crazy is that?! Being back, the love of my girls, and chats with many of you have me thinking about –
I remember having just read the book the E-myth in 2003. Myself, Deena and Ted (my co-studio directors) were the epitome of an E-myth nightmare! We divided time instead of tasks (horrible I know) and as the main sweat equity director, in the place of dependable systems, was the sure-to-lead-to-burn-out answer to everyone’s studio question: ‘call Jess!’
One of my ethical business heros was GrassRoots Store founder, and Ted’s wise older brother Rob Grand. I was chatting with him one day having finally E-myth’d it up. The studio had systems and they were helping! I wasn’t receiving as many late-night and early morning calls on my cell. I was sleeping more and seeing friends. I was seeing the balance in work life balance! Yet on this day I was lamenting to Rob that a Broadview Street sound (Toronto) had woken me up and I was suddenly flush with 1am brilliance. I had ideas to help student ailments, the perfect newsletter words to address studio etiquette issues without singling anyone out and really coming from the heart. I was remembering calls I needed to make. …Had I moved the plumber to my priority list? I was on fire! And yet… I was trying to sleep!! So I just lay awake, beating myself up for not being the balanced entrepreneur.
Rob’s a tall guy. He looked down at me and said in his low calm voice,
“Yeah, sometimes I just get up and do a few hours of work when that happens. I’m so efficient in the middle of the night.” “What?! Is that allowed?
But what about the work life balance” I thought incredulously.
But as my life partner Eyal recently reminded me – sometimes a poignant word from a trusted friend is better than any book or google scholar research article. If Rob did it, that was good enough fo me.
Sometimes, life can be imbalanced (like at the holidays). We’re juggling the studio to-dos, parties, baking, gifts and gratitude cards to teachers, in-studio helpers, fellow owners, babysitters, kids teachers, business partners and more. Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day. Sometimes you just get out of bed late-night and write a letter that you care about, as I’m doing right now. It’s rare but I do it, and I’ve stopped beating myself up about it.
Cycles in the effort needed for spiritual and community growth is a reality reflected everywhere in nature – the waves, the seasons, the growth of a fruit tree. Imbalance gives rise to balance.
Balance can arrive from noting imbalance.
Sometimes imbalance is an early dawn work session. Sometimes imbalance lasts for a week. Sometimes it lasts for a year (1st year of owning a studio or first year as a parent come to mind!). And instead of resisting, and judging ourselves about not being balanced, we can give in,
get ‘er done
and then commit to a
return to calm with the same vigor we brought to the busy time.
I’m coming clean that I have not found a perfect work-life balance. And I’m finding that pretty perfect. Finding balance is a process, not an event.
I was reading about sports endurance a few years ago (I think it was from Vega founder Brendan Brazier). It stuck with me that endurance improves when we are relaxed and happy while simultaneously working at a high performance level. It’s similar to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s fantastic book Flow. The great thing about my ‘work’ is that I hang out with people that inspire me – like you guys, and the Moksha Modo International team. The studios are magnets for alternative, creative, original minds and I have met so many dear and lasting friends from being a teacher and studio director. For me, having so many friends at ‘work’ helps with balance because I’m happy. Studios are families and in this way our ‘jobs’ are different. For me this is a help when the work gets imbalanced, because we can have fun together even when we’re busy yogins.
So let’s keep this work-life balance open as an ongoing topic. I wish you all a fun, adventurous, productive and perfect new year with
peace and balance
woven into it all.
With love, Jess
…Note as a note to blog readers. Thanks for visiting our blog! It’s pretty brand new so we’d love to follow our Live to Learn pillar and hear your thoughts on finding a work life balance.