‘Tis the Season | Flow and Why Work-Life Balance Is So Last Year?
Iva: Welcome to this week's episode of The Mompreneurs Guide to Work-Life Harmony, it's Iva and Desiree and we are your hosts for today. We're going to get started in this episode talking about something that brought us to our direction on what to name our podcast, and that is the name harmony.
Desiree: Yeah, that was a cue work-life harmony. Harmony is, I felt such a more encompassing word when we started off as mompreneurs. I don't know how you felt Iva but I was like, What are you talking about with the balance, work-life balance. Nothing in my life feels balanced at the moment. I have so much to do with the household, I have my kid running around and that I want to spend, ample time with, where is the space for me growing my business? Then my husband comes home, and we want to spend quality time together. I felt extremely overwhelmed. And to be honest, I finished the day fairly frustrated. Most of the nights because I felt, okay, one thing always came a little bit short.
There was no balance. And I remember when we were discussing that at one point and what to call our podcast right? If it's like work-life balance. I was like, that word ‘balance’ just always I associated with frustration. So I was like, what, what about harmony? Because I feel I need to be in harmony. I went through a major mindset shift, when I got to that point and to saying, I have to accept the fact that my life is just not balanced anymore. That's it, something will always be a little bit, and will come, will come in a little bit short. But at the end of the day what makes me happy.
Iva: Well, and what you said is that work life balance feels like in like a moving target. You can never aim, no matter how much you try, or how much you think you were prepared for it. And it does feel like you're chasing the end of the rainbow, in a way.
Desiree: I like that description.
Iva: Yes, it also felt like that description. Yes, because it's, we are living in a society where work life balance, probably has, has come to be too overused. And also it has become a utopia of sorts where everybody is very, very busy chasing it, but nobody really knows how to finally grasp it, and how to finally enjoy it. So, so it feels, also to me, that it's a tit for tat. In terms of when you're talking about work-life balance. Like, they both need to be evenly distributed, and how you achieve that, then becomes this big confusion. Because we are not able, on, on being alive, and knowing that everything is moving, everything is ever changing to say, well, it's equal parts this with equal parts of that.
And then, I mean balanced, right? It's 50-50 of sorts. So because we're not able to do that. I guess that's the frustration that we all feel when maybe we hear the word or the term work-life balance being tossed around. Because we don't really understand what it is. Is it a recipe? Is it, you know, as I was saying, is it a mixture of equal parts? Or how does it come about? And when you mentioned that you had come up with the word ‘harmony’, instead, as the as part of the name for our podcast, to me, a light went off. A light went off because harmony has a completely different level of emotion to it. I don't know if you feel the same way. But harmony is more a being in sync with what is, regardless of what that is, is at the end of the day. Regardless of whether it's good or bad. It's more like you're rolling with it, you're more, you're more likely to be rolling with the punches, or we're flowing with whatever the direction of the day, happens to be in that moment. So, I was also looking into the dictionary, just to really understand what is the unified meaning of the word harmony. And I came across this, this definition. So one is: “The quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole”. The second one is: “The state of being in agreement, or concord”. And the last one is: “The pleasing arrangement of parts.” And when I read those and we were also exchanging comments about it, it just resonated even more.
Desiree: I really resonated with that as well and that was because there's one, one thing. When I was working the corporate job and I didn't have any kids yet. I mean you have all the time, you have time, that you are for the main part, able to divide on your up on your own, right? Not much is gonna come in between that, if you're outside of work and you say: “Okay I have this, this, this to do” you can. You can make it happen. I mean there's always factors, but let's not get into that. But once you have kids, all of these unpredictable factors come in, the needs of tiny human beings, but also the needs of, you know, running a household at the same time, of having a husband that you need to take care of, no not take care of, but you know what I mean. But it's like all of these things and then your own business…
Iva: Well to take care of your relationship.
Desiree:of your relationship. Exactly. And then, of your growing business, which at the at the beginning, I went into a job, I did my job and then I left that job. But being an entrepreneur, it kind of never stops and we are also entrepreneurs in an international setting with different time zones and that's not that we can necessarily hit pause or hit stop for the day at a certain time because there's different time differences involved. That's especially how I feel at the moment. So it's really quite difficult.
And I had an example the other day, where I was really, again, it's all about these mindset shifts. Where my husband was off during the week, which was amazing because we get to do things, while the little one is in kindergarten, maybe go on a lunch date, to you know, have something. But I'm like, “Oh my god, I have so much to do that day.” Yet, I didn't get to finish everything on my list that day, but I, but we had a beautiful lunch and we got to spend some one-on-one quality time with each other. So, if you look at that, my day was definitely not balanced, because I didn't get enough work done. Enough you know in quotation marks, but I was in complete harmony because we had something beautiful together.
Iva: And you were in harmony with what was of your day. So if your day, as you said, your day probably did not have that balance of the work aspect to it, but you were in harmony with the flow and the rhythm of that day. Of what that brought. At the same time, you were able to get a wonderful memory, out of the day, that that you now are able to share with me and other people and say, you know that day was very memorable because despite all the things that in the to-do list didn't get done. We had this connection and this, this moment together as a family, and it was very enjoyable. And now it's something that I carry with me.
Desiree: Exactly. That's beautifully said. And sometimes like at the end of the day, I need to remind myself though, to be very honest, of exactly the things you mentioned just now, to be also grateful for everything we've experienced, the memories we've made, and one of the things that I love doing is actually inhaling as I'm probably journaling my gratitudes or I'm just reflecting on the day, just before I go into bed, as I inhale an essential oil called Harmony. Now this blend is a Young Living blend. And it's amazing. And the funny thing is that is actually how I came to the name, because I was holding it one day and I'm like “Oh my God, this is it. It's harmony.” And do you know what kind of oils are actually in this? Let me read it to you.
Iva: No, because, yes, please. I, just so you know, harmony is on my bucket list of oils to get, because I feel that you got all this amazing insights, just from the harmony oil alone. So I definitely need that in my life.
Desiree: It is! There is lavender in there and there is sandalwood, ylang ylang, frankincense, orange, angelica, geranium, spruce. sage lavender, rosewood, lemon, jasmine, Roman chamomile, bergamot, Palma Rosa and Rose. It's incredible,
Iva: Wow, what a powerful combination,
Desiree: isn't it all?
Iva: A powerful blend
Desiree: individual oils together work in absolute harmony and that is now how I see our life with all of these factors in it, and how we find harmony with it.
Desiree: When we're thinking about now going more into our business sense right, our business, we're trying to grow, do you also feel that it's often associated with a lot of seasons? And seasons of change, seasons of growth, seasons of priority. How do you see that?
Iva: Oh yes, now more than ever, I would say that it's not only that I am more conscious about this, but also more respectful, that that is the case and I try not to fight it as much. And I, I have an example for this. So we just recently moved and relocated to Singapore. Last year. And in the middle of all this global pandemic that has been going on, you add the stresses and, obviously, all the uncertainty that comes with such a big move, with little ones and getting everything prepared and sorted out.
And we also had to go through 15 days of quarantine in a hotel room. So, for anyone that wants to know that story I would be more than happy to share. But in a nutshell, we had to be in a hotel room for 14 days with the kids. And we weren't able to get out. We didn't have access to even opening the windows, but it was an adventure, and definitely for another episode we can discuss that.
But what it came to for me, ow that you're asking me about the seasons and and understanding those rhythms of growth and rhythms of, of just resting, etc. I started to be more conscious that well, that is the case, that is the situation that I have now. So what was coming for me in that moment was, we are moving, we are relocating, our children are being uprooted from one place to another, and to be sensitive to the fact that we all had to find a new rhythm, and a new grounding of sorts when we arrived. So my work had to take a complete backseat, because the priority was to get everybody settled. The priority was to make sure that we were all healthy and okay. The priority was to get an apartment to live in and, and taking care of all the essentials rights, schooling etc.
So I guess that for, for us, as women, and also as mompreneurs, it seems it's, it's going to reduce our headaches, by a lot to just respect the fact that that is the season that you're in. You’re in a season of change. So that was my season, for example, for a couple of months in which, yes, I was able to do some work, but I knew I had to scale it down by a lot, because the priorities were different. My kids needed me to be more present, they needed to be reassured about what was happening. So, there are all these considerations that you need to have, and they make the season, more, as you say, enjoyable, and the transition smoother so that when everybody settled, everybody now is going to school, everybody has their rhythms and I have now my time to go back full on mode into, into my work, I'm able to do so with, with the space that, that it has, in that moment, but it was not going to be the case during that relocation period.
Desiree: Exactly. And it's all about accepting that as well, like you mentioned. Having that acceptance, having that mindset of, “It's okay. My time to work again and start rolling, or like working on my things, taking care of myself, will come again. But right now, these are the priorities.” Exactly. And I also felt a lot last year, I had, I experienced a beautiful season of growth in my business, where the team grew bigger. Our activities were picking up, it was just a beautiful like phase to be in and to be honest I didn't get much sleep.
I was so full on I worked also into the night and everything because it was just that kind of season and some of my friends were like “Des, you got to slow down and you got to take care of yourself, you know you need to sleep” and it's true and I said, “Look, it's true. I totally know that I also need to respect and accept that I am in a season of change and a season of growth and it's not going to be an everlasting season, either. It is going to mellow down and settle into something a little bit different where you can come up to breathe and where you can come, maybe then focus a little bit more on self-care and get a few hours more sleep” But yeah, it's it's going with these, like, growing with the seasons as well I think that was a really important realization.
Iva: Yes. And as you say, it's understanding where you are in the moment and for you, from, from this season of growth that you were in, I bet that you felt that you had lots of creative energy coming through. So maybe that's why the whole aspect of, I need more sleep was, was not that necessary, because your body and emotionally, what was happening in your creativity, mind was pointing to the direction of let's charge ahead. It's time to move forward and you were honoring that so probably as sleep deprived as you might have been looking at it from the physical aspect, emotionally and in spirit you were pumped. And you really wanted to just get more done because you were in a flow.
So there’s that season of being in flow, of being in flow and understanding that the creative juices are, you know, pumping away, and you are just honoring that and going with it because all these amazing ideas and insights are coming. And you know that probably it would mellow out eventually. And then instead it’s respecting that your body is going to knock and say, Okay, now I need more sleep. Now I need to recuperate from this surge of activity that I had. So, I think also for mompreneurs because we're such a unique breed, it's a matter of keeping things in perspective. In the big picture, it will make sense, and it will all fall into place.
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