Love and Dating Tip#2: Date with the Intent of Marriage

Today, it is a normal practice for a man to date/ court someone even when marriage is far from his mind. I think that practice is unwise. I am not saying it is wrong – but it is not wise, not strategic and well…. selfish in some ways.

Why date someone without the intent of marriage in the near future? Now, hear me, I am not saying the one you are dating in the present should be the girl you will marry but at least you should know if you are ready for marriage.

 

Any right man in the right mind won’t enter into something without having an intent to do something about it. Men we are called to cultivate our relationships. Pag paikot ikot lang tayo sa isang relationship, mas mabuti pang exit ka na lang kay sa mahilo ang babae sa kakaikot mo.

Sabi ko nga sa isang instagram post ko:

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Men And Their Promises

I was cleaning up my cabinet last night and found these…

 

They may not look like much now, but back when I first bought these they were bright and shiny. Like the promises they represent. Promise rings as some would call them.

You see, before, I tend to make promises to women. A promise to make the relationship last…forever(?). A promise that can be more physically proven by buying silver rings. Like a “covenant” handshake of some sort. Don’t get me wrong, of course my intentions are as real as they can be when I made those promises. But now, there’s that small regret at the corner of my heart as I write, not because of the feelings I felt when I made the promise, but simply because I made promises that I couldn’t keep.

Why did I make them? Because I am selfish and prideful. I thought I can control the way this relationship will go. An unmarried and “un-engaged” couple makes promises to each other initiated by the man may look sweet and noble at first, like a scene in a local high school chic flick. But my motives were selfish. Why do I want to make those promises? Of course to get her to swear back the same commitment- it’s like an unwritten contract. There’s nothing wrong with deep commitments – there’s only WRONG TIMING.

I think deeper commitments, like a promise to make the relationship last, are not for unmarried couples to make. I believe that for couples during the boyfriend-girlfriend season, there are a lot more productive things to do than just swear deep commitments to each other. I come to recall a valuable lesson that says: “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. A commitment made at the wrong timing is NOT constructive- its COERCIVE.

I wish I could have done better in my relationships before. But all of these things happened for a reason- so that God may prove that He is in control in my life- that includes my relationships. That regardless of my selfishness, God was able to come through for me and those that I have hurt in the past.

Now, with my new season, through God’s faithfulness and His grace, I am able to understand the small lessons little by little. What I ought to focus on, the things we ought to do as a couple and the things we ought not to do. My new personal mantra is: no PROMISE RINGS until the ENGAGEMENT RING.

Cause if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it – Single Ladies, Beyonce

Instead of swearing, instead of promises, commit the relationship to God and enjoy the season as it is now, and WHEN YOU ARE READY, DON’T DELAY! Go for it!

LOVE AND DATING TIP #1: Do not fall in love with the idea of falling in love

One of the greatest mistake we make when it comes to dating the opposite sex is that we do so because we are in love with the concept and idea of falling in love.

Maybe you watched a romantic movie or finished a romantic novel, or you just came from a conversation with friends about romance and you have this bright idea to start dating someone because the idea seems good and right. If that is the case – don’t!

The idea of falling in love might give you some good vibes but once you start dating someone you need to count the cost. Not the financial cost (though that is also important), but rather the relational cost of entering into a dating relationship.

Any relationship requires sacrifice and commitment. Hindi tatagal ang isang relationship sa goosebumps at kilig. You need to commit to a person – not just an idea of falling in love.

So huwag magpatulak dahil napanood mo lang si Sarah at si John Lloyd or dahil lahat ng barkada mo may girlfriend na – pag isipan mo mabuti kasi love is not a game. It is a decision. Dahil pag ikaw sinagot ng nililigawan mo – it takes more than kilig to go to the next level. Your relationship will be tested.

Grow in love with a person, don’t fall in love with the idea.

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What Kind of a Man a Woman Want

by: Ptra. Faythe Santiago

One night while seeking God, He spoke to me and said, “Be Sarah.” I opened my Bible and found my way to 1 Peter 3:5 which says, “For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, [6] like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”

Sarah was mentioned here as someone women must imitate. We ought to submit and this is how women in the Bible make themselves beautiful. Sarah was totally submissive to ABRAHAM.

As of this writing, I’ve pastored hundreds of young people. I lead not only young women but young men in the church. I also lead youth pastors from different churches in the Philippines. But God is telling me that someday, He will give me an ABRAHAM to lead me and my job is simple: to SUBMIT.

Yes, an Abraham. If women ought to be submissive like Sarah, then they must have an ABRAHAM to lead them, a man worth following!  I love what the verse says about Sarah, “like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord.”

I’ll share to you one of the many powerful traits of Abraham that caused Sarah to obey him:

1. Man of Vision

Women, do not ever marry a man without vision. The worst disaster of your life is living a life without vision! Without vision men perish dragging their wives along (Pro 29:18).

Men must have dreams, direction, purpose and mission. They have a vision and they pursue that vision! He knows where he is going and he pursues that direction! And take note, this is not his own vision but the vision of God. He hit God’s vision right at the very center!

Many times God would speak to Abraham. Go to this place. Do this. You will become like this. One example is that God had to show Abraham the sky to give him a picture of what he and Sarah will be like in the future! A huge vision:

“He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:5-6

God gave Abraham a vision that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky! He lived with a vision and so he knows where to go and he knows what he will become: a father of many nations.

2. Man of Faith

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God.” 

Men have BIG faith not big muscles. Their asset is not their face but their faith. Real men love adventures with God! They love risking it with God by believing every word and every promise even when it seems impossible! They move mountains, soar high, do impossible things, accomplish great things and witness miracles all because of their faith in God!

Abraham believed God when He promised him that He will become a father of many nations. Sarah just laughed it off, how can we be like that if I can’t even bore a son? And one day, Sarah found herself pregnant. All because of her husband’s faith!

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”” – Romans 4:18 

3. Man of Obedience 

For all the Sarahs out there, never marry a man who is disobedient to God.  It is a gift to have a husband who hears and obeys God!

“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.” – Genesis 22:1-3

After years and years of waiting for the promised son, Isaac was born. The child brought joy to their life! Then one day, God spoke to Abraham to sacrifice his only SON for Him.

This is OBEDIENCE: when early next morning he got up and prepared everything for his sacrifice to God, His son, Isaac! Even when it hurts.  No ifs, no buts, no questions asked. Abraham obeyed.

4. MAN WHO LOVES GOD WITH HIS ALL 

Abraham obeyed because he loved God more than anything in this world!

A dream husband is someone WHO LOVES GOD WITH HIS ALL. And I hope you fully understand what I mean when I say ALL.

 

Someone who is secured in God’s love and needs nothing but Him. They fulfill this in their life:

Matthew 22:37  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 

John Wesley said, “Give me 100 men who love God and hate nothing but sin and I will shake the world for Christ”.

And this will make our world a better world: Raise up FATHERS WHO LOVES GOD! Blessed are the wives and children of those men who love God.

We need to see men go crazy in love for Jesus, blazing in their passion for Him and extreme to obey his commands!

And these men will in turn, be passionate pursuers, great providers, loving fathers and history makers all because they loved God first and with their all!

GOD WANTS TO SEE ABRAHAM IN YOU and Sarahs out there will be so blessed to have you. She will journey with you as you journey with God in raising up a generation who loves God and impacts our world!

Love Is Not An Episode of Sex And The City

Written by Andrea

Texan Sky

“Love happens under a Texan sky.”

I have said those three little words to 2 boys in my life and actually meant it. One was my high school sweetheart, the other was my ex BF who I dated for 2 years and became such a solid part of my life that my 80-year-old grandmother still asks about him.

I think a lot about my current situation and found this quote the other day that totally relates:

“Everyone has a “one” before The One. You know… that one you THINK you’re going to end up with… but really they are just practice.”

It’s so true in my case.

Daniel and I had a very shaky beginning and we are just getting to the point where things are solid.

Ironically, we went to the same high school, but didn’t know each other because he is older (I do love those older men!) We ended up meeting later in life, in graduate school. Our entire almost year relationship has been long distance, since day one, so it’s not your typical girl-meets-boy-and-falls-in-love scenario with the happily-ever-after. He lives in a different time-zone!

I’m lucky if we get to see each other once a month and that’s only because my boss is great and lets me jump on planes when I ask.

Because of my ex BF, it took me a long time to admit that I cared about Daniel and an even longer time for me to admit to myself, my friends and family that he was my boyfriend. Those three little words came in time, when I was ready to admit to myself that he mattered much more than any boy had ever mattered to me before.

I couldn’t even refer to him as my boyfriend for the LONGEST time, he was simply the Texas Boy, my Lover and finally graduated to his current status of Boyfriend- capitol letter “B.”

He and I have something really special, something that I don’t really talk to my friends about or my mom even. I try really hard to not be “that girl” who just talks about her boyfriend all the time. We both view this relationship as the most “real” experience we’ve ever had and I don’t need to validate that to other people.

I do love him and it’s a different kind of love than any of my previous experiences. It feels comfortable, relaxed and just right. When I’m with him its as if all the chaos in my mind melts away and I really enjoy life for what it is. He makes me feel real, like the most genuine version of me… and that’s something I have been searching for.

So, this post is my attempt at owning up to my relationship and getting things out in the open. For me and for him. Yes, it’s real, yes, I love him and yes, I want to be with him…. for a long, long, time if you get my drift.

Life is just better when we are around each other.  As it stands, that isn’t very often, but someday when the time is right I’ll finally have a relationship that doesn’t require airplanes. For right now, this totally unrealistic situation with the most unrealistic person you’d ever pair me with is my reality… and I love it.

Since the beginning, our relationship has not been like anything out of a tv show, movie or book. It’s taken me a long time to realize that there is no manual and no directions for a relationship.

When you follow your heart and just live life, that’s when the best things happen.

– See more at: http://www.stratejoy.com/2009/11/love-is-not-an-episode-of-sex-and-the-city/#sthash.E1XMTa3L.dpuf

That Thing Called Love

Written by Kendra

love heartWhen I take a look around me, my friends tend to fall in one of three camps. Happily coupled having found the right person, coupled on schedule (having secured the job and the house –the next notch on the belt was to get married–so they found someone and they did) and finally, single, like me.

It never bugged me that I was single until I made the very silly mistake of falling in love.

I’ve been in love exactly one time. When it happened it was a coup de foudre, a bolt of lightning, that I kept telling myself could not possibly be real. He was too cute, too nice, too funny, too smart for it to be mutual. But the more I got to know him, the more I liked and it was at least on some level, mutual.

Darkly humored with his feet on the ground, a nice counterbalance to my head in the clouds, we liked enough of the same things (Sci-Fi, mocking politicians) to make it wonderful, and disliked enough of the same things (his love of sports, my stance on drug policy) to make things interesting.

So naturally we messed it up.

I’ve been wondering a lot why so many of my friends– smart, interesting, successful in their own ways–are reluctantly single. And why Mr.X and I couldn’t make things work.

And I think it’s because, well, we think, too damn much. This Huffington Post article touches on it, but while their author narrows it down to very specific reasoning, I think many of us reluctant singles are guilty of a special brand over thinking.

We think love should come to us when we’re ready for it and when it doesn’t, we freak.

Like the guy who dumped a friend because the stronger his feelings for her became the less he was able to deal with them. He hadn’t been looking for love, you see, and to stumble across love when it wasn’t a part of his plans was not something he could do. So he ran.

Another ended things because she was scared at the idea of starting a serious relationship when her life was in flux; she wasn’t sure if she could be what he wanted her to be, but never bothered to give the poor guy a chance to articulate what he wanted out of the relationship.

Too many of us walk away from potentially great relationships – because we fear being unsettled, because we don’t have the degree/the job/the paycheck that we feel we need to “get serious”. The universe has its own timeline, and one that is often better than we could create. The trouble comes, however, when the universe serves us up something amazing and we walk away (time and time again) out of fear, or because it doesn’t mesh with some vague timeline.

There’s no guarantee that it will give us such awesomeness again, so when it does, we shouldn’t worry so much about the details. Just go for it.

Life and love are not a series of connect the dots… now if only I could remember that. 😉

– See more at: http://www.stratejoy.com/2009/09/that-thing-called-love/#sthash.GRTZPkSM.dpuf

Love & The Single Girl

Written by Nikki

I’m still figuring out what love means to me.  I’ve only been in love once; it was young, my first, and – not to take anything away from it; it was real and it held strong for years – I don’t know what it takes to have mature, marriage-worthy love.

I almost wrote about that first love, fleshed out the whole story and all its lessons, but then I realized that’s the past.  That’s affected my thoughts on love, but that’s not who I am now.

Now, I’m a single girl, about to turn 30 as she watches all her friends get married and have babies. It’s a weird, in-between place to be, but it’s not a bad place.  Despite what most movies and parents that want grandbabies and our recently married friends may tell us, ladies, it’s ok to be single, it’s ok to not want things in the standard time frame and no, we’re not old maids.

And by the way, I am so sick of movies and books portraying any woman single over 25 as being a workaholic in a high-paying glamorous job, as though a job and a relationship are the only things that validate a person and if by that age you don’t want babies, well, you must be career-obsessed.  Get with it, Hollywood; show me some real women who can’t be summed up in two words.  Can I get an Amen!?

Although I’ll admit, sometimes I let it get to me and I do feel like an old maid; that has definitely been a factor in my QLC.  When I’m a third or fifth or seventh wheel in a mob of couples, I freak out a little bit that I’ll end up alone, working a crappy job in a crappy apartment after a long string of sad endings, friends shaking their head in pity while I dress my cats like kids and wait desperately in bars.  God, please, no.

So there’s a polar division in me; as I stand in the pews or proudly in a bridesmaid dress, beaming on friends upon friends taking vows, I feel two opposite truths:  I want to get married.  I’m so glad I’m not getting married.

From my past relationships, I’ve learned the art of missing, the beauty of companionship, and how to know when it’s not right.  I’ve jumped in over my head and I’ve waded, waiting, cautious.  I’ve learned to recognize what’s not good for me and what my deal-breakers are.  All of those relationships have ended, and that’s a good thing.

I was never the little girl planning her wedding; it never even occurred to me to think about it until the past couple years, when I was suddenly snowed in with save the dates and RSVP cards.  Complaining to my mom (oh I’ll admit, I have my moments of weakness – “Whyyyy is everyone getting maaaaarrrriiiieeed???  I’m soooo left ouuuuut!!), she snapped me back to reality:  “Nikki, if what you wanted was to be married, you’d be married by now.”  Touche, momma, touche.

It’s not marriage I’m looking for, it’s a love that makes me believe in marriage.

I’m not jealous of people getting married; I don’t look with envy at the glinting diamonds or the fluffy white dresses.  But when I see my friends – of both sexes – that are excited about getting married, who, after years together, are giggling with joy, no nerves only giddy tears, as they vow forever, that sparks a wonder and a pang of selfish sadness in me.

They know who they are and have found the person who balances them.  I know not everyone who gets married is that self-aware or perfectly matched, but these friends I’m talking about are; they’ve gone into it with eyes open.  They see the challenges ahead and believe it’s worth it.  Forever is a long time, and they’d rather spend it together than anywhere else.

And you know what?  Until I have that, I’m OK with never being married.  In fact, I’ve decided if I’ve never been married by 40, I’m throwing myself a huge damn party with all my friends and family (because, really, when else in your life but your wedding do you get everyone you love in the same room?) and I’m even going to register for gifts.  All right, maybe I stole that a little from Carrie Bradshaw, but…  :)

Also, until then, I am so grateful for and contented with all the other forms of love I DO have in my life. The friends that I know I’ll have forever.  I’d vow on that.  My family, cheering me on no matter how far from them life takes me.  My love for travel: the thrill of the new, independence, and exploration not just of place but of self, and my love for performance: the thrill of collaboration, creating a show like giving birth – painful, joyous and alive.  My love of Thai coconut chicken soup (my mouth waters at the thought!) and Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie (talent crush to the max!) and the feeling of the wind singing in my hair as I bicycle down a hill (sqwoooooosh!!).

But the most important love I’ve found is the love I have for myself.  Slightly cheesy but deeply true.

I like my own company.  I’m not actually lonely at all.  Yes, it’d be nice to find a great big Love, but I don’t need it to be happy.  I love who I am, and who I am is, partially, a product of all those “failed” relationships; I don’t regret any decisions I’ve made.  I don’t have the high-powered job and I don’t have the guy, but, damnit, I’m ok with that.  I am just fine.

Although, if I ever do start dressing up cats and calling them my kids, please stage an intervention.

My dad said to me once, after I told him I’d broken up with my most recent boyfriend-ish guy, “you’re so lucky to have had all these experiences.  You will be more ready than most for a forever relationship, when you find it.”  I think he’s right.

To all the single ladies out there who aren’t waiting for some guy to “put a ring on it,” I say rejoice with me.  We are sure of ourselves, of what we want and who we are, and we will not buckle under societal pressures.  We will be thrilled for our friends that chose different lives from our own, and we will be confident in ourselves; we will trust that we are exactly where we need to be, right here, right now.  Now put your hands up!  Whoa woh woh oh oh oh…

– See more at: http://www.stratejoy.com/2010/10/loveandthesinglegir-2/#sthash.27hUkCNR.dpuf

The Comparison Game

Written by Kendra

A friend sent me a link the other day to a book that a college classmate is having published this spring. My friend stumbled upon this nugget of information in a bit of classmate stalking.

“So and so is a published writer now”, my friend wrote to me with a mixture of jealousy and derision.

Inside a part of me sang.

I can’t deny that sometimes when I take a step backwards and look at the expanse of my life which is long on memories but short on stuff, I’m left wondering if I’ve done the right thing. When I end up at yet another perfectly decorated housewarming, or at a party of someone in a part of town that I couldn’t afford to rent a toilet never mind own an apartment, it’s hard to remember that I’ve climbed to the top of a volcano, gone body surfing in Biarritz, rang in the New Year in Dublin.

It’s much easier to remember that I’m thirty (yep my birthday was last week), unemployed, single, living at home, with just enough possessions to fill the back of my dad’s SUV.

I don’t even own a car.

I wonder if I shouldn’t have used my twenties to ramble, to ping pong, and flit and instead used it to plod the path that society said I should have taken. The path that at 24 I felt was soul crushing, but now staring down at thirty and longing for security, stability and companionship seems comforting in its own way. The path, in other words, that a lot of my friends and acquaintances have taken, to when I take a step back and assess objectively, to mixed results.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the comparison game; no matter how relatively successful society deems you. And the vague sense of unease and jealousy espoused by my friend, who by many measure’s of society is successful, in the shadow of our classmates accomplishments made me feel better about myself.

Not because, as Calvin and Hobbes so succinctly put it that nothing helps a bad mood so much than spreading it around, but because his jealousy helped remind me that in the comparison game nobody wins.

At a party a few weeks ago I was talking to a guy who expressed jealousy at how much I’d traveled. I was totally jealous that he had a job. The funny thing is, finances aside we were in much the same situation: afloat. His Investment Banking job was poised to end, making business school his only possible option, and his long-term relationship which had been headed towards marriage derailed leaving him totally single.

I guess the truth is there is no such thing as the safe path, the guaranteed path.  There is merely our path, and we can walk it with strength or with trepidation and fear but we will have to walk it nonetheless.

We may as well have a good time while we’re doing it.

– See more at: http://www.stratejoy.com/2010/01/the-comparison-game/#sthash.IHAZ9KgR.dpuf

I’m Fiercely Protective. Of Myself.

Written by Laura

After last week’s doozy of a post about money, I figure I might as well keep the trend of confessing my crazies going. Here’s the latest: I’m fiercely protective. Of myself. And I’m not sure I can help it.

I’ve referred to this strong sense of independence before. I’ve admitted to being afraid of those three big words (I need you). And, I’ve admitted that exploring vulnerability has been a big, life changing deal for me. That’s true. Taking on business partners? Vulnerable. Getting engaged five months ago? Vulnerable. Last week’s money post? Vulnerable. Having a money talk with Hunny that same week? Vulnerable.

I’m definitely working on it.

But as I do, I’m realizing that I don’t think if I’ll ever let myself be fully exposed. Like, if I equate it to being naked, I’ll forever be leaving my socks on or something. You know?

Because I’m thinking: there’s a fine line between being totally real and open and sharing your soul, and losing your soul altogether. At least, that’s what it feels like to me. I think I’m starting to push where that line IS, shifting it inch by inch. But for me, it’s probably always going to be there.

I’m absolutely terrified of losing myself in other people. I’m absolutely terrified of forgetting how to stand on my own. And I absolutely refuse to share my soul to the point where I can’t see where mine starts, and someone else’s begins.

I’m not just talking in the romantic sense, either. I’ve always felt the need to protect my soul from everyone. My family, my friends, my boss, my clients, and now my business partners, too. Not because I don’t trust people or love them. I do.

But regardless, I need to know that I’ll still have something left inside if the people and things I know were to go away. I need to feel enough strength of self that I could endure tragedy, loss, divorce, confusion, and simple day to day uncertainties and still have some sense of who I am.

To me, that means:

  • Preserving my self confidence as best I can, mostly by not apologizing for it.
  • Working on internalizing my values so that I don’t let them go, even if no one I know believes in them except me.
  • Being a realist, and expecting that people are going to make mistakes, change their minds, and take care of themselves first.
  • Trying to keep my definition of myself so complex that I’m never just a daughter, or just a wife, or just a business owner, or just a writer. I want to create capacity for things to change and the unexpected to happen and still have something left afterwards.
  • Trusting my instincts so fully, that I believe in them even when others think they’re wrong.
  • Learning how to not let other people’s energy overtake my own. This may sound a little crazy pants, but I think I’m really sensitive to the energy other people project, especially the negative stuff. I need to keep a bit of a shield up so I can feel, navigate through and respond to other people’s stuff, without letting it morph into my stuff.
  • Constantly observing and learning from other people. Observing what they go through and how they handle it. Observing how they make decisions and defend them. Observing how they choose their words in order to bluff, convince, or endorse. Observing how they feel about themselves and in turn, what that means for people around them.

These are my ideals; they’re not absolutes. They’re things I work toward and perspectives I try to maintain. But they’re a work in progress and are most definitely fragile. Perhaps most importantly, they’re where I am right now. And where I might be for a while.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Young and naive? Too guarded? Unrealistic? Idealistic?

I’m curious to know how where I’m coming from compares to where you’re coming from. Go on, spill!

(P.S. Confession #3: Part of the reason I’ve been able to own up to this stuff and share it with you guys is Molly, and her gentle questioning, poking, encouraging, and coaching that I SO appreciate. I love to hate her tough questions; they lead me to realizations like the one I just shared. If you’re looking for some more insight into YOU, or a whole host of other benefits that working with her offers, you should apply for her first-ever scholarship. But hurry, applications are due Sunday.)

{Photo credit}

– See more at: http://www.stratejoy.com/2011/03/fiercely-protective-of-myself/#sthash.LjwlBLto.dpuf

All The World’s a Balance Beam

Written by Molly Mahar

Balance. Work-life balance. Work-marriage balance. Account balances. Jeebus. No wonder we’re so bloody exhausted all the time.

Between trying to be everything at once and trying to find our inner Zen master, we’re consistently inundated with, “Slow down, baby. But hey, not too slow now. Don’t forget about your career. And a family. And… and…”

Balance is safe, comforting, and predictable.

“Of course I’ll eat a bowl of cottage cheese instead of that decadent creme-filled crepe. Why? Oh, because I ate a piece of chocolate cake last week.”

Balance is conformity.

“I hate parties but I’ll go anyway just so I can seem social.”

Balance is anti-passion.

Feel into… the passion in your cells – to eat life whole, to innovate, to score, to, as Emerson put it, “leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition.”Danielle LaPorte

Balance is bullshit.

If you’re burnt out from being over-passioned, over-worked, and under-played (like I’ve been), don’t seek balance. Balance isn’t going to solve your problems. They sure as hell didn’t solve mine.

When I feel like I’m about to collapse, I collapse. I’ll spend all day in bed to recharge my batteries with a retrospective on Vivienne Westwood. I’ll take on as many clients as I possibly can and spend days immersed in code and creativity. I “work” on non-work days, just because I want to. I have problems working on Thursdays because we never learned how to get along.

I dive in wholeheartedly and without reserve.

It’s scary to plunge, let alone stay there for an extended period of time. It’s scarier to back off and not immerse yourself in what moves you.

Balance is for wimps.

Or rather, balance is for people that already have what they need: their souls are nourished and full. Maybe they’ve got babies. Maybe they don’t. Either way, they’re looking for something else to move them. Balance — finding that thing or set of things — to keep their lives in this heady state of nourishment is something you look for well-after you’ve found full.

Being a twentysomething (or thirtysomething, for that matter) is about balance in imbalance. It’s a time for head-strong go-getter career-building. It’s a time for whirlwind romances that leave you battered, bruised, and utterly smashed. For some (for me), it’s a time for babies and careers and marriage and life-building and “holy shit, did I just blink and miss the last six months?”.

Balance is for later.

Find strength in the things that move you to work for days on end. Find comfort in the uncomfortable nature of burnt-out. Rise from the ashes, you fiery phoenix, and seek to conquer a second time. Fail on, you crazy diamond. Shine bright. Don’t apologize for being slightly manic, slightly depressed, and entirely possessed.

Leave balance to the nourished.

Let’s embrace our unbalanced selves/lives for what they are: unpolished, unpretentious, and untapped.

[Note from Coach Molly: I’m interested to see what ya’ll have to say about this one!  I would have to say that almost every single one of the women I’ve worked with yearns for balance. But what does that really mean? I’m into balance as well, but just not in the traditional sense of a certain amount of hours for work, a certain amount for chores, and then the little bit of time left for play…

I like to think about it as a balance between actions that produce desired feelings.  So if I want to feel abundant, committed, influential, and sexy (which I SO do!)- I make sure I’m giving energy to actions that make me feel those ways!  And then I also have to pay attention to cutting down the shit that makes me feel the opposite (as in fearful about money, overwhelmed, swallowed up, and blah).  Yes, sometimes this means I’m burning out and then recovering, like Amanda, but it’s my own version of balance…

So what do you think?   Is balance a goal worth striving towards now?  Or would you rather save it for later? ]

– See more at: http://www.stratejoy.com/2011/03/all-the-worlds-a-balance-beam/#sthash.K8RkX928.dpuf