Guest Post from Tai Beauchamp, Panelist, How to Speak Up & What’s Holding You Back Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference
TV Personality, entrepreneur, and influencer shares why she chooses to seek life harmony
I’m often asked, “How do you do it all?” My response is usually a simple “I don’t do it all.” After a quizzical stare, she might rephrase the question adding more detail in an effort to help clarify exactly what she means, “Well, how do you balance all that you have going on? I mean you work in TV and media. You have your own company. You travel the world for business and for pleasure. Right?”
“Yes, all of that is true,” I answer in a rather matter of fact tone.
The inquirer, let’s call her Sam, a 27-year old, will usually continue, “And I think I remember reading that you take care of your grandmother. And from your Instagram, you attend the hottest events at least three to four times a week. And you have fabulous friends and stuff. So in my book, that’s doing it all and balancing a lot!”
I usually smirk right about now because Sam is right, it is doing a lot! —A whole hell of a lot and if I’m honest, at times, it’s doing just a little too much. But in 2016, as progressive, driven women, we all have a lot going on in life and if necessary could probably add more. It’s just what it is. But it’s the question of “balance” or perceived balance that always captures my attention and interest.
And so it’s now that I drop a truth bomb that catches Sam off guard. “I don’t balance.”
“Huh?” she responds. “I can’t tell by the looks of it!”
“I don’t seek balance. Life balance is a lie as far as I’m concerned,” I say.
Now grimacing in disbelief at either my honesty or what she now wonders may be her own naiveté I’m not sure, Sam retorts, “Oh, really?”
Most don’t want to hear this nevertheless believe it, but logically, even scientifically, it’s impossible to balance anything that isn’t divided into equal parts, never mind more than two, maybe four, and possibly six things.
I’ve been out of college for almost 16 years, and at around age 28 when my grandmother suddenly became ill, I became a caregiver, visiting her at her rehabilitation center daily. This was on top of managing two major consulting roles (one as a philanthropy consultant and the other as editor of a major women’s magazine). I had also just started my company so I was trying to drum up business, I had relationships that I cherished and wanted to maintain, and was also newly single so I was trying to date and just live. This isn’t uncommon for most 21st Century women, so in no way do I or should you see my life or myself as an anomaly. But my philosophy and approach is very different and counters what most life coach type experts and psychologists even encourage.
I don’t want “life balance”; I want “life harmony”. I want to be able to juggle things fairly well. I want all things to work together as best as possible but balancing say 25 things? Not so much. When I think of harmony, I think flowing, calm movement. I think fluidity. I hear beautiful sounds, some notes higher than others but all melodic. I like that. It’s not easy to do by any stretch but it takes the pressure off believing that all areas of my life (in no particular order) professional, personal, spiritual and emotional, love, and social can or should receive the same amount of attention and effort at any given time. I’ve had to train the people in my life, especially my family and team members, to understand my philosophy. I also have to remind myself at times that it’s okay not to be able to do it all, especially at once. It feels right and because it does, I sing and hum more often even with 7 or 11 balls in the air.
So today, on March 5, 2016 and beyond, I speak up about choosing not to balance but harmonize. And I speak up to help other women to let go of the pressure to “balance it all” especially at the same time.
I look forward to meeting you at the Speak Up Women Conference on March 5th at the United Nations and hearing about your experience!
Tai Beauchamp is a TV Host and Personality, Entrepreneur and founder of TheTaiLife.com. She empowers women through style. You can read more inspiring content at TheTaiLife.com. Follow her on @theTaiLife and @taiBeau on all social media platforms.