Learning To Dance With The Opposing Forces Within

Let's talk about... BALANCE. It’s a topic that weaves its way into our conversations a lot these days.

Balance between life vs. work. 
Balance between the hustle vs. the flow. 
The art vs. the commerce. 
The deep vs. the light-hearted. 
The masculine drive vs. the feminine intuition.

I find myself caught in the tug-of-war between ALL of these forces on. the. regular.

What about you?

My instincts tell me that as an intuitive, soulful maker, you too probably experience the constant push and pull of opposing forces like these.

For me, the struggle that plays the most prominent role on a daily basis is the one between wearing my bosslady, make-it-happen, business hat and my intuitive, sometimes idealistic, feel-it-out artist hat.

One moment I’ll find myself watching a video on Gary Vaynerchuck’s YouTube channel lighting a fire in me to tackle my goals with gusto, work harder with more focus, and to dream up new ways to grow Made Vibrant as a business.

Later that same day I’ll find myself reading a post from Liz Gilbert reminding me to return to my truth and to create whole-heartedly, without worrying about what everyone thinks or what will make me money.

BOTH people inspire me. BOTH messages speak to me. I find myself benefiting from BOTH perspectives at different moments in time.

But, instead of embracing this complex mix of inspiration, here’s what happens instead...

I find myself swinging wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other, convinced that no, THIS is the right side of the fence to be on, and inevitably I feel like I’m somehow cheating on the part of myself that’s still clinging to the other side.

“I need to embrace that I’m running a business here and not view my work so idealistically.”

“NO! I need to return to the purity of making and not put so much pressure on my work to be financially fruitful.”

NO this is right.

NO that is right.

And before long my brain and my heart feel like they're literally engaged in some epic version of tug of war.

It’s exhausting.

Then, after a couple deep breaths, I take a step back and ask myself:

What if it’s actually just somewhere in the middle?

We are complex humans with the capacity to hold all sorts of opposing forces within us at the same time.


Yes, we're makers AND business owners. We carry both masculine AND feminine facets. We believe in striving forward toward goals AND taking gratitude in what we have now.

The problem lies in our attempt to create false dichotomies where they need not exist.


It is not either/or, it is yes AND.

I’m a little bit of Garyvee AND a little bit of Liz Gilbert. I’m deep and light-hearted. I thrive on a mix of still satisfaction AND fiery forward-motion. My truth is somewhere in the middle of all that.

The distress and exhaustion of our “struggle” doesn’t actually come from traveling back and forth between the two; the distress comes from FIGHTING the urge to travel between the two. In pretending that either one is a static solution rather than a dynamic flow.

We have to learn to see this pendulum swing from one end of a spectrum to the other not as a struggle or tug of war, but instead as a DANCE. A waltz where the passage is fluid and purposeful and graceful.

When you lean into that pendulum swing and embrace it as aligning with one of the varied, complex parts of you (rather than fighting it every step of the way) you’re able to fully integrate all the complex parts of yourself AND benefit from the middle-ground that each one creates.

Our instinct is to place the world around us and ourselves into neat little boxes. Our brain takes comfort in the categorization of things.

But the more comfortable we can get with this squishy, uncertain middle ground, the more confidently we’re able to ride the inevitable waves of the creative process.

Sometimes the work that lights us up to the core is not the work that makes us money.
And sometimes what makes us money isn’t the most fulfilling work we do.

But I’m learning that I want to live somewhere in the soupy middle of the two, putting my business hat on when I need the financial wiggle room to create and putting my artist hat on when I need to fill up my soul. And sometimes, if I’m lucky, I may just get to wear both hats at once.

Your challenge this week is to write down a list of 5 “opposing forces” that you find yourself waffling back and forth between.

Then I encourage you to think about (or write about) how you possess both opposing forces WITHIN you and giving yourself permission to embody BOTH.