What does it mean to be a health and wellness professional?
Well to some, it means being a Saint:
You preach about healthy habits, so you should be engaged in those healthy habits at all times. You’re a leader so you should have all the answers.
To me it means the ability to create balance.
However, there’s no such thing as perfect balance.
In order to create a reasonable balancing act in life you need to experiment and like any practise, you’re not always going to “get it right”.
For your entertainment, here is a little tale of a time in my life where I got it dead wrong.
It was October 2013 on a Saturday and I had just gotten out of a very serious relationship, in a seriously terrible way.
My then freshly branded X and I had been together for close to 3 years and I had decided that it was time to enjoy my freedom to the fullest.
A Torontonian DJ named Deko-ze whom I had always wanted to see live, was playing that night in Little Italy and my girlfriend (who had also become recently single) and I were in need of some dance therapy.
Before the dance festivities were to take place, I had an all day photoshoot for the promotion of my up and coming Halloween single “Psycho,” directly followed by teaching a hot power yoga class- in which, most of my students may or may not have been questioning if their instructor in full blown hair and makeup was really a stripper in disguise.
Unfortunately, the busy schedule paired with my emotional disturbances around the break up resulted in me forgetting to eat altogether. By the time I got home after teaching to have my first meal of the day it was 9p.
I opened the fridge to a handful of spinach, one chicken breast and a bowl of gluten free spaghetti.
My girlfriend hadn’t eaten dinner either, so we split the meal to save time and start getting ready for the night.
Now, this may come as a surprise, but at the beginning of the night we had actually intended on leaving the house earlier so we’d want to come home earlier. We were more interested in the dancing component then we were getting obliterated. However, being the excellent conversationalists we both were, 2 bottles of red wine and 4 Patron shots later certainly changed our motivation to stay at least kind of sober. (FYI: On top of the fact that I was likely dehydrated from hot yoga, had basically zero substance in my belly, and consumed a fair amount of alcohol within 2 hours- I’m also a really cheap drunk. Furthermore, anytime I drink with this particular 5 foot nothing girlfriend of mine, I always feel like I’m drinking to save my life. This chick is German/Irish… Enough said.)
Before we knew it, we were attempting to cap a tequila filled flask which we had completely over poured, stuff said flask into whoever was wearing the tallest boots and on we rode in a taxi to the complete opposite side of the city.
On the way there, it dawned on me that the magical booze fairy must have come for visit somewhere between stepping out the front door and about 10 meters from my house, because faster than you can say bippity boppity BOO- we were fuckin wasted.
(You know the night is set up for disaster when the person who is always able to outdrink everyone is passed right out in the backseat beside you.)
The itinerary then went as follows:
* Arrive at venue
* Wake up mini German/ Irish booze ninja and get out of cab
* Become self conscious that we might be too drunk for bouncers to let us in
* Get side tracked by the shop next door selling cinnamon sticks
* Eat cinnamon sticks
* Forget about previous lack of courage, smile at bouncers, enter venue
* Take a hard sideways stumble into 3 people on way down the spiral staircase to DJ party
* Arrive downstairs, sway back and forth for 20 minutes, hear a godly inner voice that says if you don’t leave RIGHT NOW, you are going to be that person face down in a public toilet, in the basement of a club that is at the other end of the city from where your toilet is.
* Crawl back up spiral stairs like you’re in last place of Tough Mudder, while mini booze ninja assists you like a wounded soldier
* Get in first cab spotted
* Ask for plastic bag bag “just in case”
* Almost get kicked out of cab, but convince driver it was a joke while holding back dry heaves
* Tell mini booze ninja to keep slaying the dance floor alone
* Pass out until arriving back home
The cab driver tried to pull up beside my driveway, but upon peering into his rearview mirror and witnessing the haggard individual who couldn’t even figure out how to unzip her vest pocket to get her cash, he went ahead and decided to drive right on in.
I gave him far too much money because I left the house with $100, spent no money on drinks and woke up in the morning with nothing in my wallet. However, the gigantic tip must of helped, because this angel cabby was courteous enough to get out of his car, carry me to my doorstep, unlock my door and help me inside. It was truly the only way to get the job done.
In that moment, there was no where else I would have rather been than on the cold, filthy tiles right inside the door of my apartment, so gently that is where he let me down.
“I think this is as far as either of us can take this sir. Thank you for everything.” I say with slurred sincerity.
“Goodnight Ma’am”. He said concerned, coupled with sheer relief that he was able to shut the door and walk away forever.
The next 5 hours or so were rerun episodes of me vomiting, passing out in it, slithering a few feet closer to my bedroom like I was in a muddy war trench, and repeating the ritual.
I finally made it into my bedroom, somehow managed to take out my earrings and remove my false eyelashes, and slept for the remainder of the night.
In the morning, when I finally decided that I wanted to open my eyes and continue living, I was greeted with no money, no phone, no memory of DJ Deko-ze playing, no dignity and no food in my fridge.
I did however have possession of the completely full flask inside the boots I was still wearing, just in case I wanted to start up round 2.
My lurching stomach forced me to stagger my way up the street and get some take out after all.
Yep, still human.
The worst part of this story is really more about what COULD have happened instead of what did happen; you don’t need to tell me twice that giving a stranger my house keys and letting them take me into my house in the condition I was in was a dangerous idea. I know it was and I’m grateful he was so kind to me.
Either way, after an event like that, my harsh inner critic questions not only my credibility but my integrity in leading people through an empowering, enlightening yogic experience, when I’m seemingly incapable of even feeding myself.
Leader or not though, no one has their balancing act down pat and sometimes you need to experience what it means to go “too far”, to establish middle ground and boundaries.
Balance doesn’t mean that everything in your life is calmly flowing down the stream at ease. It means that you have been able to stabilize yourself amongst the deep and the shallow, the high and the low, the hectic and the mellow. It means that you accept all of the extremes within yourself and your surroundings and choose stand with confidence in the middle.
There’s no such thing as perfect balance. If you need sway back and forth a little to find your equilibrium, so be it; life is and will always be a balancing act!