Last Thursday I got to attend Pink Tank’s latest event, Balance: How to Bring Balance to Your Work and Personal Life. Featuring the fabulous life coach, Erika Dolnackova, the evening focused on work-life integration and the pursuit of “life balance”.
Perhaps fittingly, my days leading up the event were anything but balanced. My desk, walls and agenda were littered with post-its, reminders and unchecked To Do list boxes. Deadlines passed, articles went unwritten, and I arrived pink-cheeked and out of breath for five meetings in a row, because I was literally running late. Fortunately, I counted these bursts of speed as exercise for the week, so I was able to check “work out” off my list of a million things to do in order to stay balanced.
Needless to say, when I arrived at Dermalogica (almost on time), I was praying for some sort of magical formula that would either extend time or send me the winning lottery numbers. This did not happen. What did happen however, was infinitely more fun and enlightening. First, there were wine and snacks, which I find to be an excellent start to any networking event. Second, there was a group of the most wonderful women, all exhausted from their own pursuit of life balance and wondering how the heck everyone else seems to be so balanced all the time. After a little mingling, Erika stole the show. She dropped this truth bomb at the beginning of her talk:
“Life balance does not exist and the pursuit of it stresses people out more than if they just enjoyed the chaos.”
This was followed by silence. Then, collectively, a huge sigh of relief. Light bulbs went off, things clicked and I’m pretty sure there was a cosmic shift. Erika cited the effervescent Danielle LaPorte (her new book which is an absolute must-read), as the woman behind this wonderful concept and provided us with a multitude of resources to be more effective and have more fun. After realizing that we didn’t all have to have the wardrobe of Carrie Bradshaw, the body of Heidi Klum, the kitchen of Martha Stuart and the job Sheryl Sandberg, plus perfect marriages, children, houses and yoga postures, we started to define balance on our own terms. Some of us wanted to be more effective and focused at work, others wanted more time to take care of themselves. My personal goal was to eat fewer meals at Starbucks. Regardless, our own versions of balance seemed like a lot more fun than the impossible standards we’d all been chasing just a few hours ago. The evening ended with a little more mingling, making plans to meet up and some of the most authentic relationship building I’ve ever experienced.
If this kind of networking sounds like something you could get into, make sure to come out to Pink Tank’s next event on June 21st, Bringing Your Heart and Soul to Work, featuring Heather White. To keep in touch with all things Pink Tank, make sure to like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their newsletter, which you do by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Katie on Twitter: @katiejeanes