135. Striking a Balance Between Being and Becoming

How do you find a beautiful balance between being and becoming?

I think people often think they have to be dissatisfied with their lives in order to justify making change…

OR they feel like they have to be mean or unkind to stay motivated.

None of that is true.

You can actually LOVE your life and yourself and still strive for more. When we strike that balance our lives have so much more peace and joy.

I share all the details inside this episode. I hope you enjoy! xo, Janeen

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[00:00:00] Janeen: Well, hey there. Welcome back to another episode of the podcast. I am Janeen Alley, and we are talking today about striking a balance between being and becoming. So I was taking a yoga class one time and the teacher was talking [00:01:00] about the importance of practice and play in yoga. And she said when she teaches kids yoga, they have no qualms of trying everything.

[00:01:09] Everything that she’s doing. They practice and they fall over and they get up and they do it all again. With adults, we don’t do that so much. I think it’s more difficult for adults to bring this element of play into their practice.

[00:01:22] We don’t usually practice something with the intention to play around.

[00:01:27] When we are focused and trying to get things right, it’s all kind of serious, right? We’re not messing around . This is serious business that we’re working on. And what I loved was this teacher was really emphasizing the importance of being okay with our bodies and what our bodies are capable of doing, as well as finding a playful aspect to the practice to work on becoming more and to get better at yoga. So I have been thinking about this and I periodically get questions from time [00:02:00] to time from my coaching students, they’ll ask me things like, well, how do I get motivated to change or become something different without being dissatisfied with my life right now? Another way that this question gets asked is if there is no rush, if there, or reaching the goal isn’t any better than here.

[00:02:20] Why should I bother? In other words, if I can be content right here, what’s the point of pushing myself to be more or to become more, to learn more, or to even have more, and I’m not just talking about stuff or material things. I’m talking about having more compassion or having more patience, or having more love or having more understanding, another thing that’s tricky in this balance of being and becoming is when we are trying to become more, when we’re trying to goal for a goal, because we want to.

[00:02:56] We are often mean to ourselves when we [00:03:00] don’t get things done or we don’t get things right or we don’t do things perfectly. One of my mentors and dear friends told me a while ago that my to-do list was a strength and it was also a nemesis for me, and it wasn’t necessarily my to-do list, but I knew exactly what she was talking about because of what the conversation was between us at the time. I can crank out a lot of content. I love to get things done, but if or when I didn’t accomplish all that I set out to during the day, I was disappointed and I would make it mean all kinds of unkind and untrue things about me. I didn’t feel like I was enough if I didn’t reach my own dang goals, which is so interesting because we’re the ones who set those goals.

[00:03:44] We’re the ones who set the standards, and then we use those standards and those goals to flog ourselves when we don’t get it right. Right. Why can we do that to ourselves? It’s totally optional, and yet we do, we do this all the time, so what is the point? If [00:04:00] there isn’t any better than here, and we end up spending a lot of time hating on ourselves in the process.

[00:04:05] I think what happens sometimes is people are just like, well, then I’m not going for the goal. Because again, they’re using that goal to beat themselves up. That is totally optional. . The point that I love to focus in on and what I have used to help myself stop talking to myself that way is to understand that the goal is really the progress.

[00:04:28] It’s the progress that I am making and the changes that I’m making and the transformation that’s happening as I reach those goals. The progress in and of itself is fun. And I think we are wired to progress. I’ve mentioned this many times on the podcast. I think as human beings we are wired to progress and I think it becomes so much more fun if we can keep that element of curiosity and playfulness and working on becoming more aware of [00:05:00] ourselves and what it is that we’re thinking.

[00:05:02] This is the sweet spot and we can find the right balance between being and becoming when we’re focused on those things instead of, again, using our goals to beat ourselves up or feeling like I can’t go for that because of the discomfort involved in the way that we’re talking to ourselves.

[00:05:23] I have used the wisdom of that yoga teacher in my life multiple times. I’ve been really working hard over the last several years on creating this harmony within myself of being and becoming. And I think this is so important because when we can harmonize these two things together, we really do cultivate more peace within ourselves.

[00:05:45] And I think this is so important on our journey right now and also for our future achievements because we just enjoy ourselves and we just enjoy our lives so much more. Not only are we kind to ourselves, but we also can offer compassion [00:06:00] to other human beings and we’re just so much more pleasant to be around because we’re not grumps all the time because we’re not perfect.

[00:06:09] So I think that’s really important because none of us are. And I think also if we can accept who we are right now, all of us, even the parts that get grumps and even the parts of us that lose our patience or even the parts of us that don’t get things right, we are learning to offer ourselves grace in the process, which means we are much more willing to try things out.

[00:06:33] What if we can try from this place of love and acceptance of our entire self, every minute of our lives, how would we behave differently? How would that change things? And by being, I mean appreciating where we are right now, all of us. Deep down, I know that I am enough. I am worthy.

[00:06:55] I am an amazing human being. All of us are. And it doesn’t have anything to do with what’s on [00:07:00] my list. Now, I know this cognitively, because of all the things that I’ve read and the things that I choose to believe.

[00:07:05] I, I totally get this, but how do we actually apply this? So I am gonna tell you a story, and this actually happened to me last week. This was a less than stellar moment, but I’m gonna talk to you about how I made the choice to love myself despite falling hugely short of how I wanted to be in that moment.

[00:07:29] So last week, Tuesday night, I went to Costco with my husband Merrill. I like to go to the grocery store in the evening cuz otherwise it takes up like half of my day doing all of the grocery things. And so I like to go at night and there’s also less people there. But this Tuesday I was pretty wiped out.

[00:07:46] There were some things that I was thinking about with my business that was just using up a lot of energy and I’d been coaching all afternoon and I was pretty exhausted at this point. and I was just sitting there after work before Merril even [00:08:00] walked in the door and I’m like, man, I’m just, I’m kind of stressed and I’m exhausted. I was just thinking about it. So he came in the door and we got some dinner made and I was just kind of telling him about how I was feeling and we decided to head out the door to go to Costco. And he is like, Hey, would you mind driving? And I thought to myself, well, that’s a little bit weird.

[00:08:18] But sure, I’ll drive. Thinking that maybe he also had a pretty rough day, cuz I had done most of the talking since he had walked in the door. But no, that’s not why he wanted me to drive. He wanted me to drive because he wanted to listen and stay caught up on The Chosen livestream that was happening . So I got in the car.

[00:08:38] I was a little bit bugged by that. I’m not gonna lie. So I’m a little bit bugged. Then we get to Costco and my car is almost on empty. So I’m like, all right, let’s fill up the, fill up the gas tank. And again, I kinda sit there for a minute cuz he usually hops out and pumps the gas. And so I’m like, fine, ill get out and pump the gas

[00:08:56] So I hop outta the car and pump the gas and it’s cold, you know, and I’m grumps being out [00:09:00] there. And I finish and right when I’m about to pull away from the pump and I am on the second pump, so I’m not the first pump where I can easily just pull away. I could have like five seconds before, but there was this big truck that came around me and pulled into the front pump, and so she’s at the first pump.

[00:09:18] I’m at the second. and I’m like, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, you didn’t just do that. I need to leave and I don’t wanna sit here and wait for you to pump your gas. But because she was driving a big truck and I was in our truck, I was like, there’s no way I can like easily just squeak around her car, to leave. I’m gonna have to wait there.

[00:09:36] But I’m like, oh, I’m gonna make this work. You know my, now I’m like, , I am irritated and I’m a little bit angry and I’m like, ah, no . So I’m doing this 20 point turn to get away from this truck and I’m like gripping this steaming wheel. And I’m yelling at this point and my husband’s like, what is going on?

[00:09:55] He is oblivious cuz he’s watching the chosen livestream. Of course. [00:10:00] So I get around this truck and I get stuck. I get stuck around this truck. She hasn’t even gotten out of a car. I didn’t even know it was a woman, but I now am like, you know, smoke coming outta my ears. I am mad. I am mad. And so at this point, the only solution that I can think of is to honk my horn

[00:10:21] And it wasn’t like a courtesy, like beep beep, y’all. I put my shoulder into that honk and it was like a beep beeeeep, I laid on it . I laid on that horn for all the world to hear cuz I was really mad. And fortunately the little car that was on the side pump over on the right side. , that person left. So I did have now space to move around this truck.

[00:10:48] And of course, as I pulled up on the side of this truck, I am yelling through my glass. I am gesturing with my hands. This woman is looking terrified. And also maybe a little amused, , [00:11:00] maybe. I don’t know if I would’ve been amused, but thinking back, I’m like, she must have thought I was crazy. I mean, I was in that moment.

[00:11:10] I was pretty crazy. and I got into the store cuz now I’ve gotta go grocery shopping. I get into the store and I’m thinking for the first 20 minutes I’m in the store, I’m still mad and I’m thinking if I see that woman in the store, I’m gonna punch her in the face. I literally had that thought multiple times.

[00:11:27] So I am going around in the store, Merrill’s kind of hanging back he knows better. He’s not saying anything at this point cuz I’m just gonna yell. So he is just kind of hanging back and when we get home he’s like, how about, how about you just head to bed? ? So I do. But thinking about this on the way home, he’s driving now, he’s driving on the way home, back to my house.

[00:11:53] I’ve calmed down to the point where I’m thinking about how I behaved and [00:12:00] feeling some remorse now I’m not feeling angry anymore, but I’m feeling some remorse and I’m analyzing and I’m thinking, okay. , how did we get to this place today? What is going on? Tell me all the things. Like what, how did we get here? that,

[00:12:17] that is the conversation that I legitimately had with myself. And it’s interesting because I even kind of chuckled to myself in that moment and I’m like, you could go down the, you are such a hypocrite route, but I’m like no because I don’t need to, I, I was that self-aware to know that in the past I have buried myself in shame.

[00:12:38] I have thought things like, you are such a hypocrite. I can’t believe you behave like this in public. You behave like a freaking two year old. You were losing your ever-loving mind over a stranger. You have no business coaching people. You talk about being peaceful and that was super, super far from it. I didn’t even have that conversation with myself [00:13:00] because that conversation isn’t helpful. I’ve analyzed it enough to know it’s just not helpful.

[00:13:09] The truth is, is I’m a human being and I get tired and I get stressed. The other part of this is it happens far less than it used to. And I know this because I focus on my gains and how much progress I am making

[00:13:27] I know how far I’ve come from where I used to be reactive all of the time. I’m not a robot. I know that there are things that happen in my life that creates stress and overwhelm from time to time. And I knew in that moment what I needed to do was I did need to go to bed and I did need to focus on upping my self-care over the next few days.

[00:13:53] So this is how I am striking that balance from being to [00:14:00] becoming. in that moment, I could see myself and understand like, yeah, that wasn’t, that was far from my best moment. I totally did not mean to lose my mind on that woman.

[00:14:13] But the key question from that place Is okay, now what are we going to do? Now what are we going to do? It’s not that I’m letting myself off the hook.

[00:14:24] I’m not saying to myself, well, you were a human. You had a human moment. And it happens to everybody. . So what? That’s not what I’m saying. It’s now what? Now what are we going to do? So with my spiritual practice, I knew there was some repentance that needed to happen. I needed to figure out a way that I could make restitution for that as far as I could go because I didn’t know who she was.

[00:14:48] I also knew at that moment that again, I needed to be kind to myself and ask myself. , what do you need? What do you need in this moment? [00:15:00] Because this is one of the patterns that I see over and over again with other women, and this is one of the things that I used to do all the time, sometimes our inability to really go for a dream or to focus on progressing and changing, uh, a characteristic about ourselves that we don’t like.

[00:15:16] Like for example, if you are used to yelling a lot we often don’t feel like we are enough or even worth the effort. I think we feel so bad about ourselves that we’re just like, why should I even try? I keep doing this. The failures that we make are the mistakes that we make in our minds means that we’re not enough.

[00:15:35] You’re not good enough, you’re not popular enough, you’re not capable enough. You’ve tried this so many times, it’s got to be YOU. That’s what we often conclude, and that’s where I was 10 years ago. But this is just not true. No matter what you do or haven’t done, no matter who you are or aren’t, no matter what, you are enough and you are worthy of [00:16:00] every good thing.

[00:16:01] That’s one thing that we could think or we could spend our time, beating ourselves up for the mistakes that we make where we don’t show up as our best selves. And we make it mean that we’ll never get there. That’s also not true.

[00:16:15] There is a messy middle. Being at Costco and losing my mind was definitely my messy middle, and I’m not talking about, like I said, letting myself off the hook and just telling myself it’s okay because it’s not okay for me to behave like that.

[00:16:33] But I don’t need to spend time beating myself up.

[00:16:37] I’m not okay with letting myself off the hook and making excuses or justifications for my behavior. I used to tell myself sometimes even other people, well, if someone doesn’t like me, then that’s their problem. as if that gave me permission to just do whatever I wanted and other people could just manage their mind around that.

[00:16:57] If that’s not showing up as our best selves. If we [00:17:00] mess up, we need to do everything that we possibly can to make restitution and make repairs for our behavior. A hundred percent. And that’s part of asking, okay, now what are we going to do? What do you need? What happened? How can we grow from here? Like I said, ask forgiveness if you need to. Make things right and then move forward. And I think asking for forgiveness is moving forward. I think that’s taking responsibility for your actions and moving forward.

[00:17:27] Reaching our goals for the sake of reaching a goal doesn’t matter so much. It doesn’t matter so much in the grand scheme of things if we lose weight, it doesn’t matter whether or not we start a business or are successful with that business. These results in and of themselves are neutral. They don’t make you more . What does matter in the process of reaching a goal is who we are becoming in the process. Especially if we are making conscious choices about what we believe about ourselves, what we are [00:18:00] capable of.

[00:18:02] In order to do that, we have to learn how to stay objective. . That’s the being part. We have to look at our humanness and not make it mean that we’re beyond hope or that our dreams don’t matter or that we’re too far gone, or that we’ll never get there. It’s seeing who we are now and loving ourselves despite our imperfections, and sometimes that’s tough love, my friends. Sometimes that’s tough love with ourselves. It’s like how can we prevent that from happening again? What do we need to do now?

[00:18:35] Being is watching how you’re showing up every day and not judging yourself harshly. You’re seeing yourself as a messy human with mud on your face, trying your best, sometimes running in late, sometimes getting knocked down and standing up again.

[00:18:51] Being enough is forgiving yourself and offering grace when we fall short right now. And like I said, sometimes that requires tough love. When we [00:19:00] focus on just being, we accept our flaws and maybe even embrace some of our quirks and idiosyncrasies and know that all of it makes us unique and beautiful. Again, not making justifications, but owning our mistakes and asking, okay, now what? Now what are we gonna do?

[00:19:18] Being means we know we are rough around the edges and whole at the same. And it’s not about what has happened in our past or what will happen in our future, but this moment. Now what? From here, how are we going to move forward?

[00:19:35] Being is allowing ourselves to be seen and heard, even when we feel alone and scared.

[00:19:42] Being allows for practicing and progress and not even focusing on the unattainable goal of perfection. We’re accepting where we’re at on our path and we’re not comparing. We’re extending love and acceptance not only to ourselves, but to others on their journey. It really [00:20:00] is about love. Love allows us the freedom to grow and to become more of who we truly are at our core.

[00:20:08] And we often lose sight of this. Who we are gets clouded in the world surrounded by mixed messages and other people trying to figure it out, and other beliefs about who we should be.

[00:20:20] Focus on being from that place of love and you start to unfold. You start to emerge and grow.

[00:20:28] you develop more presence of mind and you can be present in the moment and enjoy this moment, this day, this gift that you have been given. You understand that you are not your thoughts, you are not your body. You are not your to-do list or your time or your accomplishments. You’re none of those things.

[00:20:49] If you are doing your best in this moment, it’s enough. I promise you it is. You are enough , and that’s the difference between a soul filled [00:21:00] experience versus punishing yourself or hating yourself to get there. It will never last long term and it will never work.

[00:21:09] So one of the things that, again, I love about yoga is this journey between being and becoming.

[00:21:14] It’s something that I can practice every single time I show up on my mat. I can focus on being and just being content with where my body is and what I’m capable of doing. I might not be able to do all of the things . I might not be able to do a handstand, for example, from a wide-legged forward fold. Yet I’m okay with that because my body allows me to do so many amazing things. At the same time, I can still focus on becoming.

[00:21:41] I would, however, love to be a more flexible and stronger. I think there are some pieces of wisdom that I’ve learned in this process. I think reminding myself that there is this sweet spot with being content with today, and also having desire to become something more is something that I [00:22:00] remind myself of and that I’m striving to achieve in my day. Anytime my brain wants to compare or anytime that I feel defeated about something. I can love myself unconditionally.

[00:22:13] It’s always available to me. I can take care of and I can give love to myself no matter what. Even if I don’t fit into my pants, or even if I yelled and acted like a crazy lady. I know that I can refrain from using speech against myself and other people. Even in my thoughts. Negativity is a form of suffering to which I can always respond to with compassion.

[00:22:40] Again, even in my own mind. I can ask myself things like, okay, what’s the negativity about? What’s the story about? Am I comparing or am I competing or am I judging or am I jealous? What is the root source of this pain? I’m unhappy about something. , or maybe I just need a nap . Maybe that’s what it is, and that’s [00:23:00] fine.

[00:23:00] All living things thrive in an environment where there is loving energy. I mean, we see this in experiments with plants even. And that energy can be felt, whether it is said out loud or even just thought.

[00:23:14] I can never change my past, but I can always do my best with the here and now. The only reality is this present moment.

[00:23:24] One of the questions, like I said, that I love to ask myself is, okay, so now what? Now what are we gonna do? I know that that requires listening to myself with my whole attention in order to understand what’s going on. I can also offer this gift to other people and really listening to understand versus listening to respond. Those two things are very different. That’s one of the best gifts that I know that I can give myself as well as other people.

[00:23:55] What I have loved to do is practicing observing my pain without reacting [00:24:00] to it in order for it to come and go. Coming back to this Costco example, I felt immense pain and shame after I kind of came to my senses. Like I said, it took me about 20 minutes to do that. But when I realized how I had behaved and I was thinking about that behavior from my highest self, not from my primitive brain, my primitive brain had to settle the heck down.

[00:24:24] But when I could think about that from my highest self and I was able to observe my pain, then I was able to hold space for myself to feel all the things that were coming up. I was like, yeah, it wasn’t, it wasn’t your best moment, , Janeen. It’s far from your best moment. And I can always connect to myself and the present moment by focusing in on my breath and just being like, okay, whew, Sometimes we need a couple breaths. I regularly remind myself of all the good things in my life, and again, how far I’ve come. All the [00:25:00] gains that I’ve made, all of those things are the cherry on top, the things that I can be grateful, but I don’t use gratitude to placate the way that I feel right now. If I’m tired, I don’t tell myself I should be grateful for the work I do. I don’t do that. I’m just tired. I’m a human. Humans get tired, and I can allow space for myself to be both tired and grateful if I want to be.

[00:25:23] All right, my friends. I hope that this episode was helpful to you today. If it made a difference to you in your life, I would love it if you shared it with a friend or somebody that you know who you feel like would benefit from the podcast. One last thing I wanna tell you about is a masterclass that I’m doing live.

[00:25:40] This is coming up in the month of March. In fact, I’m doing a few of them. But if you wanna know the latest workshop that I’m putting together, go to workshop.janeenalley.com. It’s going to be on my website. It’s going to be in all the places so that you can get registered for that workshop and come join me live for that event.

[00:25:58] It’s gonna be amazing. There [00:26:00] will be time to interact and ask me questions and all of the good things. So I hope that you can make it if you’re interested the workshop is called The Five Productivity Mistakes Busy Moms Can’t Afford To Make, especially if they’re feeling burned out and behind. So I hope that you are able to join me live for that workshop. It’s gonna be amazing. Like I said, I’m really looking forward to being there with you and spending that time with you so that we can kind of go deep on some of the things that we talk about on the podcast.

[00:26:26] All right, my friends, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. We’ll catch you guys soon. Take care. Bye.