Work life balance - in a balancing pose

Welcoming Imbalance in the Work-Life Balance and Just Getting ‘Er Done

Jess Robertson on imbalance as part of work life balance
Jess Robertson and baby Dakota

Oscar Wilde once said “Everything in Moderation, even Moderation” In this letter to the Moksha Modo studio director family, Co Founder Jess Robertson shares her take on

Welcoming a little Imbalance or Just Getting ‘Er Done as part of realistic Work-Life Balance.



Hi sweet Sangha,

It’s great to be back from maternity leave! I have two kids, how crazy is that?! Being back, the love of my girls, and chats with many of you have me thinking about –

Work-life balance

I remember having just read the book the E-myth in 2003. Myself, Deena and Ted (my co-studio directors) were the epitome of an E-myth nightmare! We divided time instead of tasks (horrible I know) and as the main sweat equity director, in the place of dependable systems, was the sure-to-lead-to-burn-out answer to everyone’s studio question: ‘call Jess!’
One of my ethical business heros was GrassRoots Store founder, and Ted’s wise older brother Rob Grand. I was chatting with him one day having finally E-myth’d it up. The studio had systems and they were helping! I wasn’t receiving as many late-night and early morning calls on my cell. I was sleeping more and seeing friends. I was seeing the balance in work life balance! Yet on this day I was lamenting to Rob that a Broadview Street sound (Toronto) had woken me up and I was suddenly flush with 1am brilliance. I had ideas to help student ailments, the perfect newsletter words to address studio etiquette issues without singling anyone out and really coming from the heart.  I was remembering calls I needed to make. …Had I moved the plumber to my priority list? I was on fire! And yet… I was trying to sleep!! So I just lay awake, beating myself up for not being the balanced entrepreneur.

Rob’s a tall guy. He looked down at me and said in his low calm voice,
“Yeah, sometimes I just get up and do a few hours of work when that happens. I’m so efficient in the middle of the night.”  “What?! Is that allowed?

But what about the work life balance” I thought incredulously.

But as my life partner Eyal recently reminded me – sometimes a poignant word from a trusted friend is better than any book or google scholar research article. If Rob did it, that was good enough fo me.

Sometimes, life can be imbalanced (like at the holidays). We’re juggling the studio to-dos, parties, baking, gifts and gratitude cards to teachers, in-studio helpers, fellow owners, babysitters, kids teachers, business partners and more. Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day. Sometimes you just get out of bed late-night and write a letter that you care about, as I’m doing right now. It’s rare but I do it, and I’ve stopped beating myself up about it.

Cycles in the effort needed for spiritual and community growth is a reality reflected everywhere in nature – the waves, the seasons, the growth of a fruit tree. Imbalance gives rise to balance.

Balance can arrive from noting imbalance.

Sometimes imbalance is an early dawn work session. Sometimes imbalance lasts for a week. Sometimes it lasts for a year (1st year of owning a studio or first year as a parent come to mind!). And instead of resisting, and judging ourselves about not being balanced, we can give in,

get ‘er done

and then commit to a

return to calm with the same vigor we brought to the busy time.

I’m coming clean that I have not found a perfect work-life balance. And I’m finding that pretty perfect. Finding balance is a process, not an event.

I was reading about sports endurance a few years ago (I think it was from Vega founder Brendan Brazier). It stuck with me that endurance improves when we are relaxed and happy while simultaneously working at a high performance level.  It’s similar to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s fantastic book Flow.  The great thing about my ‘work’ is that I hang out with people that inspire me – like you guys, and the Moksha Modo International team. The studios are magnets for alternative, creative, original minds and I have met so many dear and lasting friends from being a teacher and studio director. For me, having so many friends at ‘work’ helps with balance because I’m happy. Studios are families and in this way our ‘jobs’ are different. For me this is a help when the work gets imbalanced, because we can have fun together even when we’re busy yogins.

So let’s keep this work-life balance open as an ongoing topic.  I wish you all a fun, adventurous, productive and perfect new year with

peace and balance

woven into it all.

With love, Jess

…Note as a note to blog readers. Thanks for visiting our blog! It’s pretty brand new so we’d love to follow our Live to Learn pillar and hear your thoughts on finding a work life balance.


5 Responses to “Welcoming Imbalance in the Work-Life Balance and Just Getting ‘Er Done”

August 11, 2016 at 10:32 pm, jess robertson said:

Great to hear from you Brooke! Yeah, we’re just coming out of those early baby months…don’t fret your real brain recovers from baby brain! Hope the hours you log are as restful as possible! Sending big love your way. ~jess


July 24, 2016 at 2:01 am, Brooke said:

Thank you Jess! So beautifully written and just what I need to hear as I am laying awake expecting another night time demand to nurse from my 5 -month mega baby Brayden but also writing and browsing and yearning for inspiration for my upcoming classes (rather tgan the sleeping I should try for) Love you long time.


June 26, 2016 at 11:17 am, Deettemy said:

That is the right blog for anybody who desires to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its nearly exhausting to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You positively put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, just great!


April 02, 2016 at 9:13 pm, Sue McIntyre said:

Hi Jess, I’m Sue. I have been practising at Moksha Yoga Burnaby for just over a year. I appreciate your insight tremendously. I believe, like you do, that work-life balance is a process, and that balance comes from imbalance. Hearing this from someone we look up to as “all together” can be tremendously reassuring. I think our Moksha/Modo community encourages us to be generous with one another in sharing our human foibles and enjoying all of the moments of balance and imbalance together. I look forward to reading more good stuff on the blog. Namaste. Sue


August 11, 2016 at 10:35 pm, jess robertson said:

So true that was a community we’re all about inspiration, and sometimes it only arrives through the foibles. Thanks for sharing!


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