About This Episode
In this episode, Tristan asks Touré about his new book, Balance, which is coming out soon. Touré's book is so amazing that it has quickly become one of Tristan's favorites. Listen in on their insightful discussion as they delve into the blessing of spending time alone and discovering soulfulness.
We've all heard a lot about balance, but Touré had a distinct perspective on it that shocked Tristan. Let’s take a closer look.
What does it mean to get your family off autopilot?
Most of us get stuck on doing the day-to-day things: we wake up, go to work, pick up the kids from school, come back home, and go to sleep. And then we do the same things over and over again.
When you are committed to success, or an achiever, you tend to get into certain rhythms. And rhythms often work. It takes a certain rhythm or flow to achieve some of the breakthroughs in life you are going for, and that is wonderful.
The only thing is, sometimes, when you get locked into a rhythm, you miss the scenery. And the scenery is ultimately what gives you courage, and energy in life, and gives you everything that you need.
When you are stuck on autopilot, you are trapped in an old rhythm that no longer serves your current needs. So, you have to be sensitive enough to know when it's time to pump the brakes and come to a stop.
Now, here is the thing. Stopping is hard.
Some people try to get off the ground and believe that getting off the ground is the most difficult part, but Touré has learned that stopping and slowing down is far more difficult.
It takes faith.
“You have to believe that your world won’t come crashing down if you stop, particularly if you are stopping for the right reasons.” -Touré
How did you get to that awareness that you need to slow down?
Touré says, “I think all of us have two ‘bests.’ The ‘best’ that’s based on where we are at any given time. And then we have our ‘best’ when we are balanced. Our balanced best is actually so much greater than our current best.”
While Touré was halfway through writing his manuscript, his agent was honest enough to tell him that his current work wasn’t his best. And for Touré, it was already his best. He was working hard, doing his research, and studying. He wasn’t taking any days off.
“But she was right,” Touré says. “She had seen my balanced best. She had seen me when I was at the top of my game. When I was aligned. When I was in my flow. And so, she was right. That wasn’t my best. Now, it was the best based on where I was. And what I needed was to stop. I needed rest. I needed restoration. I needed a whole bunch of things to manifest my best.”
It just took a little bit of pain and a little bit of insight to realize that sometimes, you think that you stopping will make you unproductive. But the reality of it is, that if you stop and get what you need, you’ll be even more productive.
Balance as a Place and not a Discipline
Most people think that balance is a discipline. They tell themselves, “If I can employ these disciplines, call it work-life balance, call it whatever you want to call it, then I will be balanced.”
“But I realized, that is a fallacy. And that’s why most people believe balance is a myth, they don’t believe it’s achievable,” Touré says.
If balance is a discipline, it will mean dividing the self and giving 20% to this, 30% to that, and so on. But you can’t just give 20% to your wife, or 20% to your work. Your marriage will suffer, and your investors will walk out on funding your endeavors if you do.
Balance is not a discipline, it’s a state of being. It’s a place.
“It’s a state where my thoughts are clear. It’s a state where my spirit, soul, and body are rejuvenated. It’s a state where I am rested, I’m not hustling to get something. I am in a state of rest, which allows me to work hard because I know that it’s there. It’s a place of abundance.” -Touré
“And I think that when you arrive at balance, then everything that you touch will thrive,” he continues.
You can do all things well. You just can’t do all things well at the same time. If you are in a state of balance, then you will be sensitive enough to know what to pour into and know when to pour into it.
Tristan agrees to this and says, “When you’re at this place…balance…then your priorities are clear.”
Self-awareness vs Soul Awareness
Soul awareness is just self-awareness to the deepest level.
“I am so thrilled that self-awareness has become a buzzword in business and culture.
People are realizing that they have to be in touch with where they are, what they do, and why they do it. I think that’s wonderful,” Touré says.
But there is another level.
Soul awareness speaks to you being aware of the deepest parts of yourself. At the soul level, where it is the most authentic version of who a person is. Sometimes the things that we are doing, the things that are driving us, the things that we need and crave, we need and crave at the soul level, not the self-level.
If you can’t perceive what your soul needs, what the deepest part of you needs, then you’ll be trying to satisfy the longings of your soul with things that are at the surface level of your life. That’s why many people go on a shopping binge when what they need is love and affirmation.
Soul awareness is really about tapping into the depths of who you are, and it requires another level of discipline to do so.
The main level of discipline to get to soul awareness is to silence the noise.
Silencing the Noise
Life is so noisy. The problem is, noise has become normal while stillness feels weird.
You’ve been there before. When you’ve checked up all the boxes, and you get the rest of the afternoon and you start twitching. You know, it’s too quiet, and you try to fill it up.
But that’s the perfect time to settle into that stillness, tap into your soul, and maybe you’ll find out something about yourself you’ve never considered.
Beware of the Noise at Night
Nowadays, being still is difficult. Especially with all the technology available everywhere that just makes the noise more prevalent.
But Touré writes about another kind of noise that most people don’t think about often. It is the noise at night.
Business owners and entrepreneurs are familiar with that voice at night saying self-defeating things.
- You’re not going to make it.
- What are you doing?
- Your business is successful but you can’t make enough time for your family.
That’s the noise at night. Those thoughts are dangerous when left unchecked. As Touré says, this noise “...is always very anti-us that attempts to encroach upon the shores of our happiness, peace, and contentment.”
Touré shares a great way to overcome that noise in his book.
The first thing you need to acknowledge is that these self-defeating thoughts are an external factor because why would you be anti-you? That doesn’t make sense.
Of all the negative thoughts a person can have, the biggest one is always “You are not enough.”
The beautiful thing about hitting pause, and the beautiful thing about balance, is that balance puts you in an environment where affirming truths about who you are and about your life are commonplace.
“Stopping is important because sometimes those thoughts become so natural that we can’t tell the difference between those things being our thoughts, and thoughts that are coming from a place outside of ourselves,” according to Touré.
The best way to counter these thoughts is to take inventory of the thoughts you allow to remain in your mind.
In Touré’s words, “I believe that my mind is precious real estate. It is prime real estate. And you are going to have to be a worthy thought to take up space in this precious and prime real estate of my thought life.”
In other words, mindfulness of the recurring self-defeating thoughts and coming up with a strategy to counter those thoughts before it defeats you.
For Touré, what he does is establish some “I am” statements for self-affirmation. He rehearses these “I am” statements every day before the negative thoughts even manage to come in.
“And the reason why I rehearse those statements every single day before those negative thoughts come in is if you are trying to find something positive after the negative thought has come you’re too late,” he says. “Negative thoughts are too strong.”
So, if you know that at night you are going to wake up anxious, then before you go to sleep, you are going to have to feed yourself with positive “I am” statements.
“I don’t go to sleep at night without affirming myself into a place of gratitude and self-value. Giving myself a head start on the onslaught of negative thoughts that may come at night,” says Touré.
So, you have to make a habit of telling yourself who you are before the noise of night does it for you.
As goes you, so goes everything that you touch.
There’s a quote from Touré’s book that goes “Once I broke free from the guilt of being good to myself, I embraced the me-time as a blessing.”
And it is true. A lot of people suffer from a form of guilt when they try to prioritize themselves and their well-being. There are times in life when your mind, heart, and soul, your everything, needs time away. But it takes you weeks before you can get that break because you feel like if you take time off, your work, your family, and other aspects of your life will suffer.
Touré realized it was the opposite. “I realized I was actually doing them a disservice by not taking care of myself,” he says.
“After taking time off, when I did return, I was more engaged with my wife and my kids, I have more creativity in my work, and I was a better leader to my staff. And so, the version of me my kids got back after prioritizing myself made it worth it. My staff right now, they love to send me away because when I come back I’m a great boss,” Touré shares.
You need to break out of the guilt of resting. And when you do get the time to take a break, make sure you get what you need. Stay still. Don’t do work to catch up while you are on your break.
The Power of Solo
Nowadays, society has a misconception that being alone is a negative thing. However, being alone is a blessing, not a curse.
The word alone came from the Old English word “all ana” which means “All One.”
Being alone becomes the environment for you to become ALL ONE. No longer fragmented or all over the place. You are whole. It is a positive thing.
Certain things can only happen to you and to you when you are alone, you appreciate being alone, and you enjoy yourself.
It starts with perspective, and a little bit of curiosity.
Being curious about you. Believing that there is something uniquely inherent and beautiful in you. And it has to do with what you like and you enjoy and your passion and your thoughts. Not looking down on yourself but looking at yourself with wonder and fascination.
In your alone time, try to figure out the answer to the question “Who am I?” and realize that there is more to you than where you’re at right now.
“Being alone is not a curse, it is an environment that allows you to become all of yourself. Then, I believe, when you become all of yourself, you are in a better position to give yourself to a new career, to a new individual,” Touré says.
But first, you need to know who you are and become all of who you are. All ana, all one.
Alone Time vs. Time with Your Spouse
Having alone time is important. But how important is having alone time shared with a loved one, a significant other, or a spouse?
Touré shares another beautiful insight.
He says, “I think that’s important, but I think being alone by yourself and being alone with someone are two different things. I love my wife as my best friend and my whole world. I love her company. However, I still need me-time the way she needs her time.”
“Our relationship can go deeper because we’ve gone deeper into ourselves individually. So we have more to offer one another. But if we are not soul aware, we have less to offer to the other because there is the untapped territory between us,” he continues.
“But as we take our respective soul times, and we become all one, then these two all ana beings come together, and we have a relationship that is all one, that is complete.” -Touré
Touré presents fasting in his book in a fascinating way. Fasting is often associated with religious or medical constructs, but here, Touré talks of using fasting as a tool to achieve a deeper level of self-awareness.
Everyone is aware that the fundamental discipline of fasting is denial. It could be food, social media, television, etc. but most people miss the other part of fasting: “Why are you denying yourself that particular thing?”
If your whole objective is restraint, then you’ve missed the beauty of fasting.
Fasting uses restraint and the elimination of one thing, to allow you to experience another thing in its place. So, it is not fasting “to keep from,” it is fasting “to get to [something].”
When your mindset about fasting shifts, it becomes more exciting. Because now, you are not just denying yourself, you are gaining something new and better in exchange for that denial.
In Touré’s words, “I’m not depriving myself. I am reviving myself.”
By stepping away from something that consumes too much of your time and filling up its space with something you’ve been neglecting, or needing, you experience a new dimension of yourself.
Fasting During Your Me-time
What your soul needs vary from season to season. Your soul has a desire and a direction, and it longs for balance and oneness. And it knows what it takes to get all that.
That’s why when you are soul aware, according to Touré, “this awareness helps you tap into what I call ‘divine compass’ that guides you to what you need at any point in time.”
That’s why the challenge with doing things religiously is that sometimes what you need changes. Sometimes what you need in a particular moment is to NOT meditate. Sometimes it’s a bike ride. It might be a walk in the park or a drive in your car. You need to get in touch with your deepest level, the soul level, to be able to perceive what is needed and when.
Sometimes what you need shifts. And fasting now and then helps you evaluate and attain that.
The Gift of Rest
This chapter in Touré’s book starts with “every significant dimensional accomplishment, things that just put me on another stratosphere, work, relationships, whatever, it all happened not when I was toiling, or hustling, or working. All of those things happened when, somehow, I found myself in this place of rest.”
Not just physical rest, but the spiritual and emotional posture of rest, that says “I have already.”
He also mentions the story about Peter working all night to catch fish, but failing to get any. But when his focus shifts from his need to paying attention to what Jesus is saying, the moment he relaxes and trusts Jesus’s words and casts his net again, he manages to reel in a haul so great, that it almost breaks his net.
He was in the same ocean, he was in the same area. He has the same boat, the same tools, the same net. The only different thing was his posture at rest.
The lesson is, that everything you need is already there. When you stop toiling from a deficit or poverty mentality, when you start working from an abundance mentality saying “everything that I need is already there, let me just rest, breathe, take it all in and believe that it’s there. Then when I move forward, I’ll be just like Peter, taking in this haul that I will need two or three nets to bring it in,” according to Touré.
The same thing is true for romantic relationships. Some people spend their lives looking for love. But the moment they stop looking, love finds them.
Touré shares the story of how he met his wife, Sarah, and how he used to not know how to be fine alone. But he eventually came to this realization. “It’s when you are content and you believe that what life has for you is for you, that it shows up. And it’s amazing. There hasn’t been a day that’s passed that we regretted that decision,” Touré says.
The Power of No
In this chapter of the book, Touré advises everyone to say no to 90% of the things that come your way, because your "Yes" should be expensive.
Imagine this. You are scrolling through your feed and see 30 different posts from different sources. Those things can make you feel or think 30 different things at the same time. Not all of those will serve you and your purpose.
You can think of them as invitations. You can’t say “Yes” to all the invitations you receive. You are only one person who has only 24 hours in a day and can only be in one place at a time.
You need to learn how to leave the things that don’t serve you and to only receive the 10%, the small fraction of things that are related to your purpose.
So, for the most part, the idea is 90% “No” to preserve the 10% “Yes” that is worthy and serves you.
In other areas of your life, like in business, you have a staff working for you and filtering out the invitations so you only get what needs your attention. There is a system in place to filter everything that comes your way so you don’t have to be the one to say no to everything else.
If you can set up a similar system in your life, it will be easier to restrict the number of thoughts, ideas, and unprofitable things, so that you can invest in the things that matter the most.
But in the meantime, it is 90% “No”.
The value of your “YES”
Imagine your “YES” to be a 100-dollar bill. You don’t go walking down the street handing out a 100-dollar bill to everyone you meet, because the bill has value to you. Your “Yes” should be as expensive.
Because every time you say “Yes”, you commit yourself, your time, energy, effort, and availability to something. Inversely, you make yourself unavailable to something else, and you don’t know what that something is. That something you’ve just made yourself unavailable for might have been the thing that you’ve been hoping for all this time.
Only give your “Yes” when you know, or when you feel like you will get a return on investment on the thing you agreed to commit to.
The people who realize the value of their “Yes” sometimes develop a certain fear of saying “Yes”. And while it is true that you should give it deep consideration, you don’t need to go as far as developing a fear of it.
Sometimes, it is enough to trust your instinct on whether to say yes or no to something. It might be your soul trying to tell you “Hey if you say YES to this, you’re gonna miss out on this [other thing].”
Balance as a Rhythm
“I think everything has a rhythm. Life [itself] has a rhythm,” Touré says.
For him, being in a state of balance is about being in a certain rhythm and flow. And the cool thing is, the people you are supposed to run with, your family, your staff, are in a similar rhythm as you.
If your rhythms are not in sync, it is not going to work. You might not even meet up. You may pass by each other but not really see each other because you’re consumed in that rhythm.
When you get locked in autopilot, you are trapped in an old rhythm that no longer serves your current needs and purpose. When this happens, you need to hit pause and stop. Stay still and listen to the rhythm of your soul. Because the rhythm of your soul is going to lead you back into a rhythm of balance.
Getting Back on the Rhythm
The first thing you need to get back on your rhythm is to know that you can. Stop stressing out about finding the rhythm. It is still there. It’s like a pulse. As long as you are alive, the pulse is there. You just need to stay still and put your finger in the right place to feel it.
That’s what we need to do, we got to keep real still. Shut some things down. Tell some people “no”. Tell some things “no”.
When you realize that the driver in your life has become fear instead of abundance, stop. Do a diagnostic on yourself to figure out where you got lost in alignment. And once you get back into that rhythm, your creativity, passion, love, patience will begin to flow again.
When you feel like you are out of rhythm, stop. Go back to your disciplines. Take a deeper look in your soul, and you will find that rhythm again.
How to Maintain Your Highest Rhythm
Discipline is the key. And not in a rigid routine way. It is all about constantly evaluating where you are at, affirming yourself, and taking time to be still. Find out what things you need to focus on.
“I think consistency is the evidence of maturity. And maturity itself is being serious enough about your life and the fulfillment of your purpose and your calling and your highest identity. To work the disciplines every single day,” Touré says.
The how is different from person-to-person. Different things move us and get us where we need to be.
The specifics of what gets us the balance is different, but the one thing that we all have to do is to STOP.
The one thing we all need to do is get still to find out what those specific instructions are that lead us to our greatest selves.
Sharing a Life Means Sharing Rhythm
Touré shares the daily routine that helps him maintain his highest rhythm. Number two on his list is checking in with his wife Sarah. He tells us why it is important.
“She is my life partner. Although we are distinct individuals, we share a life, literally. This means ultimately if she’s not okay, I’m not okay. And vice versa,” he says.
“A lot of times you get so caught in your rhythm as a married person that you forget your rhythm is connected to your spouse’s rhythm. So, I will check in with her,” he continues.
“Because if we are a bicycle, and her wheel is flat, we aren’t going anywhere.” -Touré
Connect with Touré Roberts
Check out thebalancebook.com to know more information about his book.
Or find him through social media:
Facebook: Touré PT Roberts
Youtube: ONE | A Potter's House Church
Pre-order his book Balance on Amazon!
DISCLAIMER: The people interviewed are well-trained experts and highly skilled in their areas of practice. They take many safety precautions prior to attempting the activities described. The activities or research discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.