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The subject of balance is one that has always fascinated me – mostly because it has been one of my big challenges in life. When I do something I tend to do it to exhaustion; and that doesn’t allow time for rest and restoration, necessary keys to maintaining vitality.
Over a decade ago, balance became more than just a concept for me as I burned out in my corporate career and left just when I was enjoying the pinnacle of my success.
Let me rephrase that!
I wasn’t so much ‘enjoying’ it as I was constantly being told by other people how wonderful my life was.
And, from the outside looking in, that was certainly true.
But, from the inside out, not so much!
Choosing to step away and into the great unknown was the most frightening and healthiest step I could have taken. And it was what finally allowed me to understand what this thing called balance (or work-life balance) was all about.
I even put what I learned into a fable I wrote for women about the subject. That story became my book ‘High Heels on the Hamster Wheel’ and I still get emails from women who have discovered it and find it so relatable and helpful.
That fable came to me in a dream and, like much of my journey to understanding balance, the path was spirit-led.
So the first thing I want to tell you is that there no such thing called work-life balance. You only have one life and it is that one life that strives toward balance.
The second thing you need to know is that your definition of balance has to fit you and your unique life, dreams and plans.
So do you know what balance looks like for you?
If not, then I offer you my three ways to find balance. See if they work for you.
1) Let go of what other people think of you.
That may not seem like it has to do with balance but it does. If you are living your life concerned what other people think (about your choices and your actions) then you can’t life an authentic life. And it is impossible to really have balance if you are inauthentic in why you are making the choices that you are making.
2) Start saying ‘YES’ to yourself.
Sometimes the easiest path to feeling comfortable with saying ‘NO’ to others’ demands on your time and energy is to begin by saying ‘YES’ to yourself, a little bit at a time. Saying ‘YES’ reminds you what you truly want to do and why. And often your life might be out of balance because you are running on auto-pilot. Taking the time to say a definitive ‘YES’ brings mindfulness and mindfulness brings clarity.
3) Figure out where the gaps are in your life.
You have five main areas to which you give your energy – work, relationships, health, spiritual connection and your creativity. Figure out which, if any, of these is missing in your life the way it is now. Once you do that you can begin to make sure you fit each area in each and every day as much as possible. And, VOILA! – BALANCE!
As the summer arrives here in the Northern Hemisphere it is the perfect time to check in with your balance beam and see if you are on solid ground or about to fall off one end.
Balance isn’t just a theoretical nice-to-have. It is a true necessity. The universe always finds its way to balance and so does your life. What you want to avoid is having the universe move you because you haven’t been paying attention.
Your life is your biggest, most impactful and longest-lasting creative act.
Make it count as much as you already do.