When we think of “balance”, most of us visualize an image of a scale with two weights. Someone, somewhere (and I am gonna hunt them down) coined the kooky phrase “work-life balance” suggesting that one side of that scale is work, one side is life. Oh, it makes me crazy to even to write that. Really – you mean there is WORK and then there is LIFE? Separate from work? Considering that for most of us 1/2 of our waking hours are spent working, that is a very sad concept.
Joan Gurvis, co-author of FINDING YOUR BALANCE (Center for Creative Leadership http://www.ccl.org) wrote “Balance is not a matter of managing your time or giving equal effort to two opposing sides; it is about aligning your behaviour with what you believe is really important to you. When our lives don’t reflect our values, we feel that inconsistency as a measure of imbalance.”
In a nutshell, instead of balance being a measure of work/life, it is really about getting clear about what matters to you and then making the conscious choice to align your actions and activities with those priorities. Imbalance happens when you are not aligned. Simple eh?
Over-focusing in one area of your life is not an issue if it is aligned with your values and what you want for your life. The stress, incongruence and unhappiness come if that imbalance tilts you into a place that is not connected to your core essence. For example – my priority right now is in getting my coaching business flourishing – yes, I work 7 days a week, several hours per day. An outsider might look at this in our old balance paradigm and say I am out of balance. However, since I am absolutely doing what I believe is most important to me right now in my life, I do not in any way have the disquieting feeling that comes from being out of balance.
Finding your perfect balancing place will be an ever-changing journey that you will shift with and constantly reevaluate. Throw away the old limiting concept of the balancing scales with work on one side and life on the other. Instead, look at your entire life in the context of what is important to you, what fits with your values and what connects with your core essence.
ps/ find your unique balancing place by enrolling in my Harmony from the Inside Out Tele-Boot Camp (Nov.14-Dec.5)