Balance (with a big B) the kind the media gurus want you to buy is an urban myth! That very over-used word "Balance" creates a false impression of having control equally over all elements in life at any given time (pause of chuckle laugh here). The word "Balance: is often only used to describe juggling personal and professional life, you know--work-life balance, but balance, is simply not that one dimensional!
These days most of us attempt to balance multiple activities and roles including career, family, elder parent-care, pets, recreation, relaxation, school and volunteer activities, so "Big B Balance" can feel elusive. How many times in the last year have you been able to divide your time and energy equally between all life areas? Maybe it's time to give up the "perfect-pie-of-life-divided-into-equal-sections" model.
After all, what happens to balance when life deals you one of thos life shocks that stops you dead in your tracks? We simply try to regain some equilibrium. We switch to looking for personal equilibrium, not balance, because we intuitively know that when under sudden pressure or duress, balance is out the window! We need a new equilibrium that is not based on a model of perfection because goodness knows, life is rarely perfect! So, are you ready to look at the concept of balance in a whole new way?
The problem is life isn't static, but the concept of balance is. In reality, balance is like an amoeba -- changing shapes, thinning out, or bulging at one end. What gives us the ability to shift and change with life? Our flexibility, resilience, inner-knowledge and skill in transcending the changing pressures -- and we call that "LIVING BALANCE".
If you are looking for big-B Balance, you are looking to create a static state. First, you have to attain it and manicure it, then work at keeping it and making sure it remains in this pristene and perfect state. On the other hand, 'living balance' is fluid and a part of you rather than an external target. 'Living balance' is like a pulse, you really aren't aware of it until it's off-beat: too slow, too speedy or just off rhythm. 'Living balance' is both an energy flow and an energy source that shifts and changes with the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly cycles of life. Living balance is about meeting your inner needs not about meeting external expectations.
So it begs the question...How can each of us create 'living balance' each and every day of our lives? A sense of equilibrium that we can truly live successfully with.
Building solutions towards 'Living Balance':
1. You already have the tools you need to achieve living balance: a strong set of values, good decision making skills, the ability to say No, clear priorities and energy management skills that promote flexibility and resilience.
2. Don't try to "balance" 11 or 12 life areas each day or even each week, instead focus on 4 living-balance aspects of yourself and your energy: the physicial, the intellectual, the emotional and the spiritual.
3. An important dimension of living balance is to achieve equilibrium between the energy you spend on yourself and the energy you spend on others. Forget about expecting a 50/50 split, remember living balance is fluid so depending on the current demands in your life, your equilibrium between self and others will shift.
4. Do an inventory of all the various roles currently in your life. How are you supposed to find equal balance between all of them? Time to give up being all things to all people all the time. It's not going to happen with any sense of enjoyment. Make peace with the fact that at times you will feel that some life roles do not get the attention you would like them to. Remember, life's equilibrium will shift again.
5. A common dilemma is our need to balance two important aspects of our growth -- the spiritual and the pragmatic or practical. As human beings we seek to expand our awareness and to reach for connection with our faith, our universe, our higher self (whatever terms you use in your world), to feel unity and to achieve a sense of direction, meaning and purpose in both our personal and professional lives. At the same time we need to feel grounded and able to express our real self in the ordinary day-to-day in a meaningful way. Tall order? Maybe, but the answer again lies in maintaining a sense of equilibrium about it all. Small steps lead to great benefits.
Remember, 'living balance' is not about juggling the 'stuff' of your life. Balance is bigger than that. True living balance, real equilibrium comes from a stronge sense of know who you are and what you want in this world. 'Living balance' is value-driven living.
Dr. Toby Silverton & Dr. Bev McLagan (Silverton McLagan Identity Coaching) are personal coaches, therapists, educators, speakers and authors. Since 1982, their uniquely practical and inspired approach has helped an international group of clients achieve personal and professional balance and success.
They are known for their ground-breaking work in the areas of life balance and burnout, self-identity, stress and eating disorders. For more resources and products visit them at http://www.livethesolution.com and their Expert Page here on Self-Growth.