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Life is not meant to be balanced

“I am constantly struggling to create a work life balance.”

This statement reappears in a number of places and from a variety of individuals that I work with, teach, or lead in workshops, and inherent in their struggle to solve their problem is the additional problem they construct by proposing a solution that is flawed in application and perspective.

In essence they have adopted a mindset that furthers their struggle, and so often isn’t that the case, that we fail to see the problem because of how we present it to ourselves?

The goal is not in attaining the perfect and static balance of the scales, or finally finding the exact and equal amounts of work and life so that it feels balanced. The reality is that the struggle we feel is due to how we define the problem; that of seeking a work/life balance.

The work/life statement has the following issues:

  1. It separates life, which is holistic, into a separate and singular entity apart from work.
  2. It presupposes that we can segment and compartmentalize our life into perfect order.
  3. It suggests that you view life as components to be arranged and set in place.

The solution will only appear when we see these issues as false assumptions.

To find peace in our life and all it includes requires that we begin by self-reflecting so as to understand what we value, and what our purpose is in this life.

It is only when we know ourselves that we can live in “balance”.

Look inwards; deep inside to see what you truly value, these values help to define your purpose. Once you have identified your core values, and thus have defined your purpose, then everything else falls into place. Note I did not say everything will work out perfectly, what I am saying is that the decisions we make, and the actions we take, when guided by our values and in alignment with our purpose, will keep us moving on the right and meaningful path. Additionally when we know ourselves, we become more self-aware and can see our life situation for what it is, an expression of our decisions in reaction to the external forces of life.

 

This self-awareness, once practiced, extends outwards so that we can experience our life and discover where it is out of balance. Once the misalignment is illuminated we can adjust, not rigidly up and down like a scale, but fluidly like water that fills the gaps where emptiness exists, exiting once the vacuum is filled. When focused, our awareness gently brushes against obstacles and slides around them to rejoin itself on the other side, always flowing onward guided by purpose. It is in the ebb and flow of giving and receiving, and in the filling in and emptying out that we constantly balance our life. This approach takes advantage of the movement and rhythm of our bodies and nature, and life, noting that nothing is permanent.

So the next time you are stressed, or struggling to find balance. Pause and consider the possibility of integrating the totality of your life experiences, desires, and struggles into your purpose, so that the elements blend seamlessly together and in accordance with your values.

Remember that in life change is a constant, not to be forced into place, but to be recognized, and guided into alignment.

-- mike

 

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