The illustrations come from a corporate talk I present on personal branding. I call it the blah of balance. I love children’s playgrounds (and no, I’m not one of those), so the see saw is a familiar analogy to show how we love the adrenaline rush of going to extremes but not staying there for too long. Mostly we want to tip 30 degrees either side with the occasional full tilt. People love this talk and the room rings with questions afterwards. It’s based on my concept of ‘The spiral of creation’ where you schedule your day around your personal rhythms – we each have best times when we do our most intense, creative, social, methodical work – to make work feel like play, as effortless effort. More on that in the next few days.
For now, let’s explore the myth of life balance that is so pervaisve
One imagines this perfectly balanced life is where you work ‘normal’ hours (36 in Germany, 40 in Australia and the USA), play, exercise, don’t overeat, over drink, over bear, are nice to your partner, kids, family, hangout with your friends, live in a magazine spread worthy organised house (if you’re German, Swedish or a Virgo this is ‘normal’ anyway).
You would wear that prozac smile and let’s face it. life would be bloody boring if it was so predictable.
Truth is we are no more designed for consistent balance than we are for continual chaos.
We’d quickly be as bored with balance as we’re strung out on continual drama. As always nature is the teacher and a glance there shows there’s no stasis. There’s constant motion, every which way.
Nature is seeking balance but doesn’t stay there. Try sitting still for 10 minutes. See how hard that is.
On the other hand, constant 12-14 hour workdays, stress, overwhelm, busyness and always connected fries your nervous system and give your adrenal exhaustion. Burnout, depression, illness may follow. The stats on engagement aren’t pretty, which increases accidents, mistakes and more. Here’s how to recognise the slow creeping signs of burnout. Like all checklists use with caution :-)
But seriously, we are designed for peaks and troughs, periods of intense activity or a slow and steady pace and we should cultivate mastery at doing nothing at all. I, for one know so many people who boast of busyness and keep reiterating that they ‘like to be busy’ and don’t know how to do nothing.
Practice relaxation – it’s as useful a skill as any other. In my experience it’s when my best ideas or solutions arise.
We are designed for cycles: the restoration of winter, excitement of spring, the grit to grow amidst the storms and sunshine of summer, the rush of harvest, then the celebration and sigh of relief that we survived it. And then we start it all again and again.
Ebb and flow, being and doing, creation and action. We love the variation just like you don’t want to eat the same dinner everyday, wear the same outfit or wear your hair the same way all your life. There are cycles and seasons in everything.
Right now you are muscling up your daily discipline of 3 minutes a day. We’re on day 7. Well done – a whole week.
- Tag it onto something you already do.
- keep the worksheet in a place you will see it, to remind you and encourage you as tick it off once you’ve completed your meditation each day
- Tell yourself before you go to bed, you will do the meditation first thing in the morning.
- Write down your intention for the day and reflect on it at the end. Stats show that those who write down their goals are up 42-50% more likely to succeed.
You can also dig deeper into this work and learn to ride the inevitable waves of work & life in my Curiosity, Conception and Creation program. It’s a program for those wanting to explore a different way of being in business that works for all of your life.
Until soon, be well and happy
Please share afterall we’re all in this together.
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