Creating the elusive work-life balance
In training for my 2nd degree black-belt in Tae Kwon Do, we worked on expanding our inner balance on a daily basis with exercises that required us to hold a variety of positions with our body while working through any resistance of our mind (negative thoughts such as, “I can’t do this”). The exercises were designed to expand our ability to create a solid internal equilibrium: spirit, mind, emotions and body.
The purpose for expanding our balance was simple: to be able to create the necessary internal environment to support our ability to execute our skill set quickly and effectively in the ring to be able to step into our desired outcome.
Metaphorically speaking, we step into the “ring” of daily life and, all too often, focus all of our attention and energy on one area – whether professional or personal, leaving us extremely vulnerable to burn-out and fatigue. Refreshment and inner contentment (a feeling of satisfaction) walks hand in hand with a balanced life style.
Clarity of focus leads to accuracy of response, so let’s first understand the meaning behind the words: work-life balance. According to Wikipedia, the definition of work-life balance is a concept of including proper prioritizing between “work” (career & ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development). Truly, it is the person you are in any situation that fuels a satisfied life, no matter where you are or what you do.
Reflecting on the experience of going through advanced cancer and divorce at the same time, I was left with extreme clarity around what I value most each day along with recalibrating how I show up in life. This is a touch stone of perspective that gives me the opportunity to align how I spend my time and energy each day as well as the kind of person I have committed to being while I do what I do with the time I am blessed with on earth. Too often our lives are pulled out of balance because we follow shiny objects that distract us from our own moral compass and definitive purpose.
Identify and write down specific areas that occupy your energy and attention during an average week and a percentage guestimate of how much of your time you spend in each area. For example, you may choose: Spirituality and guess around 5 percent of your time in a week is spent nurturing this aspect of your Life Balance; or Career may fall at 65 percent of your energy and attention; Family Life 20 percent and Fitness 10 percent .
A few more categories to explore are hobbies and down time where the refreshment of playfulness and lingering drop in. It is essential to drag out the details into the light of your awareness before suggesting options that support healthy Life Balance. Valiant honesty and the ability to adjust open up the avenue that leads to authentic positive behavioral shift. Where are you spending your moments each day? Are you weaving into those moments what you value most in this life? Do you put your task above people or people above your tasks?
Pause for a moment, Breathe in deeply and release any tension in your body
Today, set aside 10-15 minutes and reflect on your life balance in your day-to-day ring. What percentage of your time is aligned with what you value most? Ask yourself 3 questions and write down your answers: Who am I? Why am I here? What will it matter? Definitiveness of purpose drives our time management in life and ultimately our overall wellbeing and happiness.
As you create more clarity around why you are here along with why you do what you do, your core values begin to emerge to the front lines of the person you have decided to be, which fuel your priorities in life. Decisions around your choice to commit to doing small actions each day that support your desire for contentment in life, inner peace and satisfaction are easy when your priorities around who you are, why you do what you do and what is the bigger purpose of it all are clear.
Join Lauren November 1st, 11 a.m. –Noon for Stress Solutions University’s Complimentary Workshop: Topic: Work-Life Balance; Park Meadows Pilates 8600 Park Meadows Dr. #200, Lone Tree CO 80124. RSVP, limited seating: 303-649-2165 or register online: Go here.