If there’s one thing that drives me right-round-the-bend, it’s the word “balance”. When I think of balance, I think of walking on a narrow beam 100 feet off the ground trying not to plummet to my death. Not exactly how I want to be thinking about my life. We need to stop chasing balance, Susan! Instead, we should be looking to experience harmony in our lives.
So, what’s the difference between balance and harmony?
Life balance implies we need to figure out how to do it all, all the time – flawlessly.
Whatever “it” is in our lives, we need to make sure we pack it all in. Work, kids, partners, home, pets, exercise, errands, business…however many “its” you have – you better balance all that shit, Susan!
What It Means to Experience Harmony
Harmony, on the other hand? It’s not just a hair-split on words, I promise. Harmony literally means congruence. A pleasing arrangement of parts. Agreement and tranquility.
How would it look if all the aspects of your life were in a pleasing arrangement? What would look different?
What would be dropped? Would you add more time for yourself or the people and things you love?
What happens when you stop chasing balance?
I want you to redefine your life and create your own ending. Forget balance – it’s impossible to not fall off the beam if you’re on it long enough. Instead, create an attainable picture of your life and make the necessary re-arrangements to get there.
Taking control of your own life creates harmony and allows you to live it on your own terms. Not by the expectations of society to do be the balancer/ juggler/ do all/ be all. Aiming for a harmonic life will lead you to a feeling of empowerment of your destiny and far less stress and worry about how to get there.
How to Finally Experience Harmony and Stop Chasing Balance
Wondering how to achieve and maintain a harmonic life? Here are 5 things you can start doing right now to experience harmony, the harmony you’ve been craving in your life, and they might surprise you.
1. Change your verbiage.
First and foremost, take the word balance right out of the dictionary and burn it. Find what works for you and insert that into your little book of life-phrases. Even if the word ‘harmony’ doesn’t work for you – that’s ok! Whatever the word is, make sure it reflects what you are really trying to achieve.
2. Change your idea of perfection.
Stop trying to be 100% at everything, it’s not needed. What does SUSAN want? Not what does the world want for Susan? It’s your life, your happiness, your goals.
You want a nap every day? Make it happen. It doesn’t make you lazy. It makes you well rested.
You want some alone time from the little ankle bitters that live in your house? DO IT. I don’t care if you have to stand in the pantry deep breathing while slugging back a glass of merlot to get away. It’s not perfect, but it’s what you need.
3. Remember, it’s not a race.
We fight and beat ourselves against a wall to achieve often unrealistic goals and self-imposed pressure to achieve certain things in our life. Usually, the rat race is nothing more than what you’ve been told you need, rather than what you actually want.
Gift yourself the gift of knowing that slow and steady does often win the race. And, the only race you should be running is for yourself, not against anyone else.
4. Honor the contrast.
In an age of toxic positivity, we sometimes try to avoid negativity in our lives for fear we’ll be – gasp – off balance! Let me assure you, life is made up of contrast after contrast. Without darkness, there can be no light. And without hard times there can be no joy.
Your negative experiences or feelings that you can’t keep it all together in life do not mean you are doing anything wrong. And there is no way to avoid it. I like to use the expression of embracing both Cruella de Vil AND Mary Poppins – my version of the angel and devil on each shoulder.
5. Be Flexible.
A recent article in Forbes suggests that rather than trying to balance all things all the time, it’s something much more fluid. Some weeks you feel like you’re present in all areas of your life, and other weeks you feel pulled strongly in one direction. Eventually, things level out and then eventually, the pull begins again.
Remember: balance is a farce, designed to make us feel like we need to do it all. Allowing your life to eb and flow will allow a far more harmonic life.