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The Secret to Living a “Balanced” Life

How to Move from Balance into Harmony

Have you thought or felt that you need more balance in your life? How do you balance your professional life with your personal life? How do you balance time with your partner/spouse, time for yourself, time for your children, and time with extended family and friends? How do you balance eating well, exercise, sleep, caring for your home, and social time? (I’m a little frazzled just reading this!)

I’m learning to change this script by transforming “balance” into “harmony.” Ask yourself these following two questions, and just notice how your body responds. At ease or tense? Curious or anxious? Empowered or intimidated?

  1. “How can I balance the various areas of my life?” Notice how you feel. 
  • How can I harmonize the various areas of my life? Notice how you feel.

MerriamWebster.com defines balance as 1: physical equilibrium, 2:  stability produced by an even distribution of weight on each side of a vertical axis, 3: to bring into harmony or proportion

Balance can feel staunch, intimidating and forceful, like walking a tightrope with an oversized basket of fruit on your head, two bags of groceries in either hand, and the car keys dangling from your mouth. (Don’t ask how you got in this situation in the first place. Ha!)  Or perhaps it feels like you are supporting several spinning plates, and you must give each plate equal energy else it falls and breaks. 

Balance implies that you have equal weight on both sides of the scale or that all areas get equal energy all the time. “Balance” suggests that once you bring it all into harmony or proportion that you maintain it. You force balance even if it makes you unhappy and stressed. 

This is simply unrealistic for me. I am going for Harmony. 

MerriamWebster.com defines harmony as 1: the pleasing arrangement of parts, 2: agreement, accord, 3: internal calm, 4: the combination of simultaneous musical notes in a chord. 

Harmony implies fluidity and movement, accord and peace. It awakens your musical and creative nature even! How lovely is it to think of your life as a song that you get to compose and play? Harmony allows you to emphasize some notes more heavily than others. Perhaps this week you need more rest, time with your children, or you’re really feeing inspired to exercise. As you follow your instincts for what brings you joy and peace, life becomes more about flow and less about force. You are more present and productive with the parts of life on which you’re focusing, and the need to “balance” becomes less necessary and desirous.

Harmony suggests spontaneity within structure. You may have a plan for how your day, week or life is going to play out, AND there must be space for spontaneity and for course corrections. Unexpected events will require more of your energy, and you won’t be able to spin all plates equally. AND that’s ok. Maybe you are becoming unhealthily drained by a particular area of life, say a job or relationship. A balanced life says, “All parts need equal energy always. I just need to continue my efforts and energy at this pace, and it will get better.” A harmonious life says, “It’s ok to step back, take a break, and allow time and space for perspective.” 

I am not saying to never make plans or set goals. There is great value in these intentions and in selecting how you want to spend your time and energy. I am saying to make these choices from a different space, not from desperation and duty but from wisdom and joy. 

To keep it very simple, living a harmonious life means being at peace and being present with what’s happening NOW. When you’re spending time with your spouse or your children, be there. Don’t be thinking about how you could be “improving” other areas of your life. When you are taking time for yourself, be there. When you are at work, be there. 

As you design your life based on your rising wisdom and what brings you joy, your world becomes this harmonious dance. Ditch the tight rope and the spinning plates (and give thanks for that part of your life because that, too, serves). Now, you are free to join the Infinite Celebration of your true nature! Happy harmonizing!

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