FINDING YOUR OWN BALANCE

FINDING YOUR OWN BALANCE

The wise guys say Life is a balance. Physically that is a truth.

You breathe in and you breathe out.  Too much breathing in and you hyperventilate; too little and you turn blue.

Eat too much and you gain weight; eat too little and you waste away.

Balance is fascinating.

I remember that as kids, my friends and I used to try getting the teeter-totter plank to sit perfectly level on its fulcrum as we piled on.  We never did get it quite right.

We tried sitting in different positions on the see-saw board, adjusting the mix of thin and fat kids and throwing in assorted pets as part of the challenge.  It was a heck of a lot of fun.

see-saw
“Children View See-Saw” by Marcelo Campi via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]
This YouTube video, “Defying Gravity With Korea’s Premier Balance Artist” was recently published by Great Big Story, the result of a collaboration with Korean Air.  In it artist Rocky Byun, a “balance artist” based in Tancheon, South Korea demonstrates how he is able to find the balance point in anything – rocks, furniture…even bikes and motor scooters.  His amazing sculptures appear to defy gravity.

In another, earlier video filmed at a shopping mall in Dubai and posted to YouTube by Pretty Pink in 2013, Byun is shown performing his art.

He constructs sculptures that incorporate everything from a bunch of irregularly shaped rocks, a laptop, a motor scooter, and even a small refrigerator standing on one corner.

ORIGINS OF WORK-LIFE BALANCE

There is one balancing act that is even more difficult than what Byun and his fellow balance artists can do.  That is the one that’s been dubbed “the work-life balance.”

Everybody is supposed to work at getting that one right.  Somehow, some way, we are all supposed to aim for developing an optimal career AND have an optimal family or personal life as well.  Ri-i-i-ght.

Before the Industrial Revolution, there wasn’t much talk about trying to balance work and the rest of life.  Most people lived in the middle of their work.

Farmers, for example, lived on their farms and the whole family pitched in to help grow and harvest crops as well as take care of all the other things necessary for living.

Work and the rest of life were not separate things.  Work was just part of living.

With the developments of automation, factories, and corporate offices came the Big Divide.  It became normal for “work” to happen “someplace else.”

“Work” became a “job” or a “career” and got compartmentalized away from the other lifestyle things like family, health, leisure, pleasure, community-building and spiritual development.

The priorities of the work-place and the job or the career were often very different from the kinds of priorities one needs to set for personal development or for the growing of relationships and families.

It all takes time and effort, no matter whether you want to get good at your job, advance in your career, develop as an individual, or participate in group or community activities.  It can get terribly complicated.

The expression “work-life balance” was first used in the United Kingdom in the late 1970’s to describe the balance between an individual’s work and his or her personal life.  In the United States, the phrase was first used in 1986.

DEALING WITH THE SEPARATION OF WORK AND LIFE

By 2010 there were all kinds of studies about work-life balances and imbalances and the effect that work has on the rest of a person’s life.  It’s a given, they say:  When the work-life balance is out-of-whack, you get out of whack.

Theories abound about how one goes about finding a “proper” balance.  Everybody weighs in with their own prescriptions and solutions to the dilemma as technology makes it easier and easier to stay connected with your work-world regardless of where you happen to be.

It’s sort of ironic, that.  Now “work” happens at home again and still we separate it from the rest of life.

It would not be so distressing if there wasn’t such a lot of guilt attached to our failure to get the balance “right” and real.  You want to be a success at your work.  You want to have a grand family life and lots of friends and so on.

Everybody tells you that you can do it all, have it all.  (And the sub-text is:  What are ya?  Lazy or something?)

BALANCE OR BUST

The problem, of course, is that you’re trying to make all the differently weighted and shaped things in your life form a structure that defies gravity….flies, even.

You’re trying to be an amateur balance artist and your structures don’t come out looking elegant and awesome like Byun’s work.  Trying to get the balance right is not nearly half as much fun as the game my friends and I used to play with the see-saws.

One way to make it all work is to run yourself ragged trying to get it all done.  That one often ends up with you all twisted into a stressed-out pretzel.  Not good.

This YouTube video by Anna Stefaniak for The School of Life, “Work-Life Balance,”  lends some much-needed perspective on the subject, I think.

Another way to find the right “balance” for you is to decide what your purpose is in life, what brings meaning and mana to it…not somebody else’s pronouncements about what is right and good and real.  Just your own thoughts.

Here’s a YouTube video, “Work/Life Balance Is a Myth” by award-winning American photographer  Chase Jarvis.  In it, he points out that not everyone is cut out for the mad dash of doing-doing-doing that can lead to $ucce$$ big-time…and the real is, they don’t actually have to be.

It is possible, after all, to have a meaningful ordinary life.  It just depends on what you want and where you put your head.

 

Jarvis helped to co-found an online education platform, creativeLIVE in 2010.   The group puts together free on-line classes and works to help Creatives market their work.  The tools they provide can help other Creatives realize their own dreams.  A good thing.

FINAL THOUGHT – ANOTHER IPS

crater sunrise
“Crater Sunrise” by Chad Goddard via Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]

Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom):  an understanding that you are the framework of your own life.  [You’re the only one who can balance the elements of your life to create a synergy that supports you as you dance to your own heartsong.]

Here’s a poem:


MUNDANITIES

The mundanities are three:

People, money, and time.

If you understand those things,

The world will start to rhyme.

 

If the Celestial’s your focus,

The Mundane will make you fall.

Too much of the Mundane

And you can’t see up at all.

 

The only answer’s balance

And that’s not easy to do.

There really is no recipe

For this ever-changing stew.

 

You do the best you can,

You give the best you’ve got,

You’ll rise up and you’ll fall

And for sure you’ll hurt a lot.

 

And when there are no answers

When you can’t see what to do,

You can only trust the simple truth

Residing inside of you:

 

That the Universe keeps changing,

Moving first this way, then that,

And if you follow where it leads you,

You might make it through intact.

by Netta Kanoho

Header photo credit:  “Balance” by Thomas Hawke via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]

Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below and tell me your thoughts.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Get Social....

36 thoughts on “FINDING YOUR OWN BALANCE

  1. I’ve just come across this post and I am honestly finding it very interesting! I too believe that life is all about balance, and without it, things would be all out of place… But then, there is no perfect balance in my opinion, and as stated we’ve all got to found ours. 🙂

    1. Hey Tom:

      Thanks for your visit and your thoughts. I do appreciate them. Please do come again….

  2. Hi Netta,

    Beautiful site. In the last few years my life has changed soooo much and right now right here. I am finding so many situations of synchronicity its incredible. Just like your site had so many answers for me in this moment. Thank you, thank you, thank you
    Julian

    1. Hey Julian: Thank you for your visit. I’m glad the thing’s a help for you. Please do come again….

  3. Great article. Just reading it made me take a nice relaxing deep breath in and out! I don’t think the perfect balance is ever achieved, but I do believe that as long as we equally nurture all the areas of our lives, that is the the best we can do. The worst thing for me is that I tend to get really excited about a project and obsess about it. Forgetting everything else. Then when it is done, I have to pick up the pieces of the things I have neglected.

    1. Hey Flavia:

      Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I also have the same tendency of over-amping on some project or other sometimes to the exclusion of everything else.  It helps that the people who love me do understand that tendency and they’ve learned to wait until the fire dies down some.  They know I’ll bring the same enthusiasm to them…in due course.  (It sure does help to have good people in your life!)

      Please do come again.

  4. Well written.

    Challenging subject to consider.

    Good and interesting videos and images.

    The videos are a serious test to ones introspective honesty regarding their past, present and future.

    I would say most do not take the time to step back and view their life or consider personal goals and objectives.

    1. Hey Donro:

      Thanks for your visit and your thoughts.  I agree.  It’s a good thing sometimes to step back and put what you’re doing in the context of where you’re wanting to go.

      Please do come again.

  5. Work life balance is very dependent on the job you have of course. and balancing the two can be really difficult for some. But I do think its important to learn how to master this balance so you don’t drive yourself, or your loved ones insane from you working all the time.

    1. Hey Ty:  

      Thanks for visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I do agree that the balance is a hard one for everybody.  It’s so easy to get out of whack and you do have to pay attention.  Part of the deal, I think.

      Please do come again….

  6. Finding balance in life is one of the most sort of quality on earth. I remember when I was employed there was one thing my employer wanted the team to master but it never happened in real life as put on paper. Then I became my own boss and still could not find my life balance till I was able to put up a steady income. Every one wants to be successful and in pursuit of the success, one tends to loose balance as they focus on one thing and neglect other very crucial responsibilities.

    1. I think you’re right, Anita.  It is especially hard to find your balance when you don’t have a steady income.  Things like eating and having a roof over your head do weigh heavy on you.  

      But, even when times are hard, there can be balance points…like learning how to live minimally, like learning to build support groups of friends, like bonding with family, like learning how to do new things so that you can get to the place where you’ve got the kind of income that can help sustain the way you want to live.

      I believe this world is a learning place.  Our lessons are often hard, but if we figure out what we have to learn from one set of circumstances, then we get to move on to new problems and other ways of learning, and new lessons. 

      They tell me that the guys who are big $ucce$$es have their own set of problems too.  

      Please do come again….

  7. Thank you for this reminder.  Rock Buyun is quite incredible as a balance artist.  This does remind me to take time in my life and balance my life out.  I will take notice of time and effort into creating balance daily.  I do believe we should make our job something that makes us happy and adds balance to your life.  Quality is the key to our happiness and finding balance in what we do each day will be a key to happiness.

    1. Welcome back, Nancy.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts about balance.  I do agree.

      Please do come again….

  8. Hi Netta;

    The work-life balance is a topic that has fascinated me for a long time. As I’ve grown older (maybe wiser), I’ve learned that the more we try to control outcomes, the less control we actually have, and that total control is pretty much an illusion.

    I maintain my best work-life balance when I focus on letting go of attachments and outcomes. If I sort of “go with the flow”, things seem to balance themselves in a more smooth and natural way.

    I do believe that the universe knows best when we can manage to “get ourselves out of the way.”

    Also, I love the balance art. Really cool!

    Best to you,
    Stella 🙂

    1. Stella, thanks for the visit and for sharing your story and your thoughts.  

      I do agree.  Trying to maintain control of the all-of-everything, trying to dictate which outcomes are acceptable and which are not is crazy-making!  It’s always such a dance…especially when we forget that.

      My own mantra has evolved into “Flow With the Go.”  It reminds me that, for real, there is so much I cannot affect or influence in any scenario and often I just need to hold still long enough so I can notice the best ways to move in any situation.

      The balance art is fabulous, I agree.

      Please do come again.

  9. Great post! So many times when I’ve reflected back through my life, balance has played a factor in the direction that life was moving and my ability to impact (good or bad) the direction and find opportunities to better myself and the world around me. Thanks for such a well written reminder.

    1. Ross, thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts. I’m glad the post spoke to you.

      Please do come again.

  10. Goldroad (jay) says:

    The last 13 years I was working 55 to 60 hours away from home around 6 days a week, and then volunteering at a local church on Sundays.  This was a recipe for burnout and now I find myself with chronic fatigue and pain.  

    It definitely is not a good idea to work so much without balancing life and rest into the mix.  

    Thanks for the reminder and the well written thoughts on this ever-changing need in the world.  Finding your own Balance. 

    Now I work from home around 20 hours a week and care for my bonus son, Levi the other 20 hours.  I find a nice break with the routines.  Weekends I still volunteer sometimes but not as often.  

    I am beginning to heal from the chronic pain and fatigue.  

    Jay

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your story, Jay.  You found out the hard way where your limits lie.  Ouch!

      I’m glad your healing progresses.  

      Please do come again.

  11. Again and again, another inspiring post you have written here. Honestly for one to live a better life, there has to a balance. 

    I must add that there is no one who has a perfect balance in life. It all depends on how we can find ours. There is either too much of something or too little of it. 

    Nice article here and my friends are really loving what you write here. Great work.

    1. John, thank you for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  Thank you, too, for sharing my posts.

      Please do come again.

  12. JealousLi says:

    Hi, Netta
    This article gave me a lot of Inspiration because sometimes I don’t handle the work and the relationship of life well.  Sometimes it made my life and work a mess.

    Now I understand that the balance between work and life depends largely on myself. I already know how to do it in later life, so thank you.

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, JealousLi.  I agree.  The balance-dance is always a hard one.  We all work on it as best as we can.

      Please do come again.

  13. Another write up and a new lesson of life learnt from it. One thing I realized from this article is the fact that I have learnt the difference between work and life. 

    Maintaining a balance amidst everything all requires us personally to look out for things that makes us happy and stick with things not because they are just there, but to maintain the real balance between all spheres of our life. 

    We need to gear up towards knowing that we are the only ones who can save our self and nobody else can do that for us. Thanks

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Shelley.  I am glad that the post was helpful to you.

      Please do come again.

  14. Your post here has really reminded me that I need to take out time to think and also take a look at the balance in my life. 

    Rock Buyun is a really awesome balance artist there. 

    It’s not always easy though to make that balance with so much going on around. There’s work to do, family and some problems too of course. I have learnt the importance of balancing everything. 

    Thank you for this thoroughly interesting post. Nice one!

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts, John.  I’m glad the post was helpful to you.

      Please do come again.

  15. RoDarrick says:

    Balancing my work, my career and my family has not been an easier battle for me, but everyday, I wake up to convince myself that I am made for more and I can maintain the balance between work and life so that none would affect the way the other works. 

    Maintaining life and work is just perfectly illustrated in those videos you shared and the poem is right on top of it. 

    I really found this article to address me personally. Thanks for this post

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your story, RoDarrick.  

      You are right…sometimes Life is not easy and you do have to give yourself a pep talk and send yourself back out into the fray.  (There are days when I do an old-style sit-in:  “No, no, I won’t go!”  It passes, and I do continue onward.  I find sitting on my ass a lot more boring than not.)

      I’m glad the post proved helpful for you.

      Please do come again.

  16. I’ve actually enjoyed reading through each line of this post. It’s so interesting and educating as well. 

    I’ll say everything about life is based on balance.  Without a balance in everything, our lives will be of no form and nothing will actually make sense. 

    The truth about life from my own view is that we all can’t be on a balance.  We may try to balance our own personal life and its components but two lives can’t have a balance because what is needed in abundance in my life might be of grave danger to you so you need less.  It results into no balance. 

    The videos are really nice too. Its a lovely post you here.

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Jones.

      I like your concept of life having no form and making no sense without the balancing act.  It really is a matter of finding what holds meaning for you and how you can move so that you can help nurture the things that give your life a shape that helps you thrive and grow your world.

      I do agree that the dance does get more complex when it’s more than just you dancing around all over the floor.  The more people you add to the mix, the more chances that the choreography will get messed up. 

      However, the most beautiful dances, I think, are the ones where you and the people around you flow well together and apart.

      Learning how to do your own dance and then learning how to mesh and blend your dance into the dances that the other people you care about are doing can be a most rewarding thing, I think.  The meanings deepen and get wider for everyone concerned when the dance is done well.  

      Please do come again.

  17. I agree that balance is everything. I am leading my life in moderation as we speak. Still working on it lol 

    Work and life are kind of co-exist. They go together in straight line and sometimes it is just hard to find the balance between the two. 

    I have been setting my career goals and life goals lately and sure enough they cannot exist without one another. 

    I feel that lately I am focusing too much on my career rather than my marriage. 

    What I learned, though, is that saying “NO” is ok. It took me awhile to learn how to say no, but after I learned it. I can see that my life has changed for the better tremendously. 

    I wish I had the answer and the know how to maintain the two. 

    Great article.

    1. Nuttanee, thanks for your visit and for sharing your story.

      I agree that our lives have a way of developing a synergy if we can get the parts to work together so the individual parts all help further the other parts of it.  Wise guys through the ages have always been telling us we need to work on that one.

      Saying “no” is definitely a big help with that.

      What I figured out is that balance is always going to be an on-going thing.  Life doesn’t stand still, after all, so the solutions we find for any problem always seem to work for a while and then not work and then work again.  Maybe that’s the whole point of this Life-thing we’re doing.

      Please do come again….

  18. natasa1234 says:

    Finding your own balance is not easy in the modern life because there are always new challenges that throw us off. Balance implies harmony between career and family, partner and friend, self-discipline and hedonism, routine and spontaneity, faith and doubt, soul and ego. It is necessary to find peace and happiness in the golden mean. 

    Many of us fail to do that, but we have our whole lives ahead to try.

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts, natasa1234.  I do agree that it ain’t all that easy.  I like your final thought, though:  “we have our whole lives ahead to try.”  Good one!

      Please do come again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)