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.

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14 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 dont 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….

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