Balance. It is a word that is thrown around as the ultimate goal of living a life of perfection.
Balance. It seems so unattainable yet sounds so wonderful and is held up as the pinnacle of finally figuring out the mastery of this thing called life.
Balance. Is. A. Myth.
Let me say that again. Balance is a myth. This mythological concept suggests life will be better if only… and that creates frustration, fear, and worry.
Why would we want to invite frustration, fear and worry into our lives? Don’t we have enough of that already? Instead let’s play with the concept of living life in harmony.
Harmony has an entirely different feel and is truly how we are meant to live.
Think of it this way: when you listen to a great piece of music, the instruments and vocals are not all in balance. Rather, they take their turns being louder, softer, faster, higher, or lower, and as they mix, a beautiful harmony emerges. A masterpiece that withstands the passing of time may be created by the beautiful harmony of many instruments coming together perfectly.
Have you ever watched a newborn? Their first weeks of life are not in balance! They sleep most of their days and, for a few lucky parents, even their nights. As their body and brain develops, their sleep cycles begin to shift, and their awake times become longer and more frequent. Soon, they begin to interact, smile, grab for fingers and toys, and eventually will learn to stand and crawl with sleep being just a part of their day, not the entire focus. If we required a newborn to live in balance, we might suggest that they would sleep for 12 hours and be awake for 12 hours. And that, is just not reality.
When we first begin to climb the ladder of what we see as success, we can easily become frustrated at the many things that do not go our way or when our co-workers or employees are not doing what they were hired to do. If we think about 2020, the unpredictability of COVID-19 caused many frustrations worldwide!
Frustration is an all-encompassing emotion that captures the essence that we are not in balance and perhaps not even in control of our lives! Frustration over little issues can upset that balance we are elusively seeking.
What if we were to look at our lives with Fascination instead?
Allowing ourselves to surrender things that we cannot control. Surrender the things that are minor and truly not going to upset our life goals in the long run.
What if we didn’t get frustrated when our spouse left the toilet seat up, again. What if we changed our own outlook when the dog throws up as you are about to leave the house, or when your daughter uses your favorite lipstick to color you a beautiful picture? What if instead of getting frustrated and losing your temper, you surrender that right now, your life has a little different harmony!
The dog, the toilet seat, and your daughter get to play a little louder in your life right now so enjoy the melody that emerges. It isn’t that you must love the harmony at this time, it is simply being fascinated that this melody is playing merrily along. What do you want to add to the song? Do you want to add in yelling and frustration? Or would your harmony turn out more beautifully if you simply surrendered?
The problem with balance is that the brain is wired to keep us safe. Always looking for balance means that the natural ebb and flow of a life well lived is not allowed! While the brain is working to keep us safe, it can create scenarios that dredge up fear: Fear of Failing, Fear of Not Being Good Enough, Fear of Rejection, of Judgement, of Regret. These are those deep dark fears that live inside each person. Most of us spend our lifetimes learning to cope with that deep fear and the magnificent brain is always placing subtle reminders of these fears, whether or not they are acknowledged.
Fear shows up in the stories we tell ourselves about why someone acts the way they did, or why our social media posts did not receive a single like. We tell ourselves stories about other people’s behaviors and even tell stories to ourselves about ourselves! It is difficult to avoid the negative voice inside. However, we can choose to tame and change that voice.
If we are seeking only balance in our lives, we could simply ignore this voice and learn to cope with it. Would it harm us?
The answer is yes!
These deep fears are what eventually cause health issues, financial issues, and even physical issues in our lives.
Have you ever had someone in your life who underachieved? Someone you thought was amazing, yet they simply allowed their own beliefs and fears to overcome them and instead, lived life in balance, not moving one way or the other, let alone onward and upward!
Think back to your high school days and those yearbook elections for the “Most Likely to Succeed.” What made those classmates so appealing that they garnered those votes in the first place? Were they living in balance or were they living out loud at the time? Was their life at the time simply to not upset the balance of school culture? Or were they allowing themselves to excel at studies, social life, and extracurriculars, while quieting the melodies of not being good enough, judgement, and fear of failing?
For most non-vote-getters, there may have been a bit of awe at how those voted Most Likely to Success were able to move effortlessly through those wonder years. And yet today, there is an underlying dis-ease that arise when life is in disharmony. A belief that it takes so much effort bring melodies back in harmony.
If you have ever looked at the world’s most successful people, you will find many of them choose to use meditation as a key to their success. Jerry Seinfeld and Jeff Weiner admit to the benefits of meditation. Oprah Winfrey and William Clay Ford Jr. credit meditation for helping them create laser focus and to solve problems and they are not alone. The list of those who credit meditation as a part of their success is extensive, peppered with some of the most brilliant and influential entrepreneurs in our world.
It is time to seriously consider adding meditation to your daily routine to help improve the harmony of your life song, even if you are telling yourself the story that you cannot meditate.
Here is a short, concise guided visualization meditation to help you right now… use it every day to turn those inner fears into faith and to bring your life back into harmony.
Balance. Whoever suggested that the ultimate goal in life was to live in balance set an unattainable standard the has left many feeling a sense of failure and frustration.
So I challenge you to change the word balance into harmony.
Know that at times, parts of your life will be louder, busier, more focused and in the front of your life melody, for a while. There will be other areas of your life will be softer, quieter, and playing a supportive role until you are ready to turn up their volume. Hopefully there will be some melodies that you’ll be able to remove, like fears and frustrations as they only serve to ruin your music.
It is now time for you to act like a master conductor and call forth each part of your life in turn to showcase its beauty, and importance as you build a beautiful life in harmony.