Balance: a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance
Harmony: a pleasing combination or arrangement of different things
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment
Dr. Ivan Misner and I had a conversation some years back about how he balances his life with his work and he said, “You simply cannot have balance in your life. You can, however, find harmony.”
I could not agree more. I believe that the word “balance” creates so much guilt with women. We go off to work, we come home and continue to work, we run errands, cook dinner, do laundry; we are trying to do it all. Then we feel guilty and decide that we are going to get more balance in our lives. Then we feel guilty again when, once again, we do not.
Everywhere I look there are articles, blogs, and studies about the importance of balance. I never believed that my life could be balanced. The harder I worked to create balance the more out of balance my life seemed and then I felt that overwhelming guilt. So it really rang true when Ivan told me that balance was impossible, but harmony was not.
As I was walking along the beach today I was thinking about balance and harmony. Whenever I tell women that there was no balance in life, but there was the possibility of harmony, so many of them argue that balance is possible.
It occurred to me as I was walking that balance is about control and harmony is about flow.
To have balance we have to have control and control is an illusion. We do not have control of the world and the impact that it has on our lives. We can find harmony by understanding that we do not have control over anything beyond ourselves, our reactions, our way of being in any given moment.
Harmony comes when we choose to be in flow with our lives, and that means being mindful of our time, mindful of every moment. As Ivan told me, “When I am at home with the family I am not working, not answering the phone or emails, I am 100% with the family, but when I am at work, I am 100% at work. You have to learn to be where you are when you are there.”
Being mindful means being present in the moment, not doing things out of routine or habit. Much of our life is done out of habit and the next thing we know the day is gone and we think we need to have more balance in our lives, when in reality all we need is to be present in our lives to create the harmony we seek.
Here are 3 things you can do to be more present in your life and create the harmony that you really seek:
- Be where you are. In other words when you are at work, be at work 100% not distracted by what needs to be done at home when you get there. When you are home, pay attention to the conversations of the people you love, don’t think about work and what did not get done.
- Do what you are doing. We are terrible in this day and age at multitasking. Rather than focus on the one thing that we are working on until it is complete we try to do several things at one time. Both at home and at work we must pay attention to what we are doing. If we are talking to our children or our co-workers we must stop and truly be with them in the moment.
- Limit your distractions. Less TV, less Social Media, less distractions—these are the things that steal time from us, time that we can use to be with the people who need us and care about us. Be more present in your real life and less present in your online life.
Be in flow with your life and you will have harmony, there will still be a great deal of time in life when you are out of balance, when the world is in control, but even then you will be in harmony.
Keep It Simple
There are few women better at building a global network than Hazel Walker . Renowned for her straight talk and no-holds-barred approach, Hazel is a globally sought after speaker.