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What Is Life Balance, really? #LMBLC – 1

Posted in Balanced Lifestyle | August 1, 2011 |

  

By Anastasiya Goers

balanced livingFirst of all I want to thank you for signing up for Live a More balanced Life Challenge (#LMLBC.) Your response to the challenge was incredible. Thank you for introducing yourself and sharing your struggles with life balance in the comments (if you haven’t introduced yourself yet you can do that here.)

Now let’s start our challenge.

Before we start building more balanced lives it’s important to understand what life balance really is. Did you ever think about it yourself? Did you give life balance your personal definition?

A lot of people are looking for life balance without even knowing what it is. They think that it’s some state of mind and body where everything just feels, looks, and seems perfect and stable. Is it possible in reality? Absolutely, not. Even more, this type of life balance would be a disaster that wouldn’t let you grow, wouldn’t let you reach your goals and wouldn’t let your evolve as a person.

Sometimes the best way to describe what something is to start by describing what it’s not. Let me tell you what LIFE BALANCE IS NOT:

  • It’s not having a perfect day every day;
  • It’s not devoting equal attention to every aspect of your life on a daily basis;
  • It’s not fitting more things into your schedule;
  • It’s not a magical cure for any problem;
  • It’s not something that you reach once and then maintain it for the rest of your life.

Now you are probably wondering what we are looking for here. I hope I didn’t confuse you too much.

LIFE BALANCE IS:

  1. A journey – because every day you must make steps to stay in balance. Every day something will try to push you out of balance (and most of the time this “something” will succeed) but every time you will be able to bounce back to your balance.
  2. Attitude – because living a balanced life means having a balanced mindset. You can’t force yourself to make choices that are not natural to you. You can practice creating a balanced attitude through exercises, self discovery and constant work on yourself. At some point your work pays off and you start seeing the entire world in balanced colors and start making decisions that support your balanced lifestyle.
  3. Focus – because every area of your life (family, health, work, finances, passions, social life and spirituality) requires different amounts of your time and attention at different points of your life. A new parent of course will focus more on his/her child then on anything else in the world. A graduate student will put all effort into writing his/her thesis and looking for a good job. A retired person will focus on health and spirituality more than anything else. When you live a balanced life you can shift your focus in the right direction for a certain period of time (whether it’s a day or a year) without completely neglecting other areas of life.
  4. Core belief – because without this foundation there is nothing to build your balance upon. You must have a belief that you can go to whenever you feel fragile, unmotivated, weak or simply in doubt. Going on a spiritual journey is often the best way to find that belief and build your life according to it.
  5. Very personal – because there are no two people in this world who have identical goals, challenges, needs and talents. It’s impossible to write an ultimate how-to guide for each person to live their lives in balance. You can take tips, advice and examples from other people and transform them to bring your life in balance.

Today I want you to think about what life balance is for you personally. Before you embark on this journey towards balanced living you must know what you are looking for. Give yourself some time to reflect on your life, your goals, deep beliefs and aspirations. What is life balance for you?

Here is my personal definition of life balance:

Life balance is inner peace and happiness.

Life balance is the understanding that my life is full and yet I have plenty of room to bring something new into it.

Life balance is a happy family that I have and smiles on the faces of my girls.

Life balance is taking care of my body without forgetting my soul.

Life balance is walking outside and seeing the beauty around me that inspires me day after day.

Life balance is faith that I have.

Life balance is my focus on the most important things in my life and not being afraid to let go of less important tasks, projects and people.

Life balance is an imperfect mixture of creativity, work, family, exercise and my personal time. It’s very unique, chaotic at times and totally worth all the efforts to keep it in balance.

Your Homework:

  • For your personal records write down your definition of life balance.
  • Share what life balance is for you in the comments below (if you feel comfortable with it of course.)
  • Focus on the following questions while creating your definition:
    1. What inner feeling will make me feel in balance?
    2. What is my core belief?
    3. How would I like to approach all situations in a balanced way?
    4. What areas of life are most important to me right now?

Posts that can help you explore these questions deeper:

Keep it balanced!

P.S. Building a community and motivating each other is an important part of finding your personal balance. If you have time – please answer a comment of another participant. Welcome them to the challenge, encourage them and see if you have something in common. You can answer the comment that stroke a chord with you or just a comment of a person before you. Hit “Reply” under a comment to leave your response.

Photo credit: dreamstime

 

Smart Thoughts (34)

  1. Tina Davis says:

    ◦What inner feeling will make me feel in balance?
    To be in control of my life and not let outside factors determine how I live my life.
    ◦What is my core belief?
    All things are possible through Him
    ◦How would I like to approach all situations in a balanced way?
    Level-headed and focused with all of the facts in front of me.
    ◦What areas of life are most important to me right now?
    Family, work, friends, pursuing hobbies

  2. Meg says:

    This sounds like fun and a great challenge for me. I will be starting on my homework tonight. :) Inner peace and happiness here I come.

  3. Tasha says:

    Life balance is feeling happy and not knowing why.
    Life balance is feeling hope in a negative encounter.
    Life balance is knowing that He is love and will give me perfect peace.
    Life balance is listening and talking in equal amounts.
    Life balance is doing what has to be done and still having time for what I want to do.

    • Colette says:

      Tasha,
      I really like what you have to say. Reading your “what life balance is..” has helped me to better define what I feel about “life balance”

      • Tasha says:

        Hi Colette!
        I am happy that it helped you. I had to really think about it. Rereading it now makes me excited to start the journey with good people like you:)

  4. Teresa says:

    What inner feeling will make me feel in balance?

    peace…tranquility…control

    What is my core belief?

    moderation in all things…

    How would I like to approach all situations in a balanced way?

    To see hope in the negative, to feel happiness when things go well…. without worry for what the unknown holds…

    What areas of life are most important to me right now?

    balancing work and home…finding a way to be fulfilled without being overwhelmed at work and to enjoy home without guilt for not working on work stuff.

  5. Pauline Cronin says:

    What inner feeling will make me feel in balance?
    – feeling on top of things, generally in control, a simpler life than I currently live.

    What is my core belief?
    – I believe there must be a balance between pleasing others and pleasing myself. I feel the happiest when I am doing what I’m meant to be doing whether it’s a quality job at work or out on the golf course.

    How would I like to approach all situations in a balanced way?
    – By making the areas that are more important to me right now a priority.

    What areas of life are most important to me right now?
    – my health (nutrition and exercise) and my home (which is overwhelmingly cluttered), my unfinished screenplay and trying to succeed in my new job without becoming consumed by it.

    • Marc says:

      Thanks for your comments on my post, Pauline. Your thoughts also especially resonate with me. Particularly your desire for a simpler life and your unfinished screenplay. I also have too much clutter and too many unfinished bits of writing. I’m hopeful removing more distractions will make me more focused.

      I’m already glad this process has helped remind me there are others out there with similar thoughts and concerns.

      Thanks,
      Marc

  6. Janette says:

    What inner feeling will make me feel in balance?

    When the overwhelmed feelings dissapate and are replaced with feelings of accomplishment in my home life outside of work.

    What is my core belief?

    That I can find the steps to take by reaching out for suggestions in any circumstance. I have what it takes and can do it.

    How would I like to approach all situations in a balanced way?

    In a calm way by knowing that I can manage my time effectively and fit all areas of my life in.

    What areas of life are most important to me right now?

    Keeping on top of my home, writing my book, my recovery, family and friends.

  7. Kay says:

    Life balance is making things by hand and appreciating whatever I make.
    Life balance is doing the things on my wish list in whatever way I can.
    Life balance is eating nourishing, fresh food and someday growing my own food.
    Life balance is inside and outside the home.
    Life balancing is enjoying love and spreading it.
    Life balance is empowering others and me to achieve dreams.
    Life balance is enjoying a run or a walk for the sake of running or walking.
    Life balance is being in touch with my body and flowing with that energy.
    Life balance is creating chaos, then getting it back to sanity, and enjoying both.

  8. Millie says:

    What inner feeling will make me feel in balance?

    I feel balanced when im satisfied, enthusiastic, motivated, enough freedom to be me, loved and excited.

    What is my core belief?

    My core belief is the confidance have in my abilities. and that everyone else has the ability to be whoever they want to be. Its just wether they use it or not. and that being who you really want to be will bring you a much simplaer and satisfying kind of balance

    How would I like to approach all situations in a balanced way?

    I want to approach all situations with a completly open mined and with interest.

    What areas of life are most important to me right now?

    The areas of life that are most important to me right now are education/learning/self development and health

  9. Bouchra says:

    Life balance is always knowing that God is there for me to seek guidance, help and simply to love Him.
    Life balance is having a healthy diet, by being able to eat great tasting food without having to compromise my overall health.
    Life balance is exercising everyday, by varying the techniques.
    Life balance is maintaining good relationships with my parents, siblings, and extended family.
    Life balance is inner peace, happiness and contentment with the knowledge that is room for more improvement.
    Life balance is getting good grades and entering the university of my dreams.
    Life balance is studying what I actually see myself doing for the next 40 years.
    Life balance is having friends whom I know I can trust and I know they will be there for me.
    Life balance is pursuing my hobbies and interests.
    Life balance is seeing the world, interacting with nature and other cultures.
    Life balance is not having debt.
    Life balance is being able to live below my means.
    Life balance is being able to enjoy every single moment of life.

    Thanks Anastasiya for the really great homework. It helped me realize many things I thought I did not have were there, waiting for to discover them.

    Bouchra

  10. Becky Lovejoy says:

    It was interesting to find that the inner feeling I’m looking for is faith. Not faith in a religious sense, but faith in life in general. I want to feel that moving forward, I’ll find good things. That things will work out. That what I’m doing is the right thing, and that my life is on track.

    I realize that life is not black and white — there are many variables, interpretations, and twists and turns along the way. Faith would help me encompass all this and keep me centered as I go forward.

    How does one strengthen this type of faith? “Just do it” is one way. Is there another?

    • Patricia H. says:

      I too think that the inner feeling for being in balanced is faith.
      My core belief: through him all things are possible. Grateful for everything in my life.
      Approach all situations in a balanced way, by having a open mind and heart.
      Areas of life that are most important to me: GF…God First, family, health,work, and friends.

    • Anastasiya says:

      Becky, in order to have faith in the best outcome you must have a source of your faith. What or who can give you this safety and protection? Obviously, you can’t put your face in people because there are too many things that we have no control of. I don’t want to influence your decision in any way (because it’s a choice each of us has to make personally) but for me the faith is based on God.
      You can start by exploring your spirituality (which we’ll start doing in a couple of weeks) and hopefully you will find the source of faith that you are looking for.

  11. Olinda Melo says:

    When I subscribed I could not download the: Book of Wisdom: 50 Ideas for the all-around balanced life.

    Please send me information on how I can get it.

    thanks,

    Olinda

  12. Glynis Jolly says:

    Life balance for me is love and acceptance. It is knowing there is something larger than myself that influences my life. Life balance is also working toward goal without hesitation due to reticule.

  13. Marc says:

    I’m two days late joining the challenge, which I guess says something about how in balance I am. Anyway, here’s my homework:

    Life balance – Spending time and energy on the important parts of life in moderation, without spending too much or too little in any area. For me, that would mean a better ability to focus on the moment without thinking about what else I might be doing instead.

    1. The feeling that would most make me feel in balance is accepting life and the world around me as they are instead of trying to change them to the way I think they ought to be.

    2. My core belief is that truth comes through freedom. We can discover what is right only if we can accept that we may not already know the answer.

    3. I’d like to approach all situations without thoughts about time. I don’t want to think about the past that led to a situation or how it might affect the future.

    4. The areas of life that are most important to me are family, work, and fun.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and best wishes to everyone else in the challenge.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Marc,

      Your thoughts are the ones I have most been able to relate to. I look forward to this process and possibly to additional inspiration.

      Pauline

  14. bijaykumar says:

    goodevening madam,
    i read your articles .and i feel that i will be win and balance my life.very simple your describition.i just shairing my comments below:

    life is just like a vehicle if we perfect drive and balancely use the stioring then it will be too easy.but more case suggestion is require to managed life.thanks i alway read your articles and obey your advice . i am sure i most be success in my life.

  15. Maria says:

    For me, balance is based on the feeling like a part of the universe. From this point of view, my everyday troubles seem to loose significance and I begin to understand what is truly important for me.

    Having this in mind, we can stop blaming ourselves, procrastinating and getting mad at things we have no influence at, but take control of what depends on us instead. We can let go everything that doesn’t suit us, without feeling a loss, and concentrate on what we truly want and need. Finally, feeling a part of the universe, we can embrace every moment and enjoy it to the most. And even if it’s not much enjoyable, that feeling gives us a wider perspective to see it’s a part of a bigger thing that leads to our goals.

    I wish some day I could keep this perspective all the time, no matter how overwhelmed and helpless I feel. Hope this challenge will help me in that ;)

  16. Evelyn says:

    @ Tasha and others:
    I sooo had to think about a passage from Ecclesiastes (3.1-11) while reading your comments. Thank you for reminding me about one of my favourite passages:

    There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
    a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
    What do workers gain from their toil?
    I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
    He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no-one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

    PS: I know this is not my definition of life balance – I have written that down in an old-fashioned exercise book with an old-fashioned pencil :)

    Blessings to all

    • Lauren says:

      Life balance is eating healthy most days, and knowing its ok treat yourself every few days.
      Life balance is knowing when to exercise and push yourself and when to relax your mind and body.
      Life balance means getting your work done, but knowing when its time for a break.
      Life balance is being accountable to yourself and others while holding others accountable to.
      Life balance is continual growth and dedication to helping yourself and never forgetting to help others around you.
      Life balance is learning to be independent, while maintaining relationships and thinking of others.
      Life balance is knowing that you can not achieve everything, see everything, or do everything. We should feel bless to experience the things we can.
      Life balance is loving with all your heart, and stopping to feel the important things in life.

    • Anastasiya says:

      Maria, thanks for this verse from the Bible. That’s one of my favorites too! You couldn’t create a better definition of life balance than this.

    • Tasha says:

      Thanks Evelyn! I love that :) Have a happy Thursday!

  17. Christina says:

    Life balance means my life if filled with happiness because I honor my priorities. That means I must first know where my priorities lie, and second build a life that recognizes my priorities. For me, life balance includes:
    - me time for reflection and enjoying the things I like to do alone (reading, spending time outdoors, writing in my journal, crafts, cooking taking time to appreciate beauty and other parts of my life.)
    - spending time with my husband doing things we both enjoy – traveling, being outdoors, biking, square dancing, photography, going for walks, just being together.
    - family time. Staying in touch with my parents, brother, sister, nieces, and nephews. Getting in touch with extended family.
    - time for friends. Not only staying in touch, but also spending time together with friends both far and near.
    - helping others. Giving back to my community in a way that is significant. Some of this will be through my work, some will be through volunteer work.
    - keeping my household in order – physically and financially.
    - leading a healthy lifestyle – exercise, nutrition, taking care of medical needs.
    - honoring my spiritual life (ties in with me time, above).
    - spending my time productively in accordance with my priorities, NOT so many hours in front of the TV.

  18. Keri B says:

    Life balance is the ability to be content in my circumstances, whatever they may be.

  19. nicole says:

    the feeling of being grounded.
    inner peace.
    connection to self and others.
    being able to find the eye of the storm or being the eye of the storm.
    centered.
    unwavering.
    giving and receiving.
    mindful presence.
    going with the flow.

  20. Amanda says:

    Defined: having the ability to be happy in any situation. Delegating appropriate time to areas of importance. Boundaries. Evolving. Achievable in the past, present, and future.

    Inner feeling: harmony, peace, self-acceptance.

    Core belief: I love myself, and because I love myself I can in turn love others.

    Approach situations: have excitement as if each situation is for the first time, gift of present, and the opportunity is timeless. Fully embracing the “now”

    Important areas: health, relationships, career.

    • RavS says:

      Hi Amanda, just read your post. You have done a pretty good job in writing simple but concise views on Balance in Life. Let me try and do that too!

  21. Vimala says:

    Hi Anastasiya. I got round to doing the “homework” only today. Here is what Life Balance means to me – not in any particular order:

    - time to do everything I want to do
    - having the ENERGY to do everything I want to do
    - time spent on doing what I love doing
    - feeling strong and fit physically
    - being centred, positive and emotionally balanced – I know my Life is not in Balance when I allow others to upset, frustrate, irritate or anger me.
    - feeling love for my family & feeling loved by them
    - not seeking validation from others but accepting myself as I am
    - knowing inside me that I am enough
    - faith that life will work out
    - faith to let go of struggle and the need to control
    - knowing that I am living my purpose
    - feeling a satisfaction level of at least 8 out of 10 in all the important areas of my life
    - feeling one with nature
    - feeling one with life itself
    - waking up in the morning KNOWING that the day is going to be great (not wishing for it, but knowing it)

  22. I love this concept, Anastasiya! I’ve been building 36broadway around the principles of living well and finding balance and you are absolutely correct that it means something unique to each one of us. I have recently been feeling like my own personal definition has been scattered, thank you for the reminder that balance is not as structured or static as I would like it to be.
    You are very right that every day forces in our life will try to knock us off balance, I think it’s all about finding little ways that make sense for you to get it back. I’m working on shifting my focus to all the ‘good’ in a particular situation or obligation rather than zeroing in on the bad.

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