We have flipped over the calendar page for the month of March, but is the Madness gone? For many, the madness dogs us into yet another month.
Do you feel like a circus performer, the woman balancing six twirling plates on sticks in the air? Do you feel like one more “plate”, and they’ll all come tumbling down? Do you ever feel like you’ve lost control of your life? If you’ve answered, “yes” to these questions it’s time to take stock of ways to protect your sanity and happiness.
First of all, the concept of “balancing” all aspects of your life: responsibilities for family, job, kids, parents, social pressures, health concerns, etc. is misleading, throwing a ton of guilt your way. “I should have volunteered for that job at work.” “I should be at my daughter’s play at school.” All the “shoulds” add to the heavy burdens of expectations to be met throwing more layers of guilt acting as one more plate to balance.
There is no way that you can equally “balance” all of these plates of duty. You will hurt yourself trying to be part-time mother, part-time employee, part-time, daughter, wife, neighbor, friend, etc. You will lose yourself in your attempts.
Trying to distribute your limited amount of time and energy to fulfill all of the obligations that present themselves will take you on many “guilt trips” to unwanted destinations. As the pressures mount, the plates come tumbling down taking its toll on you emotionally, physically, and psychologically.
When we talk about balancing your life you need to remember that it starts on the inside. It’s an “inside” job. It’s not a matter of balancing your life but of integrating it. It’s not allowing yourself to be pulled in the many directions responding to the outside forces, but it’s integrating who you are. Only then you will find your peace of mind and spirit.
Starting on the inside, knowing who you are, your purpose in this life, and what best serves you best provides supports in your integration process. When confronted with choices, you will opt for the one that meets your needs at the time allowing you to fulfill your responsibilities with a certain freedom of choice, ditching the guilt.
With this sense of inside purpose, you have the reassuring awareness that you are fulfilling your mission, not merely meeting your obligations. You may have to say “no” to something, or “disappoint” someone but that’s OK when you knowing that you are protecting your happiness.
The outside demands of family life, work responsibilities, and social pressures also need to be integrated. Thinking outside the box gives you new ways to integrate your children with your work life. Include your kids and family in your business dealings and social obligations when possible. Extend a business trip with them exploring a new city if you can. Volunteer to share your career with their school at career day. Include them in charity fundraisers such as “Walk for the Cure”. There are many ways to keep children in the loop, integrating the ones you love and sharing with your daily responsibilities.
Living from an “integrated” approach rather than seeking to balance incoming demands, you will be living your life as one grand, purpose driven life. You will find your fulfillment in seeing your life as one glorious totality.
Remember that if you don’t control you own life, someone else will. Here’s to your happiness.