Hanging in the Balance

As I was sipping my last cappucino at the Malta airport, it occurred to me why work-life balance is a concept that is at odds with itself. Work is as much a part of our lives as play. When we talk about balance, we really mean moderation. We want to be moderate in how we spend our time, whether it is at our jobs, with our families, or with ourselves.

Balance implies stasis. It is the state of non-movement. If you’ve ever walked on a balance beam, you know it requires utmost concentration and effort to stay on board. But life, like the rocky boats that sway with the Mediterranean outside our hotel room, is motion with unconcentrated moments that keep us slightly off kilter. Even if we are paralyzed, the inner workings of our bodies are pulsating.

Rather than speak of work-life balance, I plead the case of finding alignment. When our actions are aligned with our intentions, we are on task. We are on that balance beam, putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes we fall off; sometimes we land a perfect ten.

If you love what you do, you are lucky to have your work as an integrated part of your life. If you are counting the minutes until quitting time, you might benefit from more alignment to bring you to a place of inner freedom.

Living the power of slow does not mean you are in an absolute state. Quite the contrary! It means you are feeling the rain against your skin when it falls and remembering that there will be sunny days, too. It means you are mindful of this moment, then the next and the next.

Our personal bank account of time is the gift with which we are born. How will you spend it today?

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