Work life harmony or work life balance....what is the difference and what matters most?
We often hear about the importance of creating work life balance and the importance of creating balance in general, right?
Why is almost no one talking about creating harmony and what is the difference?
Well, recently inside my coaching group, this topic came up and got me thinking what’s more important, creating harmony in life or balance in life? Or are they the same thing?
Let’s think about this - when we think about the word balance, we can almost picture someone on a balance beam taking careful steps. Or perhaps you are thinking of the Libra astrology sign of the scale where you put a little more effort on one side and less on the other in order not to tip the scales.
If you are thinking about the effects of careful you have to be to TRY to balance everything out, you may be adding stress to your life unintentionally. You want balance because you are stressed and you are creating stress and overwhelm because you are struggling to make something fit into a specific mold of what you think that has to look like.
One side of the scale is tipped and you are feeling unproductive and lazy - you know the voice inside your head that judges you when you binge watch something on a Sunday afternoon or when you spend a day at the spa or just go off the radar completely and not post on Instagram what you had for dinner….And then there is the opposite direction when you are feeling overwhelmed, overworked or exhausted. You still aren’t making the deadlines or feeling accomplished at the end of the week because you know you will be doing it again the next. That hamster wheel keeps on turning and you are just hanging on.
If you are imagining someone adding or taking away from one side or the other of this scale, you can also imagine someone balancing above walking along a tight rope. You can see the fear on their face worrying, knowing one little false move and the scale is tipped. Every step is filled with concern and “trying” to keep everything in balance so they don’t lose everything you have “efforted” for.
How does that feel? Familiar? Stressful? Anxious and even fear driven?
The word balance probably felt like a positive word…up until now. No worries, let’s continue. Stay with me here.
To have harmony in life means having the ability to handle all of life's different areas (i.e., career, health, relationships) and allow a place of progress for the whole of who you are. Not just for your bank account, the scale or whatever area of your life you would like to feel more harmonious in. Progress is a feeling, not a mold.
Now let’s try on this word Harmony instead. Creating harmony in your life might feel very different, even just hearing the word may provoke a different emotion. Does it? The word harmony brings us to a vision of someone who is high vibing and in the “flow”. Someone who has a smile on their face, knowing everything is working out for the best. Think of an orchestra working in harmony to bring the energy of a song together. Smiles and confidence exudes even from the seemingly small part of the orchestra. The violin doesn’t have to play 50% of the time to create balance with the harp. Sometimes just a hint of that sound is all it takes to work in harmony to deliver the right type of energy that can move a crowd to tears.
Creating harmony really means to figure out how all the pieces in your life can fit together to enhance your whole life. It’s really about removing the struggle from your life, there is no struggle in harmony. This is so much less about effecting and more about merging. You are commuting three or even four hours some days, what are you listening to during your travels, and most importantly how do you feel?
You want to change careers and feel stuck that you cannot, make a plan that you can grow into overtime.
You have a mean boss that doesn’t treat you well, how can you envision them in a better light?
You don’t have enough (time, money you fill in the blank) and so how can you get creative with the resources you do have. When you marry a clear intention with a heart-based feeling, you will create harmony in your life. You can add meditation, breath work and gratitude into your life without it costing you much time or any money at all.
So, are you working hard to have a work life balance or are you making the switch over to creating more harmony & flow in your life?
Oh, and by the way, balancing is an act, harmony is a feeling. Stop acting and get into the flow today.
Be your own true best friend and don’t let anyone or anything get in your way!