Balance: a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.http://www.dictionary.com
Harmony: agreement; accord; harmonious relations. A consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
*While I can’t credit the originating thought author, I do know this post was sparked/inspired by Mark Groves’ online media.*
Frequently, especially with my coaching clients, I hear the sentence “I need to find better balance in my life” over and over. Interestingly, just the other day the discussion of this topic came up, and with that the idea of “harmony” over “balance” in the context of life and its many facets. All around me, it seems everyone seeks “balance”…work/life balance, personal relationship/family time balance, and the lists go on; however, after appraising the situation in comparison to the idea presented by the Mark Groves discussion, I too would agree that the truth is, we seek harmony.
Rarely in life will we ever be able to achieve balance, because things are never going to be equal and we will never be able to categorize them by time, energy expenditure or return of our investment. Instead of seeking to make sure that each “slice of the pie called life” is the same size, we might instead consider how well each of those areas is working in relation to one another. This small shift in thinking can help by allowing us to see the state of our circumstance not as if it’s too heavy or burdensome in one area versus another, but simply as how the pieces of of our life are interacting well, or perhaps not so seamlessly.
Consider the difference by way of an example:
An orchestra will not have precisely 6 each of drum, flute, violin, tuba, etc. (as we would maybe think when we say things are equally “balance“); instead there will be varying numbers of each instrument, BUT each section/individual will be playing at a volume and pace that allows all to remain in synchronicity and in harmony.
As with our orchestra, the time, energy, attention, etc that must be divvied up between areas of your life will not all be equal, but they must be complimentary and harmonious to each other. How harmoniously are things in your mind, environment or family dynamic working? If things feel/seem chaotic, then odds are there is work to be done. If a decision in any one area feels out of alignment with your values, goals or the agreements between yourself and those close to you, that will disrupt the harmony both in your heart and externally in your environment/relationships. Yes, life is a bit of a juggling and “balancing act”, but if we seek harmony between all aspects, we might be able to look at our lives with a bit more compassion and take action that better aligns with our life as a whole.