One of the current hot topics is this idea of work life balance. When I come across it, I'm reminded of the mind/body connection. This language presupposes some sort of link (however weak or strong) between two separate things.
It is widely accepted that we do not know where the 'mind' resides and it is commonly considered that we can think and even make decisions with our hearts. This is hardly surprising when you consider that there is a complicated system of nerves and synapses in the heart muscle itself.
Likewise, there are plexuses of nerves in the abdominal and pelvic cavities. Has this something to do with 'knowing in your gut'?!?
Rather than the body and mind interacting with each other, I think 'bodymind' is a much more accurate term, because rather than being separate things, each is simply a different manifestation of the one system. Looking into a car through the front and rear windscreens gives different views. Not of two cars but the same car from different aspects. We are oftentimes unable to hold two 'seemingly' opposing things in mind at the same time.
Work life balance presupposes that work is separate from the rest of one's life. How can people think that what is happening at home is not going to affect their work? And yet, this is often not only anticipated, but expected.
Work life balance has become important because at the extremes, some people work to live and others live to work. Many go to work in order to afford to live the life they want for themselves, a life where for them, work is separate and distinct from everything else.
There's work and there's the life apart from work. They are one way at work, and outside of that they position themselves differently. Then they can get on with living. They work during the week and the weekends are their own to relax and enjoy. Not a great work life balance at all!
Did you know most people will work 90,000 or more hours before they retire? If we make decisions to have a life only outside of work, or in snatches, at the weekends or on holidays, we miss out on an opportunity for fulfilment in the place that we expend much of our energy, the workplace.
I'm not necessarily suggesting that people change profession or job. Nor am I suggesting that a life in work becomes a working life. It can be a simple but subtle internal shift that aligns who you are with what you are doing because great things are achieved not simply by 'doing' but more fundamentally by 'being'.
Reinnovation, imagineering, empowerment and reinvention are various attempts to allow individuals to bring their own personal creativity and artistry to work, to breathe life into work contexts in such a way that they can manifest their own magnificence and also allow the organization to achieve success in terms of productivity or profits.
Is your life such that your work is a reflection of who you are?
Do you know how to have a life without having to work at it?
Is your work an unfolding path to who you are becoming?
If not, what you haven't done is to align yourself, your sense of your place in the larger systems you occupy and the unfolding of your life purpose and then choose the things to be doing. Yet there is a way to have your activities consistent with your thinking and both aligned with who you are when your life is in control so that you have a sense of being on track. This is true work life balance.
Applying the everyday wisdom of the 80 - 20 rule then means that you get to do less of the things you don't want to, and more of those things that you do actually want.
Now, take that as the starting point...
'Wish for your deepest desires,' she said, and when I asked if they'd come true, she said 'They always do, so get them out in the open while you're still young enough to correct any serious mistakes.'
If you'd like to learn more about how to establish your own version of work life balance it's vital to know how to make decisions that allow you to express who you are. Only then can you know what to be doing.