the suck factor of life balance, + passion as a cure to stress

I no sooner want to be balanced than I want to be a “good” girl. “Balance” is not something I want to live down to.
– me

If consensus is overrated, I think balance is too. I have no interest in living
a balanced life. I want a life of adventure.
Chris Guillebeau

In the end, the quest for balance is bogus. Love your burdens. Love them hard. And when your loves knock you down or your weak ankles trip you up, stop worrying about balancing – ‘cuz you’re not – and bounce.
Kelly Diels

Life balance. Low fat cheese. Walking shoes. Small talk.
Life balance. The term makes me feel bloated and late for my own party.
Life balance. Stressful.

The pursuit of balance makes us juggle. It puts us behind (always behind,) makes us guilty, neglectful, imbalanced. It’s as useful a concept as original sin. You can never get it right.

If you want to do great things, striving for balance is a losing game. I don’t think remarkable artists, scientists, activists, entrepreneurs, or generous souls set out on their giving journeys with the aim to be measured and harmonious. Meeting your potential is inherently full of tension (creative tension.) Trying to be balanced about it is onerous and futile.

Fuhget about it. Put balance on pause and feel into…

The out-of-whackness of your life
– gigs, kids, commitments, projects. It’s a lot. Yes, indeed it is.
The passion in your cells – to eat life whole, to innovate, to score, to, as Emerson put it, “leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition.”

Feel into….
The hunger to fill the hole in your soul – doesn’t matter how it got there – if it’s there, it’s there.
The aspirations that show up as dreams or strategies.
The curves of your drive.

[HOLD FOR THE PUNCHLINE:]

If you’re alive, ambitious, or depressed; inventive, in the lead, or rapturous – you are imbalanced. The off-kiltering of your life may make you gasp – in grief or in glory. You could be on the leading edge of your consciousness – thriving. You could be a total mess. Things may need to be put in proper order. Loved ones. Goals. Your well being. Your mental clutter. Your blood pressure. Your Mastercard statement. But…

[THIS IS THE PUNCHLINE:]

Getting “balanced” is not the remedy to stress.

Passion is.

I burn a lot of omlettes. It’s a regular occurrence – I’m drawing robots with my kid, I’m jotting down an idea I don’t want to lose, I’m taking the call. And then the smoke alarms goes off. I “work” on holidays. Last Monday I stayed in bed and read all day. I send birthday gifts three months early or three months late – but it’s just the right gift. I can eat cereal every day for a week, wearing the same clothes, never leaving the house because I want to finish a book. I like last minute trips out of town and not answering email for days. The last time I was at a monastery, I tweeted about it.

This is not a balanced life. But it works. And the more I pursue my passions, the more uncomplicated my life gets, actually. There’s not much in my life that I resent. And if resentment builds, I’m swift to get it off my plate. It’s not the imbalance-ness that stresses me, it’s doing meaningless things that aren’t taking me where I want to go.

MOTHERS + CEOs

When we talk about the whole life balance issue, working mothers are central to the conversation. How does the screw-life-balance-and-go-for-passion theory apply when you’re juggling P ‘n L’s and macaroni ‘n cheese? It’s about an overall proportion in your life, not perfection. It’s a work hard / play hard equation. It’s about draining your reserves and filling them up again with precious moments or a stolen day. You give give give give give and give some more, and then you get. It’s a wonky equation – creating works of art always is – but if you don’t stress about how you “should do it”, you can create the best way to do it.

When passion is a priority – passion for family, vocation, for meaning – your energy intensifies. And when your energy is more focused, more, “aimed”, you begin to care less about the things that don’t really matter. You avoid crappy jobs, you stop over-controlling your kids, you nag and complain much less – with everyone. You get the help you need to pull off the important things – whether you’re a CEO or an aspiring freelancer, and that support takes the form of a house cleaner, a VA, or a friend or mentor to jam with.

REFUSE TO BE BALANCED

When you refuse the banality of balance and go for full on life (which includes full on productivity and full on stillness,) you’ll see the inevitable mess of it all as something more beautiful and purposeful – full of peaks and valleys – an adventure. The climb can be rigorous, grueling sometimes, but the air is cleaner, and the view will blow your mind. The fruit you’ll find on your own tilted path is so much sweeter – and there’s so much more of it to share.

related posts
Danielle-LaPorte-Failures-traced-to-my-silence

All of my failures can be traced to my silence.

Truthing isn’t necessarily easier to do, but it brings incredible ease to your life. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes. The courage, the classy delivery, the compassionate humour, it all becomes more accessible when you’re using your voice everyday.

Will you do as much as it takes, as long as it takes? 2017 is asking

Will you do as much as it takes, as long as it takes? 2017 is asking.

Listen. It’s time. This is it. 2017. New. Year. Now. I for one am going deeper and higher. I’m reaching inward for my strength, facing my Soul, and I’m going to pour my devotion to the Light all over every word I speak, and every human I encounter and adore and hold, and every cause I’m working for.

danielle-laporte-how-to-wish-someone-well-audio

How to wish someone well — in a way that will blow your life wide open.

We’ve all been hurt. Screwed over. Taken for granted. Unseen. And once we untangle our hearts and egos from those painful interactions, sometimes we can still manage to send someone positive vibes.Harm done, but okay. Everyone did their best. Onward. I wish them well. And even though you’d never commune or collaborate with that person ever again, you really mean it…

Danielle-LaPorte-Year-in-review

5 Q’s for your deeper Year In Review

Do your year in review with a friend. Last year I sat in a pub in Ojai, while Steph pushed me to do a rapid-fire reflection on the closing year. Keep reading…

holding-out-danielle-laporte

Holding out. The most underrated spiritual act there is.

Good things come to those who… hold out. Holding out requires a sacred, almost superhuman degree of focus—mystical muther freaking prowess.

Danielle-LaPorte-the-royal-practice-of-overcoming-distraction

The “royal practice” of overcoming distraction.

Most of us approach distraction as a time management issue—how we wrangle our to-do list and hit our goals. But when you zoom out and look at it esoterically, it snaps your priorities into place. Keep Reading…

danielle-laporte-this-is-what-healing-looks-like-audio

This is what healing looks like—from cancer to politics, and our bleeding, blazing hearts.

Healing is as ugly as “healed” is gorgeous. If we don’t judge the mess of it, we’re more likely to get to the other side of it sooner—and more deeply healed and stronger than we ever imagined possible. Scars and all. Healed.

Danielle-Laporte-Guru-Singh

Cataclysmic Evolutionary Catalysts. (AKA: The times we live in). A guest appearance from Guru Singh.

For the first time ever on my site, I’m bringing you a guest feature. Because these times call for collaboration. And radical wisdom. So here it is: Guru Singh is a luminous and direct Truth teller. It’s an immense honour to share his insights—and prayerful plea. Please listen in.

danielle-laporte-conscious-gifts-2017-1

8 holiday gift ideas for friends & co-workers. Conscious, cool, and not-destined for landfills. And 6 ways to help #NoDAPL this season.

Here are a few pro-earth, pro-good taste, pro-kindness ideas for showing your love and appreciation this season: 8 conscious ways and things to give this season—to friends and your professional circle.

danielle-laporte-how-you-listen-is-how-you-live-featured-2x

How you listen is how you live. (A poem for being of service.)

You may hear this as an order, an invitation, or as the opportunity of lifetimes.

How you listen is how you live.
Can you hear the women crying?
Can you hear the soil gasping for clean air?
And did you hear that? That’s the sound of a good man asking, How can I serve?

How do you serve?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This