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-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?

Danielle-Laporte-Gift-Transaction

So, is this a gift, or a transaction? Because…your entire life is not a business deal.

I’ve been thinking a lot about transactional giving these days. I’ll tweet about you if you tweet about me. They owe me a favour. You listen for five minutes to them so they’ll listen when it’s your turn to talk. Even Stevens. Transactional giving can be a beautiful commerce of support, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that interplay. But if all of our giving is to secure our getting…then, well, it’s gross.

Danielle-Laporte-Love-the-egg-you're in

Love the egg you’re in. (This is not a sermon on patience. But…)

Savour the simplicity of your pre-dreams-come-true time. Love the egg you’re in. Because not too long from now–and right on time, you’ll be spreading your wings and life will never be the same again.

Rock your emptiness

Rock your emptiness

But what if we rocked our emptiness? Felt the perimeter of ourselves. Relished the silence. Made friends with the peace that’s always waiting for us. What if we got off on the discomfort of our emptiness and let it be creative tension?

Whats-Underneath-Wishful-thinking

What’s underneath wishful thinking?

Wishful thinking is tangled up with craving. We want what we want. So we ignore the evidence that we’re very likely not going to get what we want out of a situation. Craving… wishing. Craving… denial. Craving… tolerating. It’s a wishous cycle.

danielle-laporte-manifesto-for-creativity

Don’t worry about being invited back. My Manifesto for Creativity.

Meaningfulness. Reveal myself. Be compassionate. Don’t worry about being invited back. Go there. xo. I jotted this down when I began writing my book. I wanted a manifesto and it had to happen quickly because…I had a book to write.

danielle-laporte-life-is-what-happens-on-the-way-to-the-finish-line-featured-2x-456x456

Life is what happens on the way to the finish line.

If you’re not loving what it feels like between your various life destinations, then get off the ride. Burn the itinerary. Fuck “motivation” and be still long enough to find your inspiration.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This