The concept of “work/life balance” is very prominent in the media today. But what does it actually mean? There are a few different ways to think about it.
When Work and Free Time Inspire Each Other
Instead of seeing work and life as opposing ends this article suggests to see work and life a little bit differently. Every time when there are opposites there is a kind of separation implied and usually it includes some kind of judgement. Instead of trying to balance work and life how about taking a step back and seeing how life flows through your work and how living a happy life also includes a certain kind of work and discipline. Instead of judging one as better than the other you can find the qualities of “work” in your free time and the qualities of “life” in your work.
I don’t know what those qualities are for you, but for me being mindful about people or feeling happy would be a quality I want to experience at work, too. The discipline of work also does me well in my free time. I just use the discipline for other things such as keeping my body healthy or meditation.
Oftentimes people find they are not in their ideal job. Of course this causes a lot of stress. The art is to find the job that is right for you and makes you happy. If this is not possible at the given time, try to imagine a higher purpose for you to be in this job right now. There must be reasons why you have this job now, find them and be grateful for them. If you move towards peace of mind and happiness wherever you are, more opportunities will open up for you. And this may lead to finding the work you desire.
Perception both in your Work and in your Free Time
For a couple of years now I am practicing and repeating “A Course in Miracles” and it is saying something really wonderful: the ego makes us think in endless loops and trying to figure something out that is not solvable. If you step out of it you suddenly feel a sense of peace and calm and you know everything is good.
The ego sees separation everywhere and creates conflict and conflicting goals. The ego makes us think that we are either less than others or that we are better than others. Both kinds of thinking can lead to unhappiness.
If you see with Christ Consciousness or you could say from a Loving Perspective, you have only one goal: contributing and creating a better world with a love that includes rather than excludes. Coming from this place you will find better solutions for the problems in your life in a calm and thoughtful manner.
You can either choose the ego’s kind of thinking or Christ Consciousness, regardless of where you are. Start with working on your right perception and practice this in your life and in your work. Both worlds will become one and will become your playground for your spiritual practice, may it be the Course, a more classical approach of yoga or any other spiritual practice.
Choosing your Practice
Yoga means connection and stilling the fluctuations of the mind. Physical exercise helps to connect body and mind and to feel more at peace. Meditation helps to connect to your Source and find peace in this kind of connection. Find practices that work for you well to step into your power and your inner calm, which are always there and can be never lost, even if your mind is distracted by situations, people and relationships.
You do not only want to fix symptoms on the outside. Living a healthy life doesn’t require only focus on fixing problems on the outside, but curing health issues and the cause of the problems on the causeual level. And a spiritual practice is part of the solution. Problems at work or in life often stem from a false perception and correcting how you see and envision your life will greatly help to cope with actual problems and how you will go about situations before they can become a problem.
There is no judgment in how much you practice. You never want to become stressed out because of your practice but you also do not want to forget about it. It becomes a joy. I love a term by Dr. Joshua Stone, which is “Tough Love”. You choose your practice and you remain steady with it because you know it does you good and because you need it to stay healthy and mentally sane. For me it is meditation in the morning and in the evening to start and end the day with a clean state in my mind. It is reminding yourself to see things from a loving perspective during the day, even if your ego tries to see problems everywhere or tries to convince you that you are better or less than someone else. I include many other practices in my day such as healthy eating, movement and taking my yin-time. It is an art: the art of finding your balance each day and each moment again.