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Work/Life Balance When It is NOT In Your Job Description

empowerment feminine leadership healing redefining leadership values based life woman empowerment work/life balance Jan 27, 2022

Work/life balance is a complete nonsense.

When I was learning English in Paris, and I came across the phrase, it gave me a pause. Prone to literal translations, I wondered: Are you dead when you are working? Shouldn't it be a work/home balance? 

Like "raining cats and dogs", I was told to not nit pick and move on, accepting the customary meaning of the idiom. 

But after a few years, when I moved to US, and begun my own journey in the work force, I got to live into the fallacy of this symbolic phrase. 

I saw myself, and thousands of my patients and clients over the years hit a "pause" button on their lives, and go to work. Suspending joy, love, emotions, playfulness, outrageousness, and often creativity, and truth telling, they experienced the mind numbing drudgery of fulfilling quality metrics, checking off to do lists, meeting deadlines, and generally "being a good employee".

The familiar arch of Monday blues, with uptick of energy and excitement as the weekend neared in hopes of hitting "play" on their lives again. Being over doing, connection over solitude of email and a cubicle, creativity over following corporate agenda, sensuality and intimacy over buttoned down work uniforms. 

I spent years of my life trying to help people unwind the increasingly desperate levels of stress, accompanied by feelings of failure, and being trapped by the hamster wheel. The only way out? Retirement. 

Work/life balance became a catch phrase. Something to strive to. But instead of helping, what I saw was that it just became another reason to feel bad. Adding more tasks to the already overfilled calendar. Meditation, yoga, workout, making a smoothie were touted as a magic balancing formula, but while it worked for some, it didn't for many. It contributed to feelings of exhaustion and not enoughness, if one couldn't do those things, and feel fabulously balanced, while still taking care of kids, partners, house, and job responsibilities. 

When I suddenly found myself at a brink of physical and mental breakdown, I stopped everything and considered the madness. 

What is work without me? What is life without me? Nothing. They literally do not exist. 

So it is not work/home/life that I need to balance. It is me. The human woman, who is one of the kind. Who gets inspired, nourished, and fired up by a unique constellation of perspectives and activities. Who is wired like nobody else for pain and pleasure,  based on my beliefs, rules and unique history. What works for me doesn't work for someone else, so to even attempt to come up with a universal "work/life balance" formula is domed to fail and make us feel shitty about ourselves. 

So what to do? 

Stop outsourcing your own wisdom to begin with. To balance yourself, I invite you to first identify your unique values. Values are what makes you tick. When you are happy, your values are honored, when you are not, they are not. It is really that simple, but many people could not tell me their values at a moment's notice. 

So start there. What makes you tick? Love, connection, respect, contribution, freedom? Values are always feelings, never things. 

Then consider, if you entertain limiting, or toxic beliefs that prevent you from experiencing your values. Do you believe that you are unlovable? Or perhaps that you cannot experience freedom as long as you are employed? Or that sensuality should be hidden? Or that beauty is dangerous? 

These beliefs are leaking your life force and hold you back from experiencing and honoring your values on the daily basis. If you challenge them, question them, choose something else, you can get busy collecting evidence to support new, more empowering beliefs. You plug up your leaks and experience that which is important to you. 

But there is more. What are the rules that you have come up with that may limit your expression of values? 

Here are some examples:

I feel love any time someone tells me that they love me. (You are missing out on a lot of love) 

I feel a sense of contribution when my boss publicly acknowledges me. (If they don't, does it mean, you didn't contribute?)

I feel free when I am in Hawaii on a beautiful adventure vacation. (So the only time you feel free is when you spend $5000 and travel for hours?)

These are crappy rules that limit your ability to FEEL the way you want to feel. 

I invite you to re-write them. Make them simple, positive, and 100% in your control.

Stop outsourcing feeling good. Decide what you want based on what you value, adopt beliefs that nurture and support you, and create simple rules that will make those feelings and positive states available to you ANY TIME. THIS is how you balance yourself. THIS is how you stop leaking energy. 

One of my values is passion. I believe that passion is available to me any time. Whenever I do something that matters, something that is pleasurable, when I experience nature, beauty, movement, dance. When I make love, help my patient connect the dots, crack a joke, curl a bicep, or get through to my son in an argument. I choose sensuality as my portal to pleasure and aliveness, and it lights me up. Passion is available when I drive, at work, at home, at a grocery store or on the stage. 

I don't need to delegate it to a small corner of my life and keep pushing pause and play buttons.

Because it is ALL YOUR LIFE. You are the magic ingredient. 




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Wild: unapologetically yourself

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Pleasure: Anything that feels good to YOU

Leadership: Leading by example from your truth and power

Healing: Learning, growing and enjoying WHILE living your life

Creatrix: Woman making sh-t happen

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Rewilding: Returning to your original, authentic nature