She notes: “In this age of multi-tasking and instantaneous communication through cell phones, e-mail, and BlackBerrys that do both and more, the demands on our time are relentless.
“These demands have increased our levels of stress-related health problems, and as an antidote, the quest for â€œbalanceâ€ has become a popular fixation.
“In our search for balance, we re-prioritize our to-do lists and think about ways to shift our schedules around. But what is balance? How do we live a balanced life?”
“We can think of balance as the powerful flow of a river, whose constant flow creates enormous energy.”
Arakawa refers to the book The Power of Full Engagement, in which authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz “demonstrate that managing energy, not time, is the key to enduring high performance.”
These authors developed their Full Engagement Training System.. “designed to optimize physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy. Full engagement requires drawing on each source of energy, but the most significant source is spiritual.”
More perspectives on balance and imbalance are provided by Brad Swift [Founder and Director of the Life On Purpose Institute] in his article Living Simply in a Complex World, in which he says his life reminded him of Through the Looking-Glass, and Alice’s meeting with the Red Queen “who takes her on a wild run through the countryside. But no matter how fast Alice runs she can’t seem to get anywhere.
“Finally, breathless from her efforts, the Queen allows her to rest long enough for Alice to comment that ‘Everything is just as it was!’ to which the Queen replies, ‘…Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!’
“Several years ago, I remembered Alice’s predicament, as I stood on the deck outside my home, gazing into a meandering stream threading its way through my back yard. I thought Alice must have felt similar to how I was feeling about my life.
“I was physically exhausted and emotionally out of breathe, running as fast as I could to keep up with an out-of-control lifestyle of my own making.”
After making some fairly radical changes in his career and following a lifestyle of more “voluntary simplicity.”
Swift explains, “Richard Gregg, who coined the term “voluntary simplicity” back in 1936 points to this outward slowing down process that frees up ones time to pursue the inner work that continues the cycle.”
For more on all this, see the free ebook [pdf] collection of cover story interviews from Healthy Wealthy nWise Magazine: A Life on Fire – Living Your Life with Passion, Balance & Abundance.
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