Life balance is often misunderstood. Many people think it simply means that we just need to juggle our plates and successfully keep them all up in the air. 

This would perhaps be in a perfect world. 

But balance doesn’t mean perfection. 

Balance is more about level — in accounting, things must add up. In physics, what goes up, must come down. 

In life, we don’t want to live like a gazelle being chased by a cheetah all the time — we’d be in a code red, high adrenaline, super stress world. Possibly a heart attack or stroke waiting for a place to happen.

Balance is more about a calm and stable default setting that allows us to make decisions based on personal values. 

This level of calm assists us in being assertive and confident in setting healthy limits (personal boundaries) in life and work situations. 

Which, in turn allows us to enjoy our time for rest and relaxation. 

It also aids us in not constantly carrying around mental homework in an effort to to work out all the unknowns in our world.

Balance means that we are more likely to be intentional in the moment ~ and possibly more aware of the moments that take our breath away. 

As opposed to running around wondering if all the work and worry is reducing the number of breaths we have left to take.

As we struggle with these kinds of issues, it often helps reveal to us what we truly want and need when we are seeking “life balance”. 

It is the calmness and security of being able to manage the things we treasure, i.e. our feelings, thoughts, talents, attitudes, behavior, personal well-being, etc. so in effect, we are able to pro-actively confront our issues in life without a perpetual feeling of being overwhelmed.

For me, it’s about owning my life and choosing who and what to allow into it. This has made what is most important in my life — my relationships — more peaceful, loving and respectful. 

I don’t want to stress over things I’m unable to change. I need the energy for the times when I do have stress … or, for the adventure I want to jump into with both feet!

One thing I know I cannot change is others' and how they do life.

And how do I want my life to be different today and everyday? 

I want to intentionally make an effort to live, eat, write, think, work, and focus from a mindset that I personally choose. Not one that I land in every time the unexpected happens. 

It means I have to consciously rework my default settings. And to avoid the negative patterns that reoccur when I am not doing life based on what I value most.

My desire is to have a default setting that is a calm, safe and secure in the knowledge that God will always provide the strength I need day-by-day to manage the life He has given to me. 

When my adrenaline rushes (the extreme) come in, I want to be aware when I am tempted to allow more in my life that I am able to manage. 

God will always provide the time, resources, support and accountability for all He has for me.  

My job is to routinely take the initiative to renew my mind with His truth and love, being strengthened by the relationships I have with those that support and encourage me, as well as the ones that have permission to hold me accountable to do what I say and finish what I start.

My life keeps getting better. Not because of more money or more stuff – but mostly because of more awareness around the true balance I have tapped into by learning that every day holds challenges and successes ~ and that truly what I look for is what I will find, be it bad or good. 

As for me, I want to make the choice each day to live with the mantra, that indeed, 'Life is Good'. 

After all, I’ve got the tee shirt; that should prove it! 

At times, I can laugh at how busy I used to be. I was serious about my ability to be polished in every area. I could be an excellent wife, be a good mom to my three girls, manage my home, organize finances, volunteer when anyone asked, cook, clean etc. 

I could do it all, and then some. At least that is what I would tell myself.

I thought that was the path to peace. All I needed to do was keep all those plates in the air.

Everyone was doing it all, so I wanted to look as good as everyone else. 

As a young stay-at-home mom, I had an extra drive to prove myself because, 'they' were watching to see if I could accomplish this feat. (I still ask myself, "Who are 'They?'") 

I was convinced that more was required. Meals had to be from scratch. I had to use cloth diapers. No shortcuts! 

I didn’t want to do it all. Doing it all made me exhausted. Doing it all cost me relationships with those that mattered most to me. 

It was great. Until it wasn't. Until I realized it was not true at all.

Until I purposefully left the life of chronic busyness, I couldn’t see how futile it really was.

Doing it all caused me stress, loss of sleep and anger when my world was out of my control. 

My busyness was less productive and more chaotic that I would ever admit to.

After all of the disappointment and a few good doses of reality, I made the decision that a overly busy life wasn’t a life for me. 

Being a good person, loving wife, mother and friend…that was the life I wanted. 

Next to that, I wanted the freedom to do things that I was passionate about instead of things that weighed heavy on me because they mostly felt like obligations. Certainly not something I could be cheerful about.

Becoming less busy is not an accident, but a decision we need to make intentionally. 

My epiphany came when I realized that busyness did not necessarily equate to fruitfulness.

The snare of busyness is that sometimes you can be so busy, you don’t recognize you might be in trouble. 

You can become so overwhelmed that you can’t figure out how to change. 

You can get so used to being busy that you create more work to organize your life so you can be even busier with the hopes of accomplishing more. 

And, for what? I was miserable and yet trying to create more misery. A catch-22.

You may be caught up in the busyness trap, if…

* You respond to “how are you?” with “crazy busy” or “busy but good”

* You spend time worrying about how busy you are going to be tomorrow

* You get angry when your spouse or others who aren’t as busy as you

* You are up at night thinking about everything you didn’t get done

* You let people know how late you stay at work or how much you get done

* You zone out during conversations thinking about all you have to do

* You volunteer for things you don’t care about

* You spend time complaining about how overwhelmed you feel

* You make list after list to make sure you don’t forget anything

* You regularly eat in your car or on the go

* You use your phone in the car because “it’s the only time you have to talk”

If you are anything like I was, you may be busy because you simply don’t know how to be un-busy. 

You may be busy out of misdirected guilt because you think if you do enough, you will be enough. 

When you decide that it is acceptable to live life your way, you can stop being busy and start doing things that matter. 

You can talk about your meaningful day instead of ranting about your busy schedule. 

Decide today that you are enough, even if you never do anything, accomplish anything or produce anything ever again. 

You are enough.

How to be less busy...

* Be unproductive on purpose

* Limit the times you check email each day

* Delete and toss email that you don’t need to read

* Set your phone to silent and turn your computer off when you aren’t working

* Turn everything off in the car (except the car)

* Put your iPad down

* When you help someone, let it be from love, not obligation

* Do less, be more

* Stop trying to keep up, measure up or catch up

While you may think that you are making sacrifices for others by being busy, you are likely sacrificing the same relationships you think you are saving. 

Get real and consider what is most important to you. Then do that first. The rest will wait.

Practice guarding your life from the thief of busyness…

Until next time....

-Sheri xo

***If over-commitment is an ongoing concern in your life, consider establishing some healthy personal boundaries for yourself. The only thing you have to lose is a default setting that really may not be serving you well.

**If you'd like to see if Boundaries Coaching could help you navigate these challenges, I invite you to consider booking a complimentary 30-minute coaching call with me to gain some insights... Reach out to me: and I'll provide a link to a complimentary call.

Sheri Geyer is a Boundaries Coach for Women

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