For the past ten years (at least), we have been inundated with books, magazine articles and TV shows dedicated to the subject of achieving balance in our lives. A Google search for "achieving life balance" yielded 5,960,000 results. A search on Amazon yielded 697 results. And I have to admit, I have wholeheartedly joined in the balance doctrine. Ironically, we might be able to have more balance if we didn't spend so much time trying to figure out how to do it!
I had a flash of insight this morning. (Don't you just love when that happens?!) I realized that maybe rather than focusing on balance, we should be striving for integration. So what does that mean? And what exactly are we integrating? I can't say I have all the answers, since my "flash" just happened 15 minutes ago. But it is something I plan to ponder a bit.
I suppose it will be different for everyone, just as "balance" is different for each of us. There is work, family, spirituality, health, community, friends, hobbies/interests. For me, integration means that my day is seamless. Each component is not discrete. For example, my work and my community often overlap, as does work and spirituality. Health seems to find its way into all areas of my life in one way or another - whether in the ergonomics of surface design and computer time or a lack of fitness that makes some physical activities uncomfortable. I am fortunate to have a "job" that is very flexible. When I am not teaching classes, I can set my own schedule at home and in the studio. That goes a long way to make my life integrated.
I plan to spend some more time thinking about this and how I can continue to make all the pieces into a cohesive whole. Oh, by the way, I also did a Google search on "achieving life integration" and came up with 36,000,000 results. I guess my idea is not so new and innovative after all!
How is your life integrated? Or how can you make it more so? I'd love to hear your thoughts.