Does a “balanced life” cause more stress?

Uncategorized Aug 17, 2021

Several years ago, I was reading a great magazine called the Intelligent Optimist (which is sadly now out of print). It had one of those “In” and “Out” columns, as in what’s in and what’s out. 

I noticed that it said Balance was out and Harmony was in.

That got me to thinking. A lot. I was captivated by the notion and found myself doing a deep dive into considering why balance might be out and harmony might be in. I did some research into the concepts, and then I decided to see what my body had to say.

It confirmed what the Intelligent Optimist had suggested. Balance was indeed “out”. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. Balance is definitely important when you’re doing things like walking (especially on tight ropes) or canoeing or taking a tour on a Stand Up Paddleboard. It’s good for tree pose, standing on ladders and high-heeled escapades.

But if you’re trying to live your life so that it fits into one of those colourful pie charts, with each slice getting an equal 17.375% of your day, it’s likely causing you stress.

In fact, even if you say to yourself “I’m out of balance”, what do you notice? Go on, give it a try. (Whisper it if you have to.)

Did you notice the tone? Whenever you say to yourself that you’re out of balance, you’re really just judging yourself. I think it’s another way that we can beat ourselves up, without even realizing it.

I certainly don’t need additional ways to judge myself, and I bet you don’t either.

What if life wasn’t about balance at all (except for the previously mentioned activities, of course)? What if it was more about harmony?

When I played with embodying the idea of harmony, it was like a big old sigh of relief emanated from my bones and cascaded through the rest of me, like a Care Bear rainbow. (Did you watch that cartoon on Saturday mornings? I loved the Care Bears.)

Harmony doesn’t have judgement. It has gentleness, forgiveness and curiosity. 

It made such a difference to let go of balance as an ideal and to replace it with harmony, that I started sharing the idea with clients. They, too, felt a huge shift. I showed them how to experiment with both balance and harmony in their bodies so they could get a personalized experience and they told me that they felt like something significant had changed in their lives.

They loved it so much that I made a workshop out of it and taught it a number of times, back in the days when there was no such phrase as social distancing.

Lately, I’ve been getting a number of requests to do the workshop online and so I decided that it would be a great topic for the Self-Care Masterclass this month. We’ll go deeper into reasons why striving for balance is just a stress-fest and we’ll also explore why harmony is so refreshing as an outlook.

We’ll also get our bodies involved and see what they have to say about the whole balance vs harmony debate. You’ll be guided through some really eye-opening embodiment experiences and I’ll show you how to figure out what your body is trying to tell you.

All in all, you’ll get a very clear picture on what’s best for you and whether a balanced life is serving you, or stressing you out.

When you take the Masterclass, you’ll leave with:

  • More kindness and gentleness towards yourself
  • Increased spaciousness in your life so that you can more effectively accomplish what you want without the stress and pressure
  • A huge weight off your shoulders (and if you have neck or shoulder tension, this masterclass will make a difference)
  • A better understanding of how to interpret what your body is trying to tell you

Once again this month, there’s a sliding scale to make the class as accessible as possible. 

Click this link to get all the details for the masterclass and to register.

In the meantime, I invite you to get curious about balance and harmony. What if harmony was your come-from and you could just soften a little in your day to day activities? It’s a good question.

With peaceful love and sweet, sweet courage,


Creator of Courageous Self-Care

Much nicer to myself than I used to be

Lover of waterslides, as long as they don’t go straight down (random, unrelated tidbit of info)

PS- Click here to learn more about the “Balance Is Out; Harmony is In” Masterclass coming up later this month.