Saturday, October 13, 2007

Life Balance on My Terms

I define life balance as having enough time, energy and resources for those things that are most important to me.

I had the wonderful opportunity to lead a women’s Personal Renewal Group (PRG) Facilitator Training Weekend Retreat at The Crossings Austin in late September. It was an amazing experience and as always, lots of deep learning for everyone involved.

The following week I hosted a Biz and Balance Success Group Meeting for Entrepreneur Moms (you can learn more about this free community gathering at Career Strategists) and then in early October, I was very involved in the Texas Conference for Women, where I spoke during two sessions on "Embracing the Chaos: Work/Life Balance from the Inside Out” and participated in other conference activities for this 8,000 person event.

The morning after the conference, I got on the plane and headed to Orlando, FL to speak at the Association for Women In Communications National Conference on “The Courage to Follow Your Heart Taking Risks in Life and Career” and then the next day I led a free community workshop and Self Renewal Party for an amazing gathering of moms in downtown Orlando, hosted by Hopscotch Boutique and the Central Florida YMCA.

Crazy?! Maybe a little. Looking at my schedule over the past 3 weeks--and the reason for my absence from my blog--you might wonder how I’m feeling and how my emotional/physical well-being is!!

I did some extra things to help nurture myself during this busy travel time (bringing healthy snacks and staying hydrated, taking short walks when I could, building in “alone time,” delivering “good is good enough” presentations and trying to stay present as much as possible), but overall I was so “fed’ by these opportunities to visit with women from around the nation about "The Mother's Guide" and the Personal Renewal Groups that it didn’t feel crazy, but rather nourishing. (Ok, at times it did feel a little crazy.)

But, most importantly to me, I entered into this very full three-week period, intentionally--knowing these were events I really wanted to devote time and energy to.

I wouldn't recommend a schedule this intense if you can avoid it, but we all have those times when things unavoidably get a little to tightly stacked.

The last three weeks have been a great opportunity for me to reflect on this ever-evolving "life balance" journey and continue to look at what really fuels and drains me in my life. I'm grateful to be doing work I love that feeds me on many levels and at the same time am very conscious about not giving everything I have to a calling and not leaving enough energy for the other things in my life that are top priorities.

A friend commented recently that it must be hard to not have my parents to lean on and how unfortunate it is that my mom and dad never got to see the book or observe me in my current role. Yes, it definitely can be. But, ironically, I wouldn't be doing this work if I hadn't experienced those premature losses.

P.S. While at the, I had the opportunity to be on a panel with work/life balance consultant and author Cali Williams Yost, author of "Work+Life Fit". Cali, like me, advocates being sensitive to your current life stage and individual/family needs when determining what type of job is a fit for you. She is very insightful and outlines a plan for how to do this and create your personal "work+life fit" in her book. Check it out, she offers a wonderful perspective on the topic of balance and great resources to help you on your career path.

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