Integrated Living vs. Balanced Living
‘Balancing your life’
I am sure most if not all of us have encountered these phrases, or even been involved in seminars/programs teaching the same.
For the longest time ever, living a ‘balanced lifestyle’ was my goal. There is only one problem with this kind of living, you are constantly juggling ball in the air and God forbid if one ball falls to the ground. As you are trying to deal with that, guess what happens, all the other balls fall down and disaster is what you have on your hands.
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Your eyes have to always be on the ‘balls’, you blink and everything falls apart. So in the end ‘Balanced living’ became slavery for me it became a source of unending stress and a drain on my energy.
Then I stumbled upon ‘Integrated Living’
I actually didn’t have a name for it until this year, but I knew that it was the kind of living that made me want to wake up every morning eager and excited to face the day.
Think about the image below:
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Do you see all the beautifully colored thread? See how beautifully woven together they are? Are you seeing the final integrated image?
That is what ‘Integrated Living’ is all about.
Get out of the box, discard all the boxes then weave your identity + roles/responsibilities in every phase/season of life together. You will be amazed.
Most of what defines you at every phase of life can and should be integrated. You will be surprised when you sit back and reflectively work through the integration process, roles/responsibilities that you hitherto thought to exist independently as you juggled all your balls in the air, will blend in so well you will wonder why you never thought of it this way.
I am a child of God and a teacher; that is my identity. I teach values as a Stay at Home Mum, A Blogger, A Speaker, A Mentor and An Author; those are my current roles and responsibilities. The central role is teaching and the other are the avenues I fulfill that role. This way I don’t feel overwhelmed in any of the roles because bottom line I am teaching values. I don’t feel like I am living five different lives, but one life aimed at achieving one goal, teaching values. That is why I can easily carry my children along for a speaking engagement or discuss with them about an article I am writing on the blog.
Integrated Living is freedom, that is what it has meant for me. I am free from a life of constant worry and ensuring everything is working just right in each of the different boxes lest something doesn’t and everything ends up unravelling. Why? Because in every phase/season of life I have chosen to name, know and integrate my identity+ roles and responsibilities.