A gathering of several hundred über gorgeous designers and creatives, building personal brands, running businesses and blogs – all with an eye for fashion and beauty. Yes, I’ve been at Altitude Summit in Salt Lake City, a conference for bloggers in the creative design and lifestyle sectors. All that creative energy in one room! So what are they doing with it?
I saw exquisite jewelry, intricate crafts, rich fabrics and stunning designs. I’ve never seen that many people who love paper in one room! More than that, I saw intense technical skill, talents honed over decades, soul and heart connecting over making, creating, birthing something new and original. I saw a plethora of passion and attention to detail and beauty that could (and often does) overwhelm the designers and artists. How do you find balance when the muse comes? What does that look like?
I was invited by conference founder, Gabrielle Blair, of Design Mom, to moderate a panel on work life balance. What is it? What does it look like? Why do we care? I’ll answer that with another question – who do we become when we have it?
Gabrielle has six children and is the creator of Design Mom, highlighted by Time Magazine as a Top 50 Blog. She is temporarily running her new media empire from a house in rural France. The single most common question she is asked is, “how do you do it all? How do you find work life balance?” She’s been finding ways to answer that question on her blog and a panel at her favorite conference was a natural extension. The star power of my fellow panelists ensured a packed room!
Each of these immensely talented women are living case studies for making it work. Whilst the holy grail of balance often feels elusive and misleading, our definition of living in a way that lines up with values is truly exemplified in each of their lives. Sarah Jane and Brooke are mothers. Kathryn is thinking about it. All three are successful entrepreneurs with personal brands and things they want to do. It’s not easy. It changes every day. But they are doing it. And doing it well. Designing. Creating. Making a living. All whilst honoring their highest priorities.
I sat down to ask them how. We started off by thinking about these questions:
Why do we seek it?
What does it feel like?
What is life like without it?
What are the possibilities when we get in balance?
I wonder what your answers look like to these questions? As we each thought about these concepts, we were also able to brainstorm and share the things that work for us. Between the four of us, we have tried and tested a whole bunch of balance tools and ideas. Here’s the Take-Out Menu we created for you!
- Focus: stay on one page at a time
- Boundaries: set what those are for you
- Tell the truth: NO
- Luxuries: details of life outside laptop
- Addiction: breaking up with “go, go, go!”
- Attitude: Lighten Up!
- Communicate: expectations, calendar, dreams
- You Time: essential maintenance, renewal
- Design Your Life: conscious, long view
- Unplug: path to being present
- Play to strengths: delegate, hire people
- Partnership: communication, mutual support
- Childcare: pay for it, trusted providers
- Choices: projects, clients, schedule
- Planning: power of an outline
Getting back to the big WHY?
Who do we become when values and action line up? When we know our value and worth? When our inner voice is heard and honored, it opens the door to:
- greater creativity
- deepened relationships
- more contribution
- broader impact
- a truly holistic life
Your inner artist is heard, and you make your imprint on the world. What are you waiting for? Is that a big enough motivator for you to get in balance?
Join me at The Daily Thrive, a new on-line learning community of women focused on all of who you are, to unlock all of who you can be. Six experts. Six critical life topics. One year. One Life. Yours.