The biggest fallacy being perpetuated these days is the idea of Work + Life balance.  There is no work + life balance, there can’t be and the search for it is futile.  Balance is boring!  The yin doesn’t shine without the yang, the sexual spark between a man and a woman doesn’t exist without polarity, you can’t find your way in the darkness without the light.  Who the heck wants balance?

When we say balance, it brings to mind some sort of perfection, where nothing is out of place, there’s no stress, and this of course is unrealistic. It automatically means a trade-off between work and life. If I give more time to my family I won’t be able to do my job or tend to my calling properly, or if I spend more time on my career, my family will suffer. Yet I want to be able to have it all, to do it all, right now.


What I strive for in my life is harmony between the integration of the two, and let’s be real, we are not talking just about two separate entities, we are talking both of these and everything in between.  I imagine my life as a great symphony that I orchestrate, pulling in all the unique pieces.

Harmony means bringing the various pieces of our lives into a cohesive whole. We each have many roles, goals, responsibilities and life plans. The attractive idea of finding ways to bring life into a unity will give us the harmony and happiness we seek.

There are times when my work needs more attention than other times, as I launch a new program or participate in an educational seminar.  There are times when family needs an immense slice of time as I prepare for a house move, or our daughter is struggling with something at school.  And there are times that I need to carve out just for me, to replenish, recharge and renew; in order to be everything I can for me, for my family, and for the circle of people I serve.

Your Orchestrated Life

An orchestrated life is not one that can be set in stone a year in advance.  Yes, I am a huge believer of calendaring—my calendar would frighten some (I do schedule out a year in advance).  But I always know that with the structure that serves me well, comes flexibility and fluidity. By opening up this space I allow for what truly wants to come in to my life.  Cognizant that there will be times-many, many times that I have to allow that structure to change and either fine tune or create a brand new symphony.

So how do you create an orchestrated life?  I’m so glad you asked!

*Clarify your values and principles

*Define your boundaries

*Set up your container

*Recognize when it’s time for a shift

Experience shows that women who have very clear priorities and their own clear definition of success succeed best at creating harmony their lives. They know what’s most important in their lives. These are women who can say, before it happens: If I have to make a choice, if work and family come head to head, I know what my biggest priority is.  Women who realize they may want to slow their career for a period of time, perhaps while a child is younger, and have a less demanding job so they can have more time at home. And they can be at peace with that, because their definition of success is not necessarily the one that society tells them.

The truth for today’s new generation of moms (yes, this is you) is that we have way too much to do.

Technology has changed things and made us accessible 24 hours a day, encroaching on the peaceful time families used to have. Yet one thing hasn’t changed at all, we still have 24 hours a day. We all have the same amount of time and how we use it comes down to a personal choice.  Our overwhelm and stress as moms usually comes from avoiding a choice and in turn, trying to do too much.  If what you are currently doing isn’t working for you, it is time to make a change.

Biggest pitfalls

The biggest pitfalls I encourage you to watch out for are:

*Believing that suffering from overwhelm is a weakness, not being able to do it ALL is not a weakness, continuing to beat yourself up is a weakness.

*Assuming that others are to blame for your stress and overwhelm, they may be the causes, but you are responsible for allowing the negative situation to continue.

*Cutting back or eliminating social, sporting, or personal interest activities—that you enjoy, do NOT cut these out because these are essential positive elements to a harmonious life.

*Not looking after yourself in terms of health and happiness.

*Being loyal to a person, product, or ideal long after that love affair has ended and is no longer serving you and quite possibly harming you in some way.

*Believing that there is a single solution to your negative stress and overwhelm, there is not. You need to take a holistic approach to unifying your life.

In my private mentoring and in the Masterful Mom programs; I encourage my moms to reconsider what work + life balance really means to them, and what a successful life looks like to THEM.  I take them through a specific set of practices and exercises that ultimately teaches them how to master their very own exquisite symphony.

So I ask you, what masterpiece are you orchestrating today?  Reply and share-I truly would love to know!

Big Love, Karen Gruber