Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Balancing Act

Late last night when I posted I didn’t consider what this morning would be like. Due to having a lot of work on I haven’t trained for a day and a half. I am not concerned about it as I sensed I need some time to recover. What is a small worry for me is that over the next two weeks I am travelling a great deal and will be involved in a number of workshops as a consultant/coach. I knew this time was coming up and I love being able to engage with an amazing variety of groups for very different industries. The energising nature of working with dynamic individuals and teams is rewarding, but as a mentor of mine mentioned last night after the workshop, it’s important to keep things in balance. With in a short time after that conversation another colleague of mine mentioned work life balance. The message where coming thick and fast, and what is interesting is that over the nest period things are only going to get busier.

After arriving in Queensland this afternoon and travelling by water taxi to Couran Cove Island Resort I decided to go for a run. What a great experience it was, running along the different tracks. Final after some 30 minutes I came across the beach access and I was in a great space. The vast expanse of ocean greeted me and so many memories of my childhood came rushing into my awareness to say hello. Like old friends, they embraced me and I couldn’t help but smile. The extraordinary and resounding warmth I felt was comforting and I began sprinting down to the waters edge, only stopping short of the rising, rushing, frothing water from a crashing wave that almost touched my feet. I share this because I didn’t expect to find and have this wonderful experience. The reference I make to balancing act is that it’s not only a juggling of the many things that I have on the go like many others, but the vast contrast of our perspective on the range of experiences we go through. So while this afternoon I marvelled at the magical nature of the Stradbroke Island coastline, I was aware of missing my family and many of my great friends. This is because it would have been great to enjoy the beauty with them.

Being that it is Valentines Day when I returned back after the run I called my wife and told her how much I love her. The balancing act is less of a performance and more of a transformation, a shift, an acknowledgement of the things that matter, nothing more and nothing less. Balancing the inner and the outer can seem like a challenge. I need to explain this further so bare with me. While I think that what I do is separate to me, I can believe in the equation that indicates that I do something to it and it does something to me. When times become tough I notice I start to believe that the equation becomes one sided and often it tends to be considered that it is being do to me. Let me use this most current example of having a run. On the beach I felt at one with my environment, which was contrasted to moments prior to stepping out on to that beach. Prior to seeing the beach I was on the track with little sense for how far to go and when I might turn around, only to say that I thought after 40 minutes I would change direction. The truth is that while I had little idea of where I was or why I was running I sense some resistance to the activity and the fatigue had certainly increase. The discomfort was clear and in part I had begun to question why I was running. This all changed when I realised I was near the beach and with that first glimpse I was born. Not a physical birth, but certainly a second wind of sorts that invigorated and inspired.

Upon reflection I question that the value of coming out of the internalised focus I had was shifted as soon as I became aware of the external splendour of the ocean. The hook here is not to think that then only being aware of the surroundings is important because it requires a balance between internalised and externalised focus and attention. This is the same for any relationship that I have with family and work. Oscillating between inner and outer is key to maintaining clarity and presences. I know I have gone down this path before and this may be slightly repetitive which is my intention. Every experience I have is a learning experience. The potential overload of work and training at the moment requires more sophistication, awareness and conscious action. This ensures that even if I am unable to row in a boat or train with my partner or crew I can apply myself in a way that will improve and increase my capacity for performance long term.

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