My clients and I don’t talk about work life balance. As you may have experienced, striving for so-called “balance” usually leads to frustration and guilt.
Instead, when clients come to me complaining about a lack of balance I suggest we play a bigger game: we aim for Whole-Life Integration.
My new executive clients are sometimes surprised when I ask them about beliefs, sleep, diet, family, friends, and fun. I tell them my goal is to help them be their best self – and to do that, I have to focus on the whole person.
“We hire people for their skills but the whole person shows up.”
– Chester Barnard
My client Sarah came to me wanting to have more free time and energy to work out and spend quality time with her family. After a couple of intake sessions, it became clear that our work would involve helping her draw stronger boundaries and use more declarative language at home and work. I also urged her to see a holistic Medical Doctor who would run comprehensive blood tests to find the underlying imbalance that was resulting in fatigue and weight gain.
At the end of our program, she gave me one of the best compliments I could ever receive when she said, “Thanks to you, I have my mojo back.” To her, mojo meant a sense of power, strength, and integration. A feeling that she could make life happen, instead of having life happen to her. A feeling of being energized versus depleted.
My one-word term for Whole-Life Integration
(or mojo, for that matter)
Brilliance happens we feel a sense of freedom and agency over our lives: ease, instead of struggle; freedom instead of trapped in a toxic body, relationship, thought pattern, or job.
Brilliance is the opposite of burned out, and a serious upgrade from blah.
How to Be Brilliant
We all know people who are very strong in one aspect of their lives, yet weak in another. A person who has incredible financial success but poor relationships and high blood pressure, for example, is not leading his most brilliant life.
We experience Brilliance when all aspects of our lives are integrated–inner and outer worlds–as well as our relationship to self and others.
4 Areas of Integration
This is the realm of the conversations we have in our head—our thoughts and beliefs—and the conversations we have in our body—our moods, emotions, and stress level. This realm becomes brilliant when our thoughts and beliefs generate high vibrations of energy that drive us to take actions that manifest our highest visions. We know our inner world is optimized when we feel a sense of ease, gratitude, focused attention, and emotional flow vs. stagnation.
This is the outward manifestation of our inner world. How do we behave? Do we honk the horn at people trying to merge in rush hour or let them in? What does our body look like? Brilliant or blob? What does our speech sound like? Judgmental or curious? Stressed or calm? Weak or confident? We know this element is brilliant when we feel strong, grounded, healthy, energized, rested and productive.
This is about how we connect to others. This element becomes brilliant when we have high-quality relationships full of ease, trust, love, empathy, and curiosity. We have strong boundaries and limit our time with those with toxic energy. This element glows brightest when we are surrounded by people who help us be our best selves.
This element is about our relationship to spaces, things, and technology. How does your work and home environment feel? Is it organized, beautiful, peaceful and supportive? We maximize the potential in this realm when we eliminate clutter and increase beauty around us, build careers that tap our strengths and help us fulfill our mission on earth, have ample financial security, and use technology wisely and mindfully.
Climbing Out of Your Hole to Become Whole
Sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t want this kind of integration? But it may seem daunting and even impossible.
I know what it’s like to feel trapped. When I was 22 and broke my body in a car accident, I gave up on my potential. But gradually, I gathered support and searched for a way to come back. It’s constant work—I’m in a chiropractor and acupuncturists office weekly and I deal with pain daily– but it’s worth it to be strong enough to live a life that’s aligned with who I am supposed to be.
Through my own experience and through working with my clients, I believe that anyone can become integrated. And while it won’t happen overnight, a powerful shift can happen in an instant. It’s the shift where you see a light under the door of whatever prison of the soul you find yourself trapped in. Where you start to believe that not only is a change possible, but that it MUST happen. You don’t have to know how to change in order to feel this shift. You just have to believe that it’s possible.
Where to begin?
1) Print and take the 5-minute assessment I give all my new coaching clients. You’ll soon have a clear visual of where you are most and least integrated. 5 minutes to clear insight about priorities…I’m not kidding. Here it is: BI Brilliant Life Assessment
2) Then choose ONE area that you want to improve. It should be an area that’s causing you so much pain that you are motivated to improve.
3) Then, before you begin to put any plan together, read this about how to achieve goals. Hint, you’re going to start very, very small.
Now is your time to ignite the spark of potential you know is there (perhaps hiding under a pile of dust and accrued odds and ends, but trust me, it’s there).
“Every block of stone has a statue inside it
and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it”
― Michelangelo Buonarroti
What did you learn in your 5-minute Brilliance Assessment? What are you committed to improving first?
Want to Find an Integral Coach?
There are probably thousands of coaches trained to coach whole person. Check out this list of coaches from world renown and ICF-accredited New Ventures West.
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