Work—Life Balance? I think not!

The reality feels more nuanced to me,,,

I get it. Folks all want to feel like they have their lives under control—I like to feel that way too.

The idea of balance, feels really cozy and, well, balanced, stable. It seems like an ideal to be realized, that becomes a way of living, a practice.

My life feels different. The idea I have worked with, and endeavored to achieve over the past dozen years or so is, harmony. So while there are days that I feel like this

I am always seeking this


Years ago, early in having my own firm, a friend (with a 9-to-5 position) asked if I was working almost all the time. I was surprised by the question, as she knew my love of being with family and friends, tennis, skiing, art, reading, travel, the list goes on. I shared the reality of the bookends to my work day—the hours that our daughter was in school and a few evenings—were, for the most part, my working hours. When I wasn’t traveling, I was the daytime caregiver and when the school day ended, I chose to shift away from most of my work to other personal pursuits. I guarded my early mornings and evenings.

One of my close friends chose to create her work and play lives differently, combining the two almost every day. I lived with her for a while, when working on a project, and while I adopted that approach for several weeks, I never felt completely “off” or away from work. Maybe it’s just a habit I chose not to shake—working during week days (though making Friday the day for what I enjoy the most about my work and taking at least part of the day off, whenever commitments permit).

What’s your thinking, and your reality? How are you fashioning the play/rest/rejuvenation time that you need to do you best work?

As you reflect on the totality of your life, your

  • personal time and growth
  • relationships—being with family and friends
  • fun/play/recreation
  • livelihood, professional development, and career


… Are you living the life that you want?

Have you recently looked at a typical week in your life and literally calculated how you spend your precious time? With 168 hours per week, do the ways in which you have used your time over the past few weeks sync with your values and the life you desire to lead?

What sources do you use for philosophical or spiritual foundations, inspiration, or support in having your full, whole-hearted life? Over the past few year, these resources have stood out for me, in my personal and professional lives.

  • Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman
  • The Coaching Game,
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
  • The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
  • Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less, Greg Mckeown
  • 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, Laura Vanderkam, Elizabeth London, et al.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo
  • Mindful magazine
  • Tricycle magazine

Would you add to my list? I am always looking for more resources, for myself and my coaching clients. I LOVE the conversations and practices that center on the intersection of our visions, values, and our daily lives—both work and play. I hope that you will share a comment or email me at


I’m so happy that you’re here! I am passionate about bridging the chasms that sometimes open up in our daily conversations. When interactions become challenging, I turn to my existing tools that I may not be using fully, or look for new resources to support me and others. I find the ways in which we engage with each other endlessly fascinating, and quite often, amenable to immediate change.

Just over two weeks ago, I hosted a session, “Why is this conversation so difficult?” at the International Forum of Visual Practitioner’s annual conference. We did a deep dive into our personal styles of communication (via the Platinum Rule, you can learn more about it here ) AND we discovered how to flex our styles to increase our compatibility with all kinds of folks/styles.

Our final activity applied the new learning to participants’ real lives. I gave postcards with scenes from New York City to everyone. Their task was to envision using their new skills and then to write a postcard to check-in with themselves about how their conversation unfolded. These were the questions that I asked them to ponder and write about on the cards.

  • Who is someone you have difficulty connecting with easily?
  • Take a moment to reflect on your style. Now think of the person you have identified—what might his/her dominant style be (re: the Platinum Rule)?
  • When you see that person next… How will you approach her/him? How will you flex your style to reduce tension and develop rapport? What will you say and do? (What strategies might you bring to your interaction?)
  • Write an email to yourself that asks you to reflect on the results of your completed interaction.

This exercise was an opportunity to use their new knowledge, skills, and attitudes—to be flexible (willing to change) and versatile (able to change)—to manage a tense situation, increase rapport, and develop a more positive relationship.

When folks were done, I collected the postcards and will mail them around the world this week.

Here’s the one I wrote to myself…

If understanding yourself and others better, communicating in spoken, written and visual languages appeals to you—let’s talk!