Inspiration Report

Today’s guest blog comes from Marney K. Makridakis, author of Creating Time. She founded the Artella online community for creators of all kinds and the print magazine Artella. A popular speaker and workshop leader, she created the ARTbundance approach of self-discovery through art. She lives in Dallas, Texas. Visit her online at

One of the most prevalent comments I’ve heard about time is the idea that we need to “balance our time” to live a more “balanced” life. I think the concept of balance is, sadly, often misunderstood. We often feel that if we are focused and disciplined, upbeat and positive, loving and generous, healthy and energetic…then we will be “balanced people.” And if the pie chart of our daily life has just the right ratios of work, life, family, health, spirituality, and service, then our time will be “balanced.”

The problem with striving for balance is that most people’s understanding of this state swerves away from what balance actually is! Balance is not about walking around with a bunch of “positive,” happy qualities; it’s about walking the tightrope between the poles within us and the circumstances outside of us. True balance, ironically, means that we accept the parts of ourselves that can be pretty lopsided. Balance means we can embrace and love the most topsy-turvy parts because they offer gifts for full, authentic living.

Even though we measure time in a linear way, time is and always will be asymmetrical. One moment is not like another, just as each day is different and each tide that rolls in is different from the next. This is why it is impossible to “balance our time” by some objective pie-chart formula in a time management book. Exploring nonlinear, asymmetrical time allows us to move in tandem with an inherently lopsided time and thus regain our relative balance. If we stop constantly measuring ourselves against the standards of linear time, we can accept ourselves more fully. New possibilities emerge as we tango with tenacity and disco with uncertainty.

Based on the book Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life ©2012 by Marney Makridakis. Published with permission of New World Library

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