Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Balance

      I recently visited a local suburban elementary school and was profoundly moved by the feedback teachers were providing to the administration regarding their jobs and feeling pressure to expand their roles. The visit inspired me to explore the issue of balance and how many are experiencing a lack of balance in their personal and professional lives.
     So how does one create balance for themselves in their everyday lives and what does it mean to be “in” or “out” of balance. During the last year in particular as I met with schools systems, individual clients, families and couples, all conveyed similar sentiments - lacking focus and feeling desperate. So what is happening to everyone? Many of my clients report experiencing chronic stress and not being able to focus, blaming the economy, uncertainty about their future and projecting or prognosticating negative outcomes. Being “out of balance” is also a way of saying that someone could be “out of alignment” which by definition could mean that they are not able to focus or be present, lacking patience, confidence, an energy of hopefulness or just not being “themselves.”
   During a recent session with one of my teenage clients a question was posed regarding being "in alignment.” My client responded by saying "everyone is in alignment because they are where they are." I was captivated by this response as it was so simple but also so true. Let's look more closely at this response. Why must we create such angst and confusion, falling into deep bouts of anxiety, depressed and negative thoughts when we can simply catch ourselves and ask a simple question of "what is so wrong with our lives right now or in this very moment?" Our minds are racing saying things like "I don't have enough time, how am I going to complete everything I need to do, how am I going to possibly pay for this bill, he or she or "they" need me and I can't do or be there for them."
    One problem is that we choose to define balance in our ability to complete tasks or being able to "get everything done." The reality is that everything never really gets done. There are merely just things or tasks that we all need to do on an everyday basis and tend to get caught in a viscous pattern of self-doubt and fear. Finding a balance is merely an illusion that we create in our minds, somehow convincing ourselves that we are going to be o.k. or that if and when these various tasks are completed somehow equates to us being or feeling "well". So to reference the teenager who so eloquently and succinctly stated "we are where we are" really is a valuable statement.  I love taking life lessons from our children and the youth in this world.  They constantly remind us that balance always exists we just have to not convince ourselves otherwise. 

Jeffrey Katowitz, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist providing individual, couples, family counseling, and parent coordinating. Specialties include adolescent development, separation, divorce, adoption, and blended families. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Jeffrey at 215-307-0055 or email him at  Read more on our blog [Insert link to:]

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