What Happens at Home Stays at Home (or Does It?)
Anyone else out there watch Seinfeld? I was a bit of an addict, to be honest, and while I cannot claim to be one of those people who remembers everything (what was the false name that George went by when he wanted to impress women?) I do remember a lot and one of my favourite episodes was when George was freaking out about his friends and girlfriend meeting and hanging out together.
His worlds were colliding! (And there’s a great clip of it here!)
To explain further for those of you too young (!) to have watched or too smart (!!) to have been addicted like I was, George had a theory that predicted that his whole life would blow up if his girlfriend were to interact with his friends. His friends were his sanctuary, and if “She” was to enter into that world, then “BAM!” It would all blow up in his face.
He tried to keep the Worlds separate…but it just didn’t work.
And so, too, is it when you try to keep your home life separate from your work life.
Now I know that it is popular to talk about setting boundaries between work and home…and that it’s something we all Should Do. And the truth is, I think many of us do a darn good job of it, and I agree that we Should do our best to keep things clean and clear between work and home such that we aren’t working 24-7 when we really want to be playing soccer with the kids.
But what I am talking about is a bit different than boundaries on time and answering emails at the dinner table.
What I am talking about is a whole lot bigger, and more important, than all that.
What I am talking about is Alignment.
Yep, it’s a favourite topic of mine these days (I even released a “tutorial” about just this…watch for it at the bottom of this article!), and the reason is simply this: Alignment is the key to happiness, to success, to love, and joy, and money, and goodness and even good sex…it is THE THING that brings us the life we desire (or not).
Like it or not, your home life and your work life are connected. Those two worlds HAVE collided because they are bridged together by YOU.
And while I’ve talked a lot about how your business needs to align with your self, and with your clients, in a recent post (read it here if you haven’t already) and I’ve talked about how your marketing message must align with what your clients really want to hear (read it here), and I’ve even discussed how your business strategy and structure must align with your core values (here), what I haven’t yet talked about is how your home life must also align with All Things Work if your success is to be sustainable.
You see, it’s really, really hard to maintain alignment in your work if your home life isn’t up to snuff. If things at home are chaotic and stressful, do you imagine that you truly can leave that all behind the minute you walk out the door?
Sure, you may feel as if you do. In fact, leaving the house may be a welcome respite! But energetically?
No. You’ve not left one ounce of that chaos behind you. It’s attached to you like white on rice (as they say.)
And what if you’re fighting with your spouse about money? Do you imagine that those arguments and financial worries just magically disappear so as to never rear their heads during your sales calls with prospective clients? Or when you’re stumbling over your prices during a conversation with a joint venture partner?
We carry ALL of this with us at all times, which is precisely why, during periods of extreme stress at home, our businesses will falter.
It happens every time. Not, perhaps, in that exact moment because typically what’s happening NOW has been created by previous energy output, but it will have an affect down the road. I’ve seen it hundreds of times, and so have you.
It’s that dip in sales in March, three months after your mom was in intensive care for three weeks.
It’s that lack of motivation you feel to achieve anything (anything at all!) after a fight with your kids in the morning…for the 15th day in a row.
It’s that deep, deep fear of success fueled by the worry of what your success may mean to your partner…how s/he will handle it…and how it will ultimately affect your marriage.
And it’s the hiding of your Light, the snuffing out of your own internal candle, after a week of having your domineering and god-awful parents staying at your house for a week.
Your worlds collide every single day, and no boundaries around emailing at the dinner table are going to stop that from happening.
But here’s what you can do.
Just as we’ve talked in the past about making certain that your business is being created with your core values in mind, take pause and reflect: is your Home Life being created with those same core values in mind?
You see, when we align with what is at our core, and we apply that across both our home and our work lives, then we have the opportunity to harness yet MORE of that powerful, resonant energy to bring us into the life we desire most.
This is not always easy, for at work, we are “The Boss,” and have more control over how things play out. At Home, there are Others we must take into consideration — Others who have different (and sometimes somewhat “opposing”) core values than we do. So there is compromise that must be reached…and that takes conversation, and openness, and honesty. And time.
But oh! How it is worth the effort!
I recently shared a story with a client about how I knew in my bones that the feeling I wanted to have in my work was one of vastness, openness, and possibility. (Imagine the feeling of staring out at the ocean, or standing in the Rocky Mountains!) Wide Open Spaces — VISTAS — in which (and from where) anything is possible. THAT is the core feeling of what it is that I am working to achieve. THAT is the place from which I make every single decision at work.
And I am so clear on that — so freakin’ CLEAR — that I began to examine how was this same energy, this same feeling showing up in my home life — and how was it not???
And then I began to make choices. About my personal relationships (any partnership better feel like it’s full of possibilities or it isn’t right for me), about my personal space (can you say “declutter?”), about my food (nothing screams freedom like a plate of healthy food…seriously…listen to your veggies, people!), and about my interactions with each member of my family (okay…this one is harder…but I am working on it!) I’ve even made new choices about how we spend our weekends, where we vacation (and for how long), and what colour I’m painting the dining room walls.
Nothing, not one thing, will remain untouched by this feeling of vastness and openness wherein all things are possible. Nothing!
Because I know that bringing all of Who I Am into Alignment means bringing All of What I Do into Alignment, and that means making certain that, when my worlds collide, as they will, I’ve done my very best to ensure that they don’t blow up as George predicted.
Will the shizzle still hit the fan from time to time? Of course it will. But I will have mitigated the damage preventatively simply by paying attention to what’s working to support me and what isn’t.
So I invite you to do the same, dear reader. Take time to consider how things are for you at Home. I mean, how they really, really are. Does what’s going on and the way in which you’re living line up with Who You Are and what you want to achieve and how you want to feel? Does it match how you’ve described you want your business and work life to look and feel? And if not, make it a priority to determine how to bring these worlds into harmony such that there is no collision that you cannot withstand.
And be sure to let me know how it goes!
If you’re interested in learning even more about how to bring alignment into your business and your life such that success comes more easily — and is all the sweeter — visit http://rebeccaliston.com/the-alchemy-of-alignment and sign up to receive access to the free tutorial, The Alchemy of Alignment. You’re going to love it!