Moving from Work life Balance to Harmonizing Life

Is work-life balance possible? Can we separate work and life into compartments and find balance? Perhaps there is a new way to harmonize all the aspects of our lives building on a foundation of sustained wellness.

Harmony may be defined as an interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative.

In 2012, I found myself working and reacting to life in a way filled with more discord than harmony. Working for a global engineering firm, I was trying to balance several organizational, project and volunteer roles.

In 2011, our client invited me to join a construction project team. This project role was to be for six months which turned into close to three years working with a dynamic team that delivered. I feel blessed to have worked on one of the largest infrastructure projects in the Lower Mainland with such an amazing team. The executive team shared family is priority one, and their actions mirrored this.


For the first year on the project, I tried to hold onto to all my organization roles thinking I would return to the engineering office sooner than later.  For more than a year, my commute included close to three hours each day traveling across three bridges.  Prep for the week was key and thankfully, I discovered the value of audio books taking this time to embrace continuous learning during a less than ideal commute.

In “Leading the Life you Want”, author Stewart Friedman shares that integrating work with life is a result of meaningful engagement in all aspects of our lives.

At time our lives may feel similar to a jazz performance, where things have just gone off; and as the parts begin to blend, magic happens as we intertwine and harmonize all the pieces.

Choosing Change

During my commute, I reflected at times on a thought by Jazzthink’s Brian Fraser, consider who you can best harmonize with. I considered who I could best harmonize with and how I could best contribute to the clients’ organization and the organization I worked for. In Essentialism – the Disciplined Pursuit of Less author, Greg McKeown asks us to consider being more selective in what we choose to do.

As a result, I resigned from a volunteer role and my marketing coordinator role and changed my schedule so I was primarily working in the project office.

Almost immediately, each day, each week, life began to blend in new and exciting ways, and as I embraced harmonizing my life, I was learning to flex a new muscle.

Moment to Pause

As my project role came to end and I was no longer with the organization I had once worked for I paused and considered how best to move forward.

 In creating harmony, we find new ways to blend the melodic rhythm in the dance of life.

Transitioning to a new role applying proactive approaches and continuing to harmonize life; I found myself working and doing life in new and sustainable ways.

In doing so, we build and grow, strong, healthy, engaged teams and organizations that thrive.

So often our professional and personal lives are gray, with many twists and turns, and do not fit into neat compartments. We can develop authentic and sustainable strategies through a holistic lens that embraces harmonizing life. We do so for our health and the health of our organizations.

Be nourished in all you do,


Photography by Sharon K. Summerfield

At The Nourished Executive we partner with business professionals and share strategies to invest in wellbeing, manage stress and prevent burnout.

Our founder, Sharon K. Summerfield, is a Wellbeing Coach and Holistic Nutritionist with demonstrated success in nurturing healthy employees and high performing organizations. 

We have a strong commitment to giving back, investing in local community creating space for all students to consider careers in construction, science, technology, engineering and math.

Add A Comment