Holiday Reading: Balance and harmony through the arts

Far too many people today are stuck in the rat race. Just work, no play. Some so badly they have to take uppers and downers to cope.

Having a balanced life is of essence to us all. If not how can we enjoy life and, not to forget, cope with the rat race?

Blackberry on your pillow?

If you are working 18-20 hours a day, sleeping with your Blackberry, or iPhone, on your pillow, is it really worth it? After all, you can’t take it with you when you go. No health – no wealth is something that applies to all of us, and it’s sad that frequently it takes a crisis for people to wake up and realize that all work, no play has put them on the wrong path.

Dream happily in a space with no time

Unfortunately the majority of people working, or on call, 24/7 are not going to start doing yoga or meditate to bring balance into their lives. The harmonious effects of performing arts however is something that everyone can benefit from that’s frequently forgotten. Plays, ballet, opera, a concert or whatever you thrive on can transfer you to another level and let you dream happily for a while. Preferably on location with your Blackberry switched off. But, if necessary, on the computer or i-phone whenever you have time.

Devote one minute and fifteen seconds to watch the Swan Lake video I have chosen that beautifully illustrates the many aspects of life. Watching performing arts like this will bring more balance and harmony into your life. Give your life more quality and re-load your batteries. Just dream along and mindsurf into a place with no time and responsibilities. Provided of course, that you are still able to switch off and just go with the flow. If you can’t, isn’t it time to look at how you lead your life and for how long you are prepared to sacrifice the beauty that life has to offer?

Do you watch performing arts to bring harmony into your life? If so, what type of performances have the best impact on you? If not, what do you do to balance yourself, dream and get positive energy? If your life isn’t balanced, maybe it’s time for you to seriously consider if wealth at the expense of health is what you are heading for? No matter what you do and where you are you need harmony in your life. Going to a theatre near you may be a step in the right direction.

Video: YouTube – BellAirClassiques

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47 Responses to “Holiday Reading: Balance and harmony through the arts”

  1. Susan Oakes Says:

    Hi Catarina,

    I love the ballet especially the classics. For a couple of hours you can be transformed to another place with the music, staging and the grace and strength of the ballet dancers. I also enjoy any live theatre as long as there is dancing involved. One the the all time favourites is 42 street which I saw in the west end in London. Always feel great after visiting the theatre.

  2. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you Samantha. It's essential for all of us to be able to move to a different time and place and dream. That enables us to have a balanced life and cope with the rat race.

  3. catarinaalexon Says:

    Agree with you completely Susan. When I lived in London what was on offer was fantastic. Kirov Ballet performing Swan Lake was for instance unbelievably beautiful.

  4. catarinaalexon Says:

    Sounds great Jill! Music really can be a wonderful source for balance and harmony.

  5. Julie Weishaar Says:

    Hi Catarina, you have really hit home with me on this one. If I had a Blackberry, I would sleep with it on my pillow – IF I slept :) You are SO right – and performing arts/music is my escape too! Love the beautiful Swan Lake video. I watched Nutcracker performances every year for 10+ when my children performed in them at a local dance school and loved every minute of it. My escape is music. During an unusually stressful period last week as I joined the "Yikes I am half-a-century-old" club, I took time out to play around with and enjoy my new toy (a web TV show) by creating a music channel, uploading family musical stuff on it, and adding a song my daughter recorded for me per my request as a special BD gift! Thanks for reminder to enjoy life :)

  6. Julie Weishaar Says:

    LOL – me too! Yes music is wonderful :) No I don't use Spotify but it sure sounds like a better alternative to either the not-so-beautiful sounds from my phone ringing or the alarm waking me up!

  7. Jeannette Paladino Says:

    I absolutely have a place in my life for the arts. I regularly attend theater, ballet performances, concerts, the opera and play duplicate bridge. It reinvigorates me. I couldn't live without the arts. They feed my soul.

  8. Sherryl Perry Says:

    This must be the week to blog about taking time out and recuperating. I honestly have never been to the ballet. Although, I loved watching this little clip of Swan Lake. I do enjoy ice skating though. No matter how we choose to relax, I agree that we all need balance in our life. Life is too short and we need to make time to enjoy it. Thanks for sharing Catarina.
    My recent post Air Travel and Having a Plan B

  9. catarinaalexon Says:

    Julie, check it out on <a href="http://www.spotify.com” target=”_blank”>www.spotify.com – you get 20 hours for free and then they add 5 hours a week. If you listen a lot though you will have to pay a subscription fee.

  10. catarinaalexon Says:

    Seems we are the same, Jeannette.

  11. catarinaalexon Says:

    Agree with you Sherryl. Exercising is a great way to relax and get positive energy. Love ice skating but haven't done it since I started roller blading.

  12. Dennis Salvatier Says:

    I've never been a fan of performing arts per se, but after watching Black Swan I have a new appreciation. For me a story brings me harmony. Whether it be a movie, show, book, graphic novel or an old man recounting the past, I love the images it instills in my mind. It's something I can keep and refer back to. I think we all need to practice boundaries in our professional lives. When our job becomes our life, it can damage us and the people who love us.

  13. resumesurvislady Says:

    I love the arts and seeing this clip reminded me just how much. I took today off for a day to msyelf and found myself working by this afternoon. I definitely need to work on my work/life balance. I think first up is booking a couple of tickets to the symphony. Thank you!!

  14. Diane Dick Says:

    Catarina
    We've been living through many aftershocks here in Christchurch, New Zealand and I realised that by not taking time out, I ended up with the flu and it has kept going for over 4 weeks! My business has been really busy supporting families and businesses who have lost a lot, including loved ones. However yesterday it was warm and sunny, so going out into my garden, planting bulbs and taking the flowers off my lavenders provided a much needed out from my daily focus. Walking and clearing my head is another wonderful out and is a really cheap way of getting balance of body and mind. I need to get back to making my daily appointment with myself to make this happen.
    I look forward to when our theatres will be open again, so that I can go and relax…Andre Rieu is coming later this year, I might go and get some tickets. Thank you Catarina for bringing this subject up and helping us to get our work/life balance adjusted before it's too late!!

  15. catarinaalexon Says:

    Diane, I'm glad walking and clearing your head works for you. It's a fantastic way of thinking straight, isn't it? Personally walk a lot and it definitely does clear your head and make you come up with great ideas.

  16. catarinaalexon Says:

    Go for it!!

  17. Nancy Wurtzel Says:

    What a lovely way to decompress! The blue colors are so soothing and the dancing and music are suburb…thanks for sharing. I do walk and meditate when I go to yoga, but I know that I need to be doing more and being more conscious. I appreciate your message. After I read this, I am going to work on eliminating my email…my goal is to cut it in half as I subscribe to so much that I cannot possibly read it all. I feel better already!
    My recent post Welcome to Vocabulario Viernes

  18. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you liked the Swan Lake video and do yoga Nancy. Good luck with eliminating your emails

  19. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me Lora.

  20. Radu Says:

    Indeed Harmony is the most essential thing in life. Without it, everything seems fade.
    My recent post phone number

  21. Geek Girl Says:

    This really must be the time of year for these types of posts. I agree that if you don't take time out, then what's the point of all the work you are doing? Everyone needs to recharge their batteries. However they choose to do it they just need to take time to do it. Everything is better when you do. And we all need to bear in mind that our health will suffer if we don't take time to unplug… A good incentive.
    My recent post From the Google Play Store

  22. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad we agree Geek Girl. Merry Christmas!!

  23. findingourwaynow Says:

    Life balance is so important and yet we seem to put it last on our priority list. I have made it a point to really make it the corner stone of what I will practice in the coming year. That would include going to a few performances that I especially enjoy and take some me time. BTW: Swan Lake is one of my all time favorites and I enjoyed the video very much.
    My recent post Under The Tree: Story/Musing

  24. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you like Swanlake, have balance in life and agree with me, Susan.

  25. Keyuri Joshi Says:

    It is a pleasure to revisit this video and your suggestion of balance. We need to have several sides of us to shine brilliantly… like a diamond with lots of facets!
    My recent post Headline News Appearance: Strategies to Help Kids Cope with Newtown Tragedy

  26. Daudi Says:

    ICT, globalization and the changing nature of work, have confronted work life balance. Our difficulty is the need to begin if not start learning how to integrate our life/s in work. Increasingly we are realizing that we work for ourselves and are employed either by ourselves or others. A healthy body is a healthy mind. Thus integrating life with work rather than balancing work with life is confronting a many.

  27. Edward Reid Says:

    Your post sounds like my life right now. I do sleep with my smartphone on my pillow, but I use it as an alarm clock. My job is to listen to music and view musical performances constantly and I love it. My approach has changed through the years and maybe I have added a couple of years of life – along with infusing youth in my soul.
    My recent post Rihanna: Quick Rise to Stardom and Adulthood

  28. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree, Keyuri.

  29. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree Daudi. Good points.

  30. catarinaalexon Says:

    Edward, don't you get calls or SMSs in the middle of the night that wake you up? If so, do you just go back to sleep again swiftly?

  31. catarinaalexon Says:

    Agree with you Kurt. It's much better to attend a live performance.

  32. Geek Girl Says:

    Merry Christmas Catarina!
    My recent post Motivational Monday – 12/24

  33. catarinaalexon Says:

    Merry Christmas Cheryl!

  34. Leora Says:

    When my daughter was three years old, I showed her a ballet video. She loved it! She kept watching them. I finally got her ballet lessons … now I love to watch her dance. Ballet is certainly a pastime that we love in our family.
    My recent post Proving The Value Of Your Blog With Multi-Channel Funnel Analysis

  35. Jeannette Paladino Says:

    Catarina — I'm a big fan of the performing arts and have a subscription to the New York City Ballet, whose winter season gets started again after Jan. 1 and after a lot of Nutcrackers! I also attend theater and the NY Philharmonic. Art is essential to my life and it definitely helps to recharge my batteries.
    My recent post A Holiday Wish for More Prosperity and Peace in the World

  36. Lubna Says:

    This is such an important message. I took a decision sometime last year to bring about some changes to my life (I changed my career, to begin with). I make attempts to stay in touch with family and friends – instead of just putting off that call or that face to face meeting with them to another day. Thanks for uploading the beautiful video and wishing you a wonderful 2013.

  37. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes it does Anila.

  38. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good for you Lubna. Happy New Year!!

  39. JeriWB Says:

    I got hooked on the theater during college, and it quickly became a staple in my life. On the best years, I've been able to see three or more plays, but even on slow years, I always manage to see at least one. The arts play such a huge role in our lives. I'll be seeing Les Mis when it comes to Charlotte in February, but I've yet to see Phantom of the Opera. Each new musical I see gives me a much needed boost.

  40. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes theater is a wonderful thing for getting a boost isn't it Jeri.

  41. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree Radu.

  42. Patricia Weber Says:

    Fabulous idea Catarina. I noticed during the holiday visit with my family, that my 7 year old and 2 year old granddaughters are already "wired" and it's truly difficult for them to relax. Literally with iPads, toys, parties, they would all but collapse at the end of the day. I'm really glad at times like this for being more introverted – I KNOW when to take time to recharge. Thanks!

  43. nicole Says:

    It's true. If you aren't actively carving out a place for yourself during the day, there's no way you have extra time. There are so many other things that consume us. Playing piano is a great way to bring harmony into your life: Phantom of the Opera songs are something I memorized at a young age.
    My recent post healthy holidays

  44. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good for you Patricia! We all need time to recharge.

  45. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good examples Nicole.

  46. Matthew J. Grier Says:

    Catarina, While I agree that inspiration and relaxation can be gained from the arts, most importantly is breaking from the 'routine' and moving outside of the box, then opening your eyes and senses to things and places/ people you've never seen. These open doors are what ultimately will allow you to bring creativity back into your work world as new and fresh inspiration. Without the constant feed of external sources of new ideas and dreams we become lost in our own parallel thoughts and our creativity is stifled. Get out and breathe!

  47. catarinaalexon Says:

    Well put, Matthew.

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