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.

The harmonious effects of watching performing arts however is something we can all benefit from

The harmonious effects of watching performing arts however is something we can all benefit from

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

75 comments to Holiday Reading: Balance and harmony through the arts

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • catarinaalexon  says:

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

  • 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 :)

  • 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!

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Julie, check it out on <a href="” target=”_blank”> – 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • Diane Dick  says:

    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!!

    • 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.

  • 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

    • catarinaalexon  says:

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

  • catarinaalexon  says:

    Glad you agree with me Lora.

  • Radu  says:

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

  • 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

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Glad we agree Geek Girl. Merry Christmas!!

  • 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

    • catarinaalexon  says:

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

    • 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?

  • Geek Girl  says:

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Good for you Lubna. Happy New Year!!

  • catarinaalexon  says:

    Yes it does Anila.

  • 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.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

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

  • 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!

    • catarinaalexon  says:

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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • jacquiegum  says:

    I have seen Swan Lake by at least six ballet companies…I never tire of it. It is so beautiful. What a perfect way to let the stress melt away:) Yes… the arts are a beautiful way to bing balance into your life, I think.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Yes Swan Lake is fantastic, isn't it, Jacqueline. Watching it really brings beauty and harmony into our lives.

  • Leora  says:

    Oh, I love ballet, especially Swan Lake! At one point my daughter was very into ballet, so I bought tickets often. Now she is into theater, but I'm more interested in watching her perform than watching others. My whole life is about achieving balance and health. I think others just have to figure out their own balance.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Glad you agree with me, Leora. Not least about the beautyy of Swan Lake.

  • akandrewwriter  says:

    Good advice Catarina and lively video. Happy Holidays
    My recent post P.D. James – A #Writing Life of Crime

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Thank you AK! Wish you a Merry Christmas & A Fantastic New Year! May all your wishes come true.

  • Cheryl  says:

    Love the video! We take time in the evenings to watch a movie or TV show together. This is the time when our tech is put on silent and we forget about it.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Good example of how to enjoy the arts, Cheryl.

  • bethnieb  says:

    I love the arts! My college major was music – piano. My favorites to attend are the 7 concerts that the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra presents in my town of Prescott, AZ each year, the occasional live opera or concert elsewhere, and the big screen live streams of the Met opera productions often available here. My soul expands when I enjoy professional quality art.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Yes art is a wonderful aspect in life, isn't it, Beth.

  • yearwoodcom  says:

    The performing arts are an amazing way to recharge your batteries. My son is a trombonist, so I've had the pleasure of listening to various orchestras, both those he is in and others as he studies. I also find the visual arts restorative, I've come out of a Morriseau exhibit feeling invigorated and my daughter's beautiful pieces always make me smile. Going into the holiday season I'm looking forward to indulging myself in a little creative time, that way I know I'll be fully charged for the new year. I hope you have a wonderful break and enjoy some of the arts while you do.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Glad, but not surprised, you agree with me, Debra. Wish you A Merry Christmas & A Fantastic New Year!

  • Susan P Cooper  says:

    Ahhh, Swan Lake is one of my very favorites.The video was lovely. One of my new year's resolutions for 2015 is to make life balance a priority for my life. That include scheduling some "me" time and enjoying a few performances. :)

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Yes, Susan, it's a beautiful video, isn't it. Me time is important, definitely.

  • jankedonna  says:

    The video is beautiful. I found myself smiling as I watched. You're right about the value of performing arts in bringing harmony and balance to lives.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Yes, the video really is beautiful, isn't it, Donna. Performing arts benefit our state of mind and also give us an experience.

  • William Rusho  says:

    Incredible video, and swan lake is my favorite. The music itself is sad and melancholy, and does make you feel stress less.
    Thank you for sharing this with us during the holiday season.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Yes, Swann Lake is beautiful, isn't it, William.

  • andleebakhlaqkhan  says:

    Hello Catarina

    For many around the world arts have a lot of value. Some get positive energy through meditation. I was much into this and music before. But slowly slowly I do not exactly know, when I get so much stuck in Life that I totally changed the way I was living. I loved fun and music. It mean a lot to me then. You will not believe I will start songs when my eyes will open in morning and all day music will be playing in my room until I come back from school.
    Then I came to know that excess of everything is bad. I was much into arts and music now a days I am on silent mode to balance. But I believe that we must give some time to us with our mobiles completely out of sight.

    It was a nice read.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Interesting, Andleeb. Can't help wondering if that development has been influenced by where you live. Music is not considered correct there.:-) Agree with you completely about not letting moblies rule our lives.

      • andleebakhlaqkhan  says:

        Hello Again

        Everything has limit and in listening to music I crossed all the boundaries. Because of continuous use of head phones pain started in my ear…. it was extreme case I guess. So after such adverse effect all I did was… I Quit

        Then I also came to know from a religious scholar ( Moulana Tariq Jamil) that its not acceptable to listen to Music and if someone does will not be able to listen to songs of Heaven. So I am trying to stay away.

        In a way you almost guessed it right, it has some link with religion, but it happened before I moved to my current place.

        • catarinaalexon  says:

          Going to extemes is almost always a bad idea, Andleeb. Glad you sorted out the pain in your ear.

  • Ken Dowell  says:

    I completely agree with you Katerina. The performing arts are a great way to put things in perspective. I try to go to a play or concert a couple times a month. Thanks for the beautiful Swan Lake clip.

  • enjambedline  says:

    Balance and harmony! What could be more important? Not just financial balance but life balance. I am extreme with regard to this topic in that I live my belief about making a life, rather than just a living. I won’t do any work I don’t love. I balance my work life by going out in nature. I used to be a hiker but these days, I go for long walks in beautiful places, take my dog to the park, read a variety of material that interests me, in different genres. I’m always reading, taking creative writing workshops, writing poetry…and I mediate every morning. Of course it costs money to go to the ballet and the theatre so for most of us, we do it on special occasions. I do believe, however, that more folks including business executives, are beginning to explore mindfulness practices and meditation, at least in The States.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Glad you agree with me. Good ways of getting balance and harmony in your life that you list.

  • patamsden  says:

    Such a beautiful video Catarina. It's been years since I went to a ballet or watched one on TV. That may have to change. I'll be keeping my eye out for the next Ballet performance. Did you take ballet as a small child? It's a beautiful art and one we can all enjoy. If not that, then a book or movie can take us away to another place or time for a few hours. And I hope we all had the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with family and friends.

    • catarinaalexon  says:

      Yes ballet is wonderful, isn't it Pat. I used to do ballet until I was about 10. Was the first in my class to start dance en pointe.

  • catarinaalexon  says:

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

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