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Danielle Smeltzer founder of Awarely Embodied Leadership

Regulation: the antidote to the myth of work/life balance

Feb 02, 2024

I'm here to free leaders from the myth that work/life balance exists - it doesn't. 

And here's why: our nervous systems don't know the difference between work and life. 

So, instead of ending up in cycles of burnout, stress, and overwhelm working towards this unattainable goal, the antidote is to support our nervous system with moving between work and the rest of our life with greater ease. Wouldn't that be nice? 

And good news! Our nervous system has an innate desire to move toward regulation. Read that again - an innate desire to move towards regulation (aka the nervous system is already on our side!).

In its natural state, before life throws us curveballs, our nervous system is magically designed to move through cycles of activation and deactivation with ease. So that when we get a little fired up at work, we can still connect with our family afterwards. This is regulation.

We get dysregulated (the opposite of regulation) when we get stuck in the "on" button and sometimes the "off" button, and we're unable to complete a stress response cycle or get fixed in a stress response pattern (we've all been there). 

Our work in embodied leadership is to get curious about what can support our system with finding more ease and getting back to its natural state of regulation - because that's where it wants to go. Pretty neat, right? 

Your embodied leadership learning: the next time you feel like you're stuck in a fired-up state, get curious about what your system needs. It doesn't have to be complicated - think of something, anything that helps your system work a little less hard (a walk, looking away from the screen, noticing your breath, playing with your dog - you name it). This might just give your system the space it needs to re-orient to regulation. 

Yours in embodied leadership,
Danielle Smeltzer (Founder of Awarely Embodied Leadership & change-mobilizer)


Awarely Embodied Leadership is on a mission to empower leaders to align their work and well-being. We're building a change-mobilizing community through embodied leadership coaching, learning and consulting.


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