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Being happy & life balance are things most of us want and seek.

Yet it’s not as simply as just making up your mind. Being happy and finding or creating life balance can be tricky…


“Getting stress out of your life takes more than prayer alone. You must take action to make changes and stop doing whatever is causing the stress. You can learn to calm down in the way you handle things.” Joyce Meyer


As you know, being happy and life balance are two of my primary goals. Last week, my husband and I traveled to Paris for a week of indulgence.

Having recent moved, the kids starting in new schools, and being in one of our most productive times of the year, it hardly seemed like a good time to go away.

Even up until two days before we left, I lamented not going. Had we not won this opulent trip, I knew this was likely the worst time to be going away.

Sometimes being happy and seeking life balance shouldn’t wait – no matter what.

The day before we left, I asked my husband if he remembered the last time we had been away together. The last time we had gone off on our own without our children. Without the primary focus being business.

We looked at one another blankly. We were unable to re-count any time in the last couple of years. That, in and of itself, superseded any doubts that I had about going away.

With an a bientot and a glass of wine, we jetted off to the City of Lights still somewhat dubious of taking a week of pure indulgence.

The first night, we were there, I slept for twelve hours. That should have been a clue as to how much I had been pushing myself.

According to the ubiquitous Holmes-Rehe stress scale (, my risk of illness was moderate. Although, with moving, the kids changing schools, the illness of my father earlier in the year, and an entire host of life changes, I was bordering on a risk of ‘severe illness’ due to stress.

I think when we are in the throws of ‘life’ we do not tend to think about it; instead the tendency, especially for women, is to just keep going until we collapse. If it wasn’t for balanced living and life balance non-negotiables like exercise, meditation, prayer and healthy eating, I know it would have been worse.

Nonetheless, getting away proved to be cathartic and it was easy being happy in this place.

Being able to reflect on what we had accomplished in the last year and all of the major life changes we had undergon, gave us perspective. In the mornings we took time to pray and meditate on how grateful we were for what we had accomplished. We also spent time focusing on where we wanted to be.

During the day we walked and spent time with friends. We also laughed and let go of any dietary considerations, downing copious amounts of bread and cheese.

By the end of the week we were ready to go home with fresh energy and joie de vivre. Taking a vacation is also on the list of Holmes-Rehe stressors. However, it proved itself to be very worth it, nullifying all of the other categories we had managed to fall into during the past year.

Breathing space, the ability to step away if only for an hour, is a powerful tool to re-gain energy, perspective and lower stress. It’s a powerful part of being happy and life balance.

A balanced life requires times of production and times of recuperation and when we are ‘in it’ it is tough to carve out that space.

This week, I encourage you to take a look at Holmes-Rehe and score yourself. Is it time to create some time to get away even if it is turning off your mobile on a Sunday or going for a walk in the woods?

In the Western World we tend to push, push, push. On the other hand, in other countries, with lower disease populations and higher perceived happiness (see Gallup Perceived Happiness scale) tend to take more time daily just to un-plug.

At some point, pushing ourselves to exhaustion will render us ill and unable to continue on. I lived through this in 2000 and thankfully it taught me not to allow myself to get to that point again.

At Step Into Your Power™ we would love to hear how you create breathing space in your life and also how you scored on Holmes-Rehe. Feel free to post a comment on our blog on or on Facebook at

Susan is a balanced living expert.  She is an author, speaker and self made millionaire.  She has appeared on ABC Family, the CBN, written for Dianne Magazine, Oxygen Australia and many more.  Susan dedicates time to philanthropy and projects that benefit women and girls all over the world.  She is married to her best friend, Chris, and together they have five beautiful children.

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