Finding Balance In The Jungle

by Lance Ekum on · 53 comments

Royal Ascot
Creative Commons License photo credit: warrenski

“Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being” ~ Orison Swett Marden

Balance – that thing which sometimes seems so elusive in our lives.  How do we find it?  And how do we focus on the things that really matter to us?

Today, I’m sitting down with Stacey Shipman, who writes very honest and authentic articles, over at the Let It Flow website.   Stacey asks the questions, and I attempt to answer them – in podcast format!   This idea of a podcast is taking me into an area I haven’t been before.  So, this is again a step outside of my comfort zone.  How did it go?  Check it out over at: Podcast Interview True Stories from Real People: Finding Balance in the Jungle.

And while you’re there, be sure to check out some of Stacey’s other inspiring articles, including:

Experience a Personal Evolution

Being Present

This is all taking me back to the start of 2009, and to the concept of a word to define the year.  Courage.  I’m feeling that as I step into new territory.  And for that, Stacey, I appreciate you very much.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacey Shipman March 11, 2009 at 9:23 am

Thank you for the interview! I love how you brought it back to your 2009 word – courage. Brilliant, indeed.


David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts March 11, 2009 at 9:29 am

I liked your podcast. I couldn’t believe how early you get up though. I guess you have to find what works for you, and you’ve done that.



David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts´s last blog post..Why Playmates Don’t Like Their Legs


Alik Levin | March 11, 2009 at 10:20 am

“Being Present” sounds especially promising. Off to read it.

Alik Levin |´s last blog post..Consultant Writes Proposals That Sell


Jay March 11, 2009 at 10:54 am

Stacey is the best so I bet this will be great- heading over there now. Thanks Lance!

Jay´s last blog post..How to Save the World


Tess The Bold Life March 11, 2009 at 11:00 am

I love the photo. Guess I’ve been missing out on what playgrounds look like these days!

I love Stacey’s work and her new logo. How lucky she is to work with you.

Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..12 Tips To Be Bold & Set Your Heart On Fire


Jannie Funster March 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm

She really is a gem. I’m heading over there now!

Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Song Quest Two


Peter Levin March 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Nice, 3:30 PM. I am trying to do 5:30, almost there but not quite 🙂

Great podcast about balance and fulfillment, thanks


Peter Levin March 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm

In last post I meant 5:30 AM 🙂


Julie March 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Lance, you’re the man about town! I left my comment at Stacey’s site. 🙂

Julie´s last blog post..In Others’ Words


Marelisa March 11, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Hi Lance: I’m sitting in my club’s reading room using their computer so I can’t listen to the podcast right now. I’ll put a star next to Stacey’s article in my reader so I’ll remember to listen to it later. I see my ebook in the right-hand corner of your blog 🙂

Marelisa´s last blog post..Happiness Tips From the Dalai Lama


Happiness Is Better March 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Pretty cool. I will go check out the podcast. Sounds like a lot of fun!

Happiness Is Better´s last blog post..Cool Links for Week of March 9th


Vered - MomGrind March 11, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Yeah for stepping out of your comfort zone! I am heading over there right now. 🙂

Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..The Psychology of Advertising


Mindful Mimi March 11, 2009 at 4:52 pm


Great to hear your voice. Not bad for a first podcast. Way to go!
If you get up at 3h30, what time do you go to bed? Are you like Einstein who got by with 4 hours of sleep at night?

Balance is a tough cookie. And sometimes you need to take a break from it all. I know I do. You need an exhaust pipe in order not to get exhausted. Mine is the painting or creativity in any form. I vent with it, I switch off, I create, I use the side of the brain that I don’t use all that much at work. Some weeks I do not get any of it done. And I am frustrated. But that frustration is easily mended by another session of creation.

I hope you will be able to quieten down again a bit.

Mindful Mimi´s last blog post..Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat


Jeanne March 11, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Really like all that you post.

Jeanne´s last blog post..Wedding Folklore, Myths and Good Luck Charms


Kelly@SHE-POWER March 11, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Stepping beyond what is comfortable is a great way to feel alive and expand our sense of self confidence. Good on you, Lance. Will head over for a listen.



Natalia Burleson March 11, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Wow great podcast Lance! 3:30am….Holy Mackerel that’s early!

Natalia Burleson´s last blog post..Salad?


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now March 11, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Great interview. Finding time to do everything that we do can be daunting. I know that since I’ve been posting on my blog and a friend’s blog I feel a little overwhelmed.

The thing is we just have to keep chipping away and doing what we can.

When I get really tired I stop fighting it and just go to bed. We have to listen to that internal clock and do what is best for ourselves.

Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last blog post..Empower the Employees to Improve the Company


Lance March 11, 2009 at 9:50 pm

@Stacey Shipman – You’re welcome, although the real thanks go to you. You did a marvelous job of leading us through the interview. You’re awesome and special, all wrapped up in one!


Lance March 11, 2009 at 9:51 pm

@David – Thanks much Dave. I’m still figuring out what works for me – I’d say it’s a journey, and one I’ll always be on. For right now, this is working. Someday that may (probably will) change as priorities in my life change. I’ll be here, going with the flow…

@Alik – Yes, do check it out. Stacey writes very compelling articles, and this one is no exception!

@Jay – Ditto that – stacey is one special lady! Thanks Jay!

@Tess – I loved the photo too. In it’s own way it seemed a bit junglish. And, I don’t remember playgrounds like that either. Stacey does some very impressive work! And, truly it’s me who was the lucky one here…getting this chance to work together was great!

@Jannie – “Gem” is a great word to describe Stacey. Enjoy!

@Peter – If you really want to get up at that time – maybe work your way there (maybe you are already). I find that the hardest part is just getting up. So, for me that means putting a alarm clock away from the bed. I’m much better at staying up when the alarm requires me to get out of bed to shut it off.

@Julie – Thank you, Julie – for everything!


Lance March 11, 2009 at 9:52 pm

@Marelisa – Sounds relaxing where you are. And yes,your e-book is up! It’s great reading – you really did a fantastic job with it!

@Vered – I feel like I’ve been doing that a lot recently – stepping out of my comfort zone. Thanks for all your continued support Vered.

@Mimi – Thank you! So, bed is usually around 10:30 PM-ish. so, Einstein only had four hours of sleep each night! Does that mean that my hair might look like his someday? Scary! The idea of balance, or of mixing things up – for me – that’s probably exercise – which is much more physical – and gets me out and moving around. Sometimes I do better than others… Keep on painting Mimi…

@Jeanne – Thank you!

@Kelly – Thanks much Kelly! Stepping out of the comfort zone – as difficult as that can be sometimes – it’s very good also. And, Stacey did an excellent job as a host – making this really as painless as possible. (okay, no pain at all Stacey!)

@Natalia – “Holy Mackerel” – it’s been a long time since I’ve heard this saying, and I love it!!!! Holy Mackerel, it’s getting late – I should be off to bed pretty soon. (hey, I used it in a sentence) (thank you for this saying tonight!) – and thank you for everything Natalia!

@Karl – Thanks Karl! Doing what we can, or maybe even doing what feel right. Great point – our body knows when it is tired, and the best thing we can do is listen to it. This is probably one of those areas I could really work on. I do have moments where I feel tired, and then I fight it – when rest is probably the best thing. Thanks Karl, great thoughts here tonight. And keep hanging in there while you keep two blogs going. This too shall pass…


Jewel/Pink Ink March 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm

How wonderful for you to stretch and do something you’ve never done before!

Jewel/Pink Ink´s last blog post..Noteworthy Giveaway


Daphne March 11, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Lance, you’re really going places! Striking out on new territories. This is very inspiring. I love your calm, down to earth voice and way of talking. I seldom listen to long podcasts but heard this all the way through. Great stuff!

Daphne´s last blog post..17 Inspiring Examples of Personal Creeds


Giovanna Garcia March 12, 2009 at 1:13 am

Hi Lance

Great interview, it is great to hear Stacy and your voice. Now I have a voice with your faces. I do my writing late at night, same reason as your ‘no distraction’. I love your passion for your work and I look forward to reading your book.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Giovanna Garcia´s last blog post..City boy took Imperfect Action turns farmer.


Vincent March 12, 2009 at 1:20 am

Hi Lance,

Nice podcast there. It is amazing to hear that you wake up at 3.30am everyday. Anyway thanks for sharing. 🙂

Personal Development Blogger

Vincent´s last blog post..Are You Using The 80/20 Principle In Your Life?


Arswino March 12, 2009 at 3:31 am

Hi Lance, it was nice to hear your voice. That is really a great podcast Lance. Thanks for sharing with us. 🙂

Arswino´s last blog post..Moments in Life


Stacey Shipman March 12, 2009 at 6:07 am

@Everyone! Thanks again to Lance and for everyone who journeyed over to listen. I appreciate all the kind words and hope you enjoyed hearing more about Lance. Lance, yay for stepping out of comfort zones – what’s the next step?? 🙂


Stacey / Create a Balance March 12, 2009 at 7:02 am

This is sparking my interest in the realm of balance and in stepping out of your comfort zone. I’m heading over there right now.

See how I am comment #27…I really need to find a better system to learn about new posts sooner rather than later.

Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..How Do You Balance It All?


suzen March 12, 2009 at 9:42 am

Enjoyed the interview – how cool! Courage is a good word choice for you! Having “writing” on your bucket list is (I believe) a sign from your soul. The book is writing itself, Lance. And Stacy’s story about the writer who said one PAGE daily is totally on the mark. The fact that you can be excited enough about writing to get up at 3:30 (yikes) says you’ve found “it” – the “it” that is missing in so many lives – what a blessing for you! I am a writer expanding into cyberspace, shaking off years of technical/journalistic parameters and cuttin loose. Its the adventure of my life – and I’m glad to have “met” you as a part of it all!

suzen´s last blog post..Act Like A Lady – Think Like A Man Book Review


Liara Covert March 12, 2009 at 9:57 am

Nothing is ever elusive unless you decide it is. Those who define limits or excuses establish reasons when none exist. Each human being is light energy that vibrates waves. They vibrate much like electromagnetic lines of force but without the limits imposed by Earthly Science about charged particles. Until a being becomes conscious of its source, it cannot fully grasp the nature of its energy, abilities and potential. You have insight into some mental and physical environments. Yet, listen differently to the heart to reconnect with soul and true self.

Liara Covert´s last blog post..6 Tips to eliminate drama


Laurie | Express Yourself to Success March 12, 2009 at 10:13 am

Hi Lance,

I really enjoyed your interview – thanks for taking the time to do it.

I too need to find quiet time in order to maintain balance. Even just a few minutes to think about what I’ve done and what I really want to spend the next hours/days of my life doing.

I also liked that you mentioned prioritizing is important in keeping balance. Sometimes we can forget that we actually choose what we want to do and how we want to spend our time.

Finally – The Bucket List. I’m not a big movie-goer and hadn’t heard about this one. It was just this morning when I was speaking to another friend who told me about it – and then when you started talking about it also, I thought, “someone’s trying to tell me something!” So guess what DVD I’m renting this weekend. 😉

Thanks again for the interview!

Laurie | Express Yourself to Success´s last blog post..Good Reads


Lizwi March 12, 2009 at 2:23 pm

I also like waking up early because I can do a lot of work in a short space of time. Finding a balance is not so difficult, what makes it difficult is what we think about it.

Lizwi´s last blog post..A terrifying appointment


Henie March 12, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Hi Lance!

Congratulations on your first podcast!

As I said over at Stacey’s, I agree that balance is the key to everything! (…and I thought I got up early!)

“Balance is living all the colors of the rainbow in 24 hours!” ~Henie~

Henie´s last blog post..Horizontal Falling Leaf


Elizabeth Barrette March 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm

That zebra is so cute! Thank you for sharing.

Elizabeth Barrette´s last blog post..Three Questions: HR 875


miruspeg March 12, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Another great photo to go with this post Lance.
My word for the year is Balance so I was very interested to listen to your interview with Stacey and you DID NOT disappoint.
Your word Courage suits you perfectly.

miruspeg´s last blog post..Carpe Diem – Seize the Day


Evita March 12, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Hi Lance and Stacey!

Thank you so much for this as balance is I find something that I have lately had a real lesson with in terms of finding it when it comes to the internet, blogging and all of the wonderful things the www brings!

It is something that I feel we always need to be conscious of, or else we might find ourselves down some path that has us scratching our heads and going “how the heck did my life end up like this?”

Evita´s last blog post..The Two Envelopes We Are All Born With


Jessica March 12, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I adore the photo you chose for this post. Thanks for the recommended reading/listening!

Jessica´s last blog post..What I’m Loving on Wednesday


Lance March 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm

@Jewel – This was definitely stretching, although I’ll also say that working with Stacey made the whole interview really more like a comfortable conversation.

@Daphne – Thanks Daphne – for your kind words (as always!) – and for listening to the whole thing – it as definitely longer than a few minutes – and when Stacey and I did this – the time just flew by!

@Giovanna – Hi Giovanna. Having a voice to go with a face is nice, I think so too! So…now I really need to get working on that book! Thanks for stopping by to listen!

@Vincent – Hi Vincent. Waking up at 3:30 AM – it’s an adjustment! Right now, it’s working for me. And that’s the thing – we do what works for us, individually. Whatever that is…. Thanks for checking it out.

@Arswino – Thanks much! It was fun to do this with Stacey!

@Stacey Shipman – What’s the next step? Hmm…good question! I have some time off that’s coming up, maybe this will be a good time to evaluate where I’m headed…

@Stacey/Create a Balance – Stacey, I kind of thought this might catch your interest!! And…I’m chuckling. Really, I’m just glad you’re here – no matter what comment # you are, you’re still very much appreciated, and always will be.

@Suzen – Yes, this took some courage. I didn’t know how “rough” the interview would be. Ends up, Stacey leans way far on the side of kind – so talking to her was like talking to a long-time friend. Yes, Stacey’s example of the one page daily – small chunks – was a good thing for me to hear. It’s great to have “met” you as well, Suzen, and I look forward to seeing where this all take you on your journey.


Lance March 12, 2009 at 8:55 pm

@Liara – Truths come from the heart and soul. Getting there, to where we can see these clearly is a wonderful thing. I’m on that journey, and one I’m enjoying very much! Thanks Liara!

@Laurie – Hi Laurie. It was my pleasure to do this interview. Good point – it doesn’t have to be lot and lots of something (like quiet time) in order to get focused. Even small bites can be beneficial. And choice is a key word. We all have choices we make – are they the “right” one for us. Do check out “The Bucket List” – it’s wonderful story line, very uplifting, and I think – a movie that you also take something away with you when you leave. Thank you for stopping by and listening!

@Lizwi – Without distractions, much can be accomplished. We do have to watch our thoughts – so they don’t wander too far off base – throwing our balance off – good point.

@Henie – Thank you Henie!! It’s good to have one “under my belt”, so to say. And I agree, too – balance is such an important key to life – to keeping us in balance in all of areas of focus. And maybe the key is not only what time we get up in the morning, more than that, coupled with what time we go to bed at night…

@Elizabeth – I thought the zebra seesaw fit well with the title including “balance” and “jungle”. Thanks for stopping over today Elizabeth!

@Miruspeg – I loved this photo too, Peggy! Well, that’s very neat that your word for the year is ‘balance’ – how fitting for you here today! Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed it! And it’s always good to have you here – thanks Peggy!

@Evita – Hi Evita! There can be a real balance, or balance issue, in getting to all the things we want to. Determining what is truly most important is a real key. It can be easy to say something is important – yet is it? Is it really? The idea of consciousness is a great reminder Evita. If we’re conscious of the choices we’re making – then at least we’re making the decisions based upon ourselves. And that a key point – so we don’t end up someday asking what happened? And the last thing on this point – is that even if we do find ourselves at that point of asking ‘what happened?’, we can still make conscious decisions going forward…

@Jessica – Thanks, I thought the photo was pretty nice also! Hope you enjoy the recording, and thanks for stopping in today!


Robin March 13, 2009 at 12:16 am

I like your zebra, Lance – but it doesn’t look very comfortable – did it chuck you off? Just kidding – looks like you are really going for it!

Robin´s last blog post..Making The Most Of Life


Paul U March 13, 2009 at 3:00 am

I like your podcast.

Paul U´s last blog post..Guess the pr update contest


Stacey Shipman March 13, 2009 at 4:53 am

Wow, so many encouraging words and I’m so appreciative of all of you who took the time to listen. Thank you.

Lance, now everyone knows about your book dream…you better get writing!


Caroline March 13, 2009 at 10:43 am

3:30!? Holy cow, I am tired just thinking about that. You have so much dedication, I am impressed! I really enjoyed this interview. You are one busy guy…

Didn’t know you were in Milwaukee…McGillycddy’s is one of my favorite Irish pubs! Cheers!

Caroline´s last blog post..Favorite “Foto” Friday


Nathalie Lussier March 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Congrats on your courage Lance. Just doing something to step outside of your comfort zone is inspiring the rest of us to shift our perceptions too. I didn’t pick a word for 2009, but I think I like yours. 😉

Nathalie Lussier´s last blog post..How To Pay The Bills While Following Your Passion


Jennifer March 13, 2009 at 12:47 pm

This was thoroughly enjoyable! Great interview! It has always amazed me how you do as much as you do. Five hours of sleep…Getting up at 3:30. We all have to do what works for us and it sounds like you have found it. Your life is very full, but you seem fulfilled…. I’m so happy for you!

I do have one thing to say…. If I was possibly able to somehow make myself get up at 3:30 you wouldn’t want to read what I had to write or you would laugh your head off at it. Now, if I stayed up til 2 or 3am to write that would be a whole different story. I could do that.

Jennifer´s last blog post..Words of Wisdom and Peace


Annette March 13, 2009 at 1:46 pm

very cool interview!!! And I complain about waking at 5:30 ;)!!

Annette´s last blog post..Twins 2, Mommy 0!


Jean Browman--Cheerful Monk March 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm

One of my favorite affirmations is, “I have all the courage I need.” It’s helped get me through a lot of stressful situations

Jean Browman–Cheerful Monk´s last blog post..You Don’t Have to Leave Home to Have an Adventure


Mary - A Merry Life March 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Very cool interview, enjoyed listening to it.

Mary – A Merry Life´s last blog post..Back to the Grind


Lance March 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm

@Robin – He is a cool zebra – I wish he were mine!! Ha ha! Right, you don’t see me, I’m lying on the ground just out of the picture! I like the point though – sometimes we try things in life and like riding a horse, we might get thrown off and knocked down. And then we can decide to get back up and try again…or not. In the end, if we’re listening to our heart, then it’s all right… Thanks for stopping by Robin!

@Paul – Thanks much Paul!

@Stacey Shipman – What am I doing here? I should be writing that book!! (I’m going…)

@Caroline – Coffee is my friend! Thanks for listening to it Caroline! I don’t think I’ve been to McGillicuddy’s (they’ll probably be busy this weekend and next week). I do recall a little Irish pub downtown we used to frequent, although I think it was a different place…

@Nathalie – Thank you Nathalie! Your words mean much to me today – this wasn’t necessarily easy for me to do. And courage – it’s a word many can use as a focal point. I know you have a lot of exciting things going on, and I wish you the best with all of them Nathalie.

@Jennifer – Thanks so much Jennifer! Doing what works – that’s right! Sometimes 3:30 is difficult, although usually it’s not so bad. And the thing is, I have no problem falling asleep at night when I go to bed! Fulfilling – that’s a good point you bring up – I DO feel fulfilled – in so many aspects of my life right now. And that does really make this all worth it. So, you’re saying that getting up at 3:30 would mean you might not be coherent?!?! You’re probably going to bed about the time I’m getting up! Thanks Jennifer, you’ve given me a great laugh today!! Just what I needed to WAKE UP a little bit!!!

@Annette – Thanks Annette! My kids think I sleep in if I get up at 5 AM! Of course, everyone else in my house is “normal” – and aren’t crawling out of bed until 5:30 AM at the very earliest.

@Jean – “I have all the courage I need.” – I like that Jean, thank you for sharing it here. What a perfect fit for this today!

@Mary – Thanks much Mary!


Laurie March 13, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Lance, So what time do you go to bed? I have to have more sleep than that! Stacey never asked you if you feel like your life is in balance. If she had asked you that, what would you have said? At what point do you feel off balanced? Right now I feel pretty balanced but there are times (seasons of life) when there is so much going on and so many responsibilities that I feel so off balanced I want to hibernate for a while. Do you ever get there Lance? What do you do when you’re there?


Jennifer March 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Laurie, I think we are a lot alike. I know all about needing to hibernate. It happens to me fairly often. I usually do take a few days to do just that and then I’m “good to go.”

Jennifer´s last blog post..The Power of Replacement


Lance March 15, 2009 at 3:16 am

@Laurie – Well…bedtime is about 10:30. Do I feel like my life is in balance? For the most part, yes. There are days where it doesn’t. Or even moments when it doesn’t. Yet, most of the time my life does feel balanced. I feel like I start to lose some balance when unplanned “things” come up and change my schedule. Or maybe on a day when I’d just like to stay home (because it’s been a while) and finally realize that’s not happening. Wanting to hibernate? Sure. Or maybe just get away from it all. This is when some quiet time is very helpful for me. And really, getting up so that I get a bit of this each day – this helps very much to keep me focused and in balance throughout the day. It becomes a retreat inward, which refreshes me. Thanks much Laurie – I appreciate very much the way you’re making me think more deeply about this all.

@Jennifer – Listening to our body (and our heart) – and realizing that a break is needed – is a wonderful way to work on balance. That you’re taking this time for “you” is important – in getting “you” to a place where you’re ready to take on the many different angles life will present to you. Jennifer, thanks for continuing to add to the conversation – this is all great stuff – and something for all of us to think about. It’s a question we should all ask ourselves – “What do I do when I feel off-balanced?” – and look for an honest answer to what this really means.


hkki March 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm

nice photo


Lance March 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm

@Hkki – Thank you!


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