Thursday, June 20, 2013

Future Wheel of Life

This is what I’d like my Wheel to look like:

Before I jump into sections to prevent repetitiveness NOTHING is at a 10, for me, I need that room to “grow” and change and adjust and even if I listed something as a 10 I’d have something I want to change or readjust. So no 10s is just me being realistic about life and my view on life. If everything was an 8 I’d be pumped because I’d have room to grow, there would be no ‘perfection’ but life would rock!

So Career is rated at an 8 in my “ideal” Wheel. I’d be doing what I love, what I’m good at, and still have time to rock out instructing students. There would be room to be creative and give feedback and maybe be promoted within the company. And the company would appreciate the work I do.

Finances are funny because I’d be happy sitting at a 7. My friends always tell me I sell myself short in regards to how much I’d be happy living off but it’s true. I don’t need 3 million dollars a year to be happy and live the life I want. I’d love my finances to cover the cost of living, allowing for savings and me to do things I enjoy. I don’t mind budgeting and I don’t need brand names to enrich my life because they are just things and money is just money-necessary but not the food that fuels the soul.

Health is rated the highest on this scale at a 9. I want to find that healthy weight for me, sort out my food intolerances, keep practicing and understand that there are going to be colds and coughs and sniffles that occur in life. If I’m at my most healthy I can tackle the world.

Romance is listed as a 7 but again this isn’t even a priority for me at the moment so when it IS-a 7. I want time to do my own things and am not ready to fall in love-so when I have time, dating and enjoying what “Romance” has to offer would be great but I don’t want it as a life changer yet and this is my Wheel as I see and want my life to be as a 25 year old. Not as a 30 year old, 35 year old, etc .

Personal Growth I would love to be at 7, giving SO MUCH ROOM to continue to discover and grow. I don’t need to “find myself” but to keep finding aspects of myself would be awesome.

Environment in my ideal is an 8. I’d have my own place, own space, afford to furnish and decorate and express myself, while bringing in the food that makes and keeps me healthy and maybe another cat to keep Bobbin company. :D

Recreation is still a 6. I’m quite happy with where I’m at in how much I do, what I do, and just continuing to say yes, explore and hang with friends when it works out (maybe doing things that cost more once and a while). This is good for my personality and me overall.

And last, Friends and Family I’d love to be an 8. There are relationships I want to fix, that need to be changed and unfortunately they are two-sided and I can only provide one side of them so this may never happen and it’s an 8 because there is always going to be “stuff” that I can’t control in this aspect of my life and fights/misunderstandings are a given but having friends and family I know love and support me whole heartedly is 10 no matter the scale and other “stuff” that will affect that scale.

And that about covers it! Lots to work on but slow and steady it won’t happen overnight.

Wheel of Life

One part   of the distance portion of training is to take an overview of your life via “The Wheel of Life.”

The key is to rate a variety of aspects of your life and then reflect on what the wheel looks like, why it looks like that and then create a second wheel that reflects what you want your life to look like with simple ways to make that happen.

This is what my current Wheel looks like:

Let’s start reflecting!

Most of my Wheel is out of balance. But I’ll start at the top-Career.

Right now basically my “career” [because teaching for me is not what I want to do to make “money” there are a variety of reasons for it but I know if I choose it to be my career/moneymaker I’ll end up burning out and stressing over it and do not want that to ever come into play with my students]. So “career” is out of the scale completely. Sitting at a zero, it’s an aspect of my life I have been working towards with little to no success. I am constantly sending out applications but part of this is just our economy and that’s not something I can change. Also, training took up a good chunk of time (intensive) and leading up to training I had been laid-off, too close t0 Christmas to be hired for something else, and then who hires someone when they are leaving for 6 weeks? So that has been a struggle. In order to raise this up, I need to learn how to network better, check my applications more thoroughly and maybe see if there is a way to start lower than what I’m aiming for. I check for new jobs daily and I’m volunteering and always looking for new opportunities. Sometimes we’re doing all we can in an area of our life and just have to keep hammering until the wall breaks.

Which leads to my Finance section being so low hitting the“2” mark on the scale. I’m very lucky because my parents have been amazing in letting me live at home, rent free, but I still have expenses and my savings are down to almost nil right now. The biggest factor is that I can’t get set in my Career and start earning and that starting off as a new teacher from practice teaching, to community class rates, to not having seniority in receiving copious amounts of classes, all adds up to very little moula coming your way. This will start to increase (hopefully before it decreases!) when the wall breaks in the career search. I’m doing little things like saving my $5 bills because it’s something and I don’t spend money all too often. I am looking into finding a part-time “job” to just bolster this section until something gives for that “dream career.”

I’ll slide around the Wheel to “Health” which is sitting at a 5 on the scale. I feel healthier than ever in so many ways but I know that a) I stress out about things too much which means b) This causes problems in my body such as c) being overweight and unable to take it off and d) my mental health becomes a power of wills which is exhausting. I have a regular yoga practice and understand my eating habits, how, why, what but there are those few things that just “turn up.” I’m also not sleeping consistently well-I would say this is definitely due to stress and occurs even when I practice. So it’s not perfect, there are things that need to improve so I am healthier all around such as tracking my food and finding out what I eat that isn’t agreeing with my body. I already know gluten is a huge no but slip from time to time out of convenience-which needs to stop.  Talking with other members of my sangha to bring into focus the real effect stressing about being overweight, not having that career, etc, is having on my body and starting to learn to let that go. And just ensuring that my practice stays strong through all the difficulties and stressors.

Which leads (sort of) into Romance, which is a nice fat Zero. And I’m actually totally okay with this. I haven’t put any effort into this area of my life for a very long time and it’s not currently a priority for me. I want to get other things in order first; I know that I can’t give my love freely to someone else until I can freely love myself. I’d be okay with not worrying about this for a while and just letting it unroll as it does. I’m not concerned about the “lack” in my life for this section.

So let’s look at the Personal Growth section. I’ve rated it as a 5 because I’m working towards growing in my yoga teaching, in my own practice, in discovering who I am but I think I need to bring in other aspects of the Live to Learn Pillar in order to expand in an all around way. I think Personal Growth is super important and finding the balance in creating a well rounded me is going to be tough long-term.  I think this just means finding more time to read, paint, create and keep trying new things.

Part of my personal growth being mid-point is that in my Physical Environment [note: this to me means my living environment on the day to day] is in my childhood home. This aspect in my life and on the Wheel is at a 4. Again, grateful for having a home, a bed, food, but sometimes it’s okay to lack in those areas for things like privacy or knowing you can take care of yourself via your own place. It’s even harder when you have lived on your own, paid for everything and had to return to being non-self-sufficient. Rough. The space isn’t really “mine” which is probably a great lesson in learning to practice non-attachment but being honest about this overview. Hard to grow when you can’t support yourself in the basic way. The biggest day-to-day change I can make is my attitude (which is huge) so when I wake up acknowledge how grateful I am for all the blessings I have while continuously working to find my own space. Another easy thing, is to recognize how lucky I am and take some time to make sure my space [room] remains clean and functional, while keeping the house “tidy” to show my gratefulness and respect.

For Recreation [I take this as social life/hobbies], I’ve rated it about a 6. A lot of this does come from the studio-my time there, my practice, now being on Christie Lake and enjoying SUP, but I do connect with friends for low-cost hang outs when it works out and don’t feel overly worried about this aspect of my life at all. It feels natural. I’m an introvert/extrovert so really actually enjoy my alone time.  If I wanted to improve this it’d come into conjunction with Personal Growth and that ‘say yes’ to new things!

Which brings us to Family and Friends. Who are about a 6 “overall.”  Everyone has things going on in their Family but the majority of my immediate family and I get along, enjoy being together and support each other. The same goes with my friends, we keep in touch fairly well thanks to technology and see each other when it can work out for everyone. But there is always ways for me to improve these relationships such as reaching out, listening more, showing more compassion and this will come, as my love for myself is able to grow.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Reach Out...Hard.

So I haven't been able to get myself back to visit my Grandpa again [yet].

I think it just shook me how different each visit can be so that is what I'm doing for Reach Out but it's going to have to be a big longer in it's execution. Because I want to continue to see him after I submit that project and I need to build the habit and prepare emotionally for it.

Work in progress to move towards an end goal for my Shorty!

Monday, June 3, 2013


Second visit with Grandpa today and I didn't stay very long.

It well as a visit can go at this point?

He was having a good day Saturday. Today, he didn't know who I was, he kept picking at his skin and seemed annoyed.

So I sat with him for 10-15 minutes, gave him a kiss, and then left him to just be.

It was easier to force myself to get there but not easy to go inside, not easy to see my delightful and hilarious Grandfather so sombre and uncertain, and not easy to hear him say he didn't know me and I wasn't his granddaughter.

But none of that is his fault and he still deserves all the love, time and attention he gave to me.

I won't be able to get there for the next few days but Friday it's on my list. Hopefully, he'll be having a good day but regardless I'll be there.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Reach Out

Onto another Moksha Pillar.

I'm not sure there is an exact reason why I chose to do "Reach Out" for my second big project. I think maybe it has to do with just keeping momentum and needing to jump back in.

This is not going to be an easy journey for me, I want to be upfront and very honest about that.

Previous to yesterday, I had not seen my grandfather since August 9th, 2011 the night before I made a big life change.

Seeing him yesterday, sum it up? Ball of emotion. Before, During, After.

And likely that will be the case every time I visit. But sometimes, it's not about us, sometimes life is challenging in ways we never expected, never wanted and that means we have no clue where to go forward. The only thing to do is take a deep breathe and let the stories go.

I almost bailed on my own plan for this project, I don't think I'm ready to face this, face my grandfather who isn't really my grandfather in a lot of ways anymore.

I cried in the car driving to the home, cried in the car trying to get ready to go in, cried in the elevator up to his floor, cried while visiting, cried when leaving and have cried various times since for a variety of reasons.

But the first visit. The first time in almost two years of seeing my grandfather. I did it and my aversion is still so so strong but know what I learned? He's still there and I think I got my eyes from him.

Let me go back for a minute, I have a lot of trouble looking people in the eyes but yesterday I looked into my grandpa's eyes, saw him and saw him in me.

We had a conversation. He may have struggled. More than I can even tell I'm sure to get the fairly mumbled short sentences out but small conversations. He knew what he was talking about when he was talking about it and I know he recognized me. He may not know my name but he knew who I was. He smiled and I smiled.

And when the lady tried to get past his wheelchair and I had to move him so she could fit but then started talking to me (which by the way was heartbreaking for other reasons. She told me she was tossed aside and no one loved her. And my heart broke) I could see his annoyance in her being in his space, in being in his way.

When I eventually left-my visit was probably close to 45 minutes-giving my Shorty a kiss on the top of his head and leaving him there made my heart break. He looked at me though, after I walked away, he watched me at the elevator and waved me back over. He then stated very clearly to me "Don't hang out here" and I told him I was heading home and he asked how I was getting home and I told him I was driving and held up the car keys, giving him a kiss again and heading back to the elevator.

He's still here and I think that makes this that much harder than I had originally anticipated but more motivated because he needs to know he wasn't tossed aside and how much he is loved.