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.