Archive for March, 2011

Balance in the Spring

Posted on March 21, 2011. Filed under: Culture, Health, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

The wind is howling as is my conscience. A card from a lovely friend reminds me that I have not deposited pixels here on my blog for quite a while. She hopes it’s because I’m having such an amazing time in the rest of my life, that my blog has fallen by the wayside.

That is a nice sentiment—and I thank her for that!—but I wonder… I’ve written some of my best blog posts when my life was full of activity. Lately, things have seemed as if they are closing down.

There are distinct joys in my life; some new windows have opened. But, open windows notwithstanding, I’m still in the same house (literally and figuratively.)

When I first started blogging, the social media site “Facebook” was not as prominent. Many of my blog friends have FB accounts, but I never have had.

I may have lost some of them to it, but they have not lost me.

So why am I lost? I’ve felt inauthentic; disconnected lately. I used to write my truth here; from my heart; from my soul; from my spirit. “My” truth seems elusive, and no one else’s exists!

I could point to “world events”, and indeed they are frightening and uncertain, lately. I have given some little donations to the Red Cross, and I help facilitate a group for people who are disturbed by things. I am disturbed, too.

But, as much as some recent events can make us feel helpless, my recent malaise came along before most of them.

I realize I’m out of balance…that’s the thing!

A friend that’s a coach has a tool she uses; the balance wheel, I think she calls it. She has tried to counsel me using it, but I am stubborn and resistant.

Here it is:

Balance Wheel

Life Wheel - Inner North Coaching

You can rename sections to match the important areas of your life. You may also choose to split one or two sections or add one or two sections of your own. For example, many people prefer to divide “Friends & Family” into two sections.

  1. The center of the wheel is 0, and the outer edge of the wheel as 10. Rank your level of satisfaction with each life area by drawing an arc at the number that represents your level of satisfaction. A 0 means you are not satisfied at all with an area right now; A 10 means everything in that area is absolutely perfect for you right now.
  2. Write the number that the arc represents. For example, if you are 75% satisfied with your career, draw an arc about 3/4 of the way out from the center of the circle in the Career section of the Wheel, and label it 7.5.

As you can see, the task is to rate one’s SATISFACTION in all the areas on the wheel, not necessarily where one feels one does the most good.
However, like many of us, much of my satisfaction comes from at least thinking I’m of some use!
The creator of this wheel also lets us know that we can rename one or more sections…but, I’ve found, through chatting with my friend, and examining the sections, that they are pretty representative for most of us.
Naturally, few if any of us will have a perfectly balanced pie. But it’s a warning sign if, for instance, one has a little sliver of a pie piece for a particular category, and half the pie in another!

I always wonder, with these kinds of graphs, where one puts something like “Spiritual Expression”. Many would say it goes under “Personal Growth”, but that narrows it too much, on the one hand, and jams it in with too many things, on the other.
I prefer to find spiritual expression radiating out from the center point of the chart, as a ninth, but all-encompassing area, as it permeates all else.
(I believe, by the way, that whether one embraces religion, or not, one can engage in spiritual expression. This does not have to involve worship of an outside entity or entities as many imagine, but rather contains that “spark of connection” that keeps us WANTING to be human!)

Many of the “pie pieces” can be expressed through, or at least reported upon, by blogging. I feel I need some work and definition in each of the wedges. I challenge myself (and YOU are a witness) to write about each one, both from a personal viewpoint, and as a universal model in the next few weeks.

If you hadn’t guessed by now…this is my Spring Renewal Project! Several traditions, including some that resonate deeply with me, celebrate a new year, or a start of a new cycle at or about this time.
I am awestruck, once again, at the sight of the huge full moon on this day, and respectful of the natural time known as spring equinox. I want to say “Happy New Year” to those of my blog mates I know are celebrating now:

☼Chinese New Year came quite early this year; starting on Feb. 3…but I always include it in spring renewal as it resides there in my heart.
☼The Spring Equinox is a favorite contemplation, as it’s all about a natural marker in a natural cycle, not about any dogma, or human-imposed beliefs.
☼I respect and honor the Hindu spring festival of colours: Holi, of which I was recently reminded.
☼Persian and Bahai friends celebrate NawRuz, New Year, at this time. This festival predates and informs the next one:
☼My Jewish family members are celebrating Purim, during which Jews are delivered from enemies. Although Jewish New Year is in the fall and not the spring, I like to think of the story from the bible book of Esther as a metaphorical time of renewal as well.
☼Many Muslims celebrate the birth of the prophet Mohammed at this time, and finally…
☼A bittersweet remembrance of the Spring Festival of Japan; the festival of the Cherry Blossoms, or Sakura, which took place some weeks ago, but one I tend to associate with the dawn of Spring. I won’t go into what Japan has or has not to celebrate right now, but I have been gratified to see the few Cherry trees in my desert neighborhood valiantly bursting into bloom. In my native San Francisco we had hundreds of Cherry Trees, and the festival was a huge city-wide event!

I sometimes long for those days when life was as simple as gazing at a flower. Or so it seemed :)  ☼ Happy New Spring to you! ☼

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