There’s an exercise I do with pretty much all my clients and I definitely do it at the workshops. It’s got lots of different names and I’ve seen numerous variations of it – the one I most tend towards though is called the Wheel of Life (if you’re better with visuals around food you can call it a pizza of life ;)).
I first did this exercise myself at a weekend leadership development course. It was part of the offer from the NGO I volunteered with in Kenya – they wanted to ensure that volunteers that come back are supported into understanding their own personal development and how that experience could really impact different areas of their life. Mostly it was about connecting us all back together again and being part of this immense energy in the same room over four days – with people who were feeling at transition points or wanting to create big changes in their worlds.
Anyhow, back to the wheel (pizza) of life. It was one of the exercises we did fairly early on, might have even been the very first on day one. You were asked to look at a wheel that was broken down into 6 segments, representing different elements of your life – and to ‘rate’ where you felt your level of satisfaction was at. I don’t know why but I found this so profound at the time. Perhaps I’d just never had the awareness before that I was running around in my life feeling more like I had all these balls that I was constantly juggling. This made me see that all those balls were actually slices of my life that could come together. And that’s the key bit for me – they come together. It felt like it was no longer about having to keep juggling between them, or to focus on only one, it was like I saw the permission to make it all, well, all of me. Like I’d discovered the glue that could piece it all together.
What also stood out very quickly were the areas of my life where I was feeling fulfilled and at my best versus those that were my sticking points. The things holding me back. And that to bring them more into alignment or raise their rating would actually also have a direct impact on the other parts of my life.
Even more than that. I realised that every time I shifted my attention to one slice or another, the interaction between them all meant there was never going to be this perfect trade off or perfect score – it was more of a flex between everything. Movement.
I realised that the balls that I felt I had to juggle suddenly became the core ingredients to bringing more balance into my life (which for me at the time would have equalled calmness, trust in myself, enjoyment, less rushing around, more laughter). I knew what I had to get to create the balance. I knew the basis for getting started, which is what I was lacking before.
So, if you had to mix up your own magical recipe for balance in your life what would it need? What would the core ingredients be? You know to bake the chocolate sponge cake before all the icing and sprinkles go on the top or even that layer of cream cheese in the middle mmm….