We did an interesting exercise at my recent yoga retreat that I wanted to share with all of you. It is called The Circle of Life and it is a great way to take stock of where you feel that your life is on several dimensions, and then use that knowledge to identify one or two aspects of your life for improvement. I found it very interesting.
Here is the diagram which I borrowed from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition‘s website. As you can see, it is a circle divided into 12 slices, each labeled with an aspect of life: Creativity, Finances, Career, Education, Health, Physical Activity, Home Cooking, Home Environment, Relationships, Social Life, Joy and Spirituality.
Here is how it works.
Step 1: Place a dot on the line in each category to indicate your level of satisfaction with that aspect of your life. Dots on the periphery of the circle indicate the highest level of satisfaction while dots towards the center indicate dissatisfaction. The dots should be assigned so you can see your relative satisfaction with each aspect.
Step 2: Connect the dots to see your circle of life.
Step 3: Identify imbalances. What areas show relative dissatisfaction? What areas should be higher than they are? Choose two areas of focus and brainstorm a few steps that you could immediately take to improve those areas of your life.
My circle looked pretty good. I was fairly consistently satisfied with most aspects of my life, with the biggest dips in spirituality and home cooking. Logically, this would lead me to focus on action steps for those two areas, but for me, home cooking is not a priority, so I set it aside. Instead, I chose to focus on Spirituality and Joy. I am lucky to have so many wonderful people and experiences in my life that my Joy rating should have been higher than it was. I need to be more grateful for all that I have. Coincidentally, both areas of focus had the same primary action step — incorporate meditation into my life, with a focus on gratitude.
Since I returned from the retreat, consistently incorporating meditation into my daily life has been a challenge. I am a creature of routine and have not yet figured out a time of day that consistently works. Mornings are hectic with getting the kids off to school. Days are busy with yoga and work. Evenings are taken up with family obligations. I need to pick a time and just go with it. Any suggestions?
Fellow yogis, how does your Circle of Life look?