For those of you following along with this year’s book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers, PhD, here’s a bit of Chapter 8 (“How whole is you ‘whole life’ ”).
Dr. Jeffers encourages us to diversifying our lives. Instead of putting all our energy into one box, divide it up into multiple boxes. If our whole life, our identity revolves around just one “box” (job, kids, or relationship, etc.) what happens to us when that one box goes away? Ever hear about people who die soon after then retire or the mother who goes into deep depression when her kids grow up and move out?
When we have all our focus in one box, the fear of it going away can be overwhelming and debilitating, leading to very “needy” behavior. When we have a more whole life and one of the boxes goes away, while it may be devastating at first, we find we have other areas in our lives that can help carry us through and move us forward.
She offers some box suggestions: work, family, relationship, hobbies, leisure, personal growth, alone time, friends, contribution (where you make a difference in the world). How much time and energy are we putting into one area at the expense of completing ignoring the others?
As we go into each “box” of our life, she recommends two caveats:
- be there 100%
- act as if it matters
So when we’re on vacation, let’s be on vacation 100% and know that our health and well-being matters. When we’re with our families, be with them 100% and know that they matter and that you matter to them. When we’re at work, give 100% and know that the work we do really counts for something.
She suggests an exercise of making a 3×3 “Whole Life Grid” and naming each of the boxes with the different components we want included in our lives. Then explore how we can visualize and then activate those areas of lives, with the intention of creating a more whole life. She goes into more details and provides other suggestions in the chapter if you care to explore it further.
So let this be our motivating question for the month: “How whole is my life?”
Maureen, The Mandala Lady
Be sure to download/color the August 2012 Mandala of the Month.