Tag Archives: reduce stress

You are the Hub of the Wheel

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hub of the wheel

Imagine yourself as the hub of this wheel that daily life revolves around, make the spokes of the wheel as connections to those you care for most. The wheel’s activities, its responsibilities surround you, spinning and spinning through each day, week, and year. You are central, the key to keeping it all balanced. Recognizing this, it’s important you care enough about yourself in order to preserve your mental, physical, and emotional health. And consider this… when you’re out of sorts, the wheel’s balance is too. If you haven’t taken the time to give yourself the nurturing you require, the wheel can lose balance and begin to wobble!

Some years ago while on vacation, I recognized my own wheel-wobble. I wondered why I couldn’t put more oomph into just having fun with my family. Doing my job, both jobs, 1) taking care of my family and 2) working a full-time job, took every ounce of energy I had. I had nothing left to give. Fun, what was that? Playing cards or a board game, going to the museums, taking walks, watching movies just didn’t seem as needed as keeping the house clean, doing the laundry, running the errands, getting my youngsters where they needed to go, you name it, I was doing it. The “work” side of the wheel was heavier than the fun side, and I was wobblin’ big time!

Who suffers when we don’t care for ourselves? Right us, and not just us, but everyone we come into contact with. We are home base for our family, the safety net everyone falls into. It’s important for us to be rested, happy, healthy and nurtured. Use the lists you created from the last blog, “Me Time,” to help you do this next exercise.

ACTIVITY: HUB OF THE WHEEL:

  1. Draw a circle or other shape in the center of a blank sheet of paper and write your name in the center.
  2. Choose another color to draw spokes outward. Label each spoke a responsibility or commitment you have to someone, i.e. husband, wife, significant other, children, pets, church, school committees, civic organizations, fun activities with friends, etc… Anyone or anything you have day-to-day or week to week contact with should be included. Whatever takes time in your life, write it in.
  3. Using another color, draw branches off of each spoke. These will represent duties and responsibilities you perform regularly for that individual, pet, or organization.
  4. Finally, choosing one last colored marker or pencil, encircle your responsibilities connect them one to the next, surrounding the spokes like a tire revolving and spinning on the hub.

Now take the time to look over your wheel and reflect. Who do you spend the most time with? Who or what is an energy drainer? Who or what do you wish you might spend more time with? What do you want to change? Use this visual tool to evaluate your life activities. Do it every week if necessary to get a visual for where your time goes. Turn the autopilot off and make the conscious decision to LOOK at what you do. We will use information from this exercise in later modules to help change your focus to areas you have passion for, or goals you wish to take steps toward.

JOURNAL ACTIVITY:

  1. Who or what do you spend the most time with?
  2. Who or what do you wish to spend more time with?
  3. What do you want to change?

Kudos for this activity:  A workshop participant emailed me several weeks after doing this particular exercise to tell me that he had taped the wheel to the refrigerator for the entire family to see. He wrote, “The kids were amazed at how much I do on a day-to-day basis, other than going to work. After studying my “wheel,” they decided to pitch in to help where they could. Thank you for bringing the awareness of how much I do not just to me, but to my family as well.”

Give it a try. Post your “Wheel” and see what reaction you get from family members, friends or colleagues. Next week: Realities of the Past.

 

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Hugging for Real…tis’ the Season

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snoopy-hug 

The holiday’s are here and so is the running about I better get this done now or I’m not going to have what I need done for Christmas/New Years stress. Did you keep up with that sentence? Now is the time to remember to slow your pace, keep it at a comfortable, manageable level and live the joy of the season. Live the joy of the season.

No it’s not a typo I repeated it twice and I’ll repeat it again…Live the joy of the season. In the midst of the busy-ness a good meditation to bring you back to joy in the moment, at any moment is to hug a loved one, a friend, or a colleague Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Hugging Meditation” is a perfect mindful practice during the season to bring you back to the moment, sharing and feeling joy:

“Hugging is a beautiful Western custom and we from the East would like to contribute the practice of conscious breathing to it. When you hold a child in your arms, or hug your mother, or your husband, or your friend, if you breathe in and out three times, your happiness will be multiplied at least tenfold…The two of you really exist in that moment. It may be one of the best moments in your life…Suppose your daughter comes and presents herself to you. If you are not really there — if you are thinking of the past, worrying about the future, or possessed by anger or fear — the child, although standing in front of you, will not exist to you. She is like a ghost, and you may be like a ghost also. If you want to be with her, you have to return to the present moment. Breathing consciously, uniting body and mind, you make yourself into a real person again. When you become a real person, your daughter becomes real also. She is a wonderous presence, and a real encounter with life is possible at that moment. If you hold her in your arms and breathe, you will awaken to the preciousness of your loved one and life is.” Peace in Every Step, pp. 85 – 86

Happy Holiday’s! We are more than this…