A Meditative Exercise To Help You Find Balance + Tap Into Your True Potential
How would your thoughts—ALL of them—look if they were captured in a single picture?
Last month, a woman drew a diagram for her husband to show him what’s running through her mind at any given moment. Her drawing went viral.
Above a stick figure rendering of the woman is a chaotic explosion of thought bubbles that encapsulates a full range of worries and plans—everything from her husband to her co-workers to her kids to the dirt under the fridge to the fact that her boobs just won’t stay in her bra. Sound familiar?
You Take Better Care of Others When You're Taking Care of Yourself
Women today juggle hundreds of plans, worries, goals, and obligations in the air at any given moment. Very few of those things she's juggling would still be on her priority list if she truly felt accountable only to herself. Women constantly take on more than we can handle and help others more than we help ourselves.
The one or two priorities you keep for yourself could be a monthly book club or a weekly fitness class—but these small, isolated moments of joy are not nearly enough to fuel sustained happiness.
Too often, we sacrifice self-care for the fulfillment and happiness of others. But in reality, if we can learn how to recognize and meet our own needs before anyone else's, something magical will happen! We will begin to create balance in all areas of our lives. We will feel strong, inspired, stable, and energized—everything we need in order to become true leaders and to catalyze change in our lives and the lives of others.
This Exercise Will Help You Uncover Ways to Cultivate Balance
Tapping into your power begins with finding balance. When you know you've got your life balanced, you can savor each and every moment of your journey. To evaluate what areas of your life are out of balance, we recommend looking at your life as if it were a wheel, or a pie chart. We'll walk you through an exercise to help you get a clearer picture of your life.
To start, draw a large circle on a large blank piece of paper, put a dot in the very center of it, then add lines from the dot to the outer edges of your circle to create “spokes” for your wheel. On each line, write down a key area of your life — career, relationships, finances, children, spirituality, physical fitness, and health, etc. There are no right or wrong answers. Just think about what's important to you.
From there, reflect on your level of fulfillment in each of these areas. Then, place a dot on each spoke/line of your wheel of life to symbolize that level of fulfillment. The closer your dot is to the outer circle, the more fulfilled you are. The closer your dot is to the center of the circle, the more focus you need in this area.
Once you’ve placed dots on each spoke, connect them with one continuous line. Ideally, the dots would connect to create a perfect circle, but for most of us, that circle may look a little more like a miniature porcupine staring at you from the page. But don’t freak out! This is absolutely normal. You're not alone.
In the areas where you're less fulfilled, write down two things you can do to find more balance. For example, if your health is out of balance (your dot is closer to the center of the circle), you could commit to going to bed earlier each night; using essential oils and a warm, calming tonic to help you get to sleep; exercising more so that you sleep better at night—the list goes on. The point is that we all know at least two things we could be doing in order to find more balance in our lives. The hard part is actually doing them.
Once you’re done with this exercise, put your wheel up somewhere you will be able to see it and reference it every single day.
When you feel your healthiest and most nourished, you begin to shine, find confidence, and step into your power—the power and vibrancy that are essential to being able to lead others and move mountains. Here we go!
This article was co-authored by Sophie Jaffe and Caley Alyssa, partners in IGNTD, an L.A.-based women’s empowerment program created to help women in transition find clarity to pursue their aspirations, step into their power, and live the life of their dreams.