Spring is the perfect time to recalibrate and renew!
No matter what we use as criteria when it comes to experiencing balance in our lives, we have certain needs that need to be met and the more balanced our fulfillment of these needs is, the smoother our boat will sail and the closer to balance and true happiness we will get.
IIN refers to it as primary foods
Maslow called it a hierarchy of needs
Tony Robbins calls it a wheel
Others call it a pie
Again, whatever we call it, it all comes down to balance. If our life is not in balance then we are in trouble.
Self Actualization (morality, creativity, problem solving, learning, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts
Esteem (self esteem, confidence, respect) Love and belonging (friendship, family and intimacy) Safety (security of body, health, family, property, employment, resources and morality)
Physiological (breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion)
Everyone can rank these in a different order of importance. Conversely, we can each rank them differently at different times in our lives. It is certain that when one of the above is lacking and another is over emphasized that we become out of balance.
Tony Robbins does an exercise with a wheel representing career, physical, spiritual and financial. We have to rank each by “how it is going.” Visually we are able to see, for example, that we are doing great financially and physically, but perhaps not spiritually or career-wise. If we are out of balance, our wheel will not roll. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition calls it “primary foods.” Outside our triangle of nutrition is a circle that consists of relationship, spirituality, career and physical activity.
The truth is, we can fix what we eat. We can eat more greens and get rid of processed foods, but if we don’t take care of the other areas of our life, we will still not experience balanced health and happiness. You can be completely healthy with your diet yet still feel imbalanced. I have found this to be true in my own life when I looked in the mirror after having addressed all of the things that were wrong with me physically due to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and still didn’t feel completely well or have any sense of true happiness.
I eventually learned that there was an underlying emotional component to healing that also had to be addressed in order for me to achieve true balance in my life. Sometimes dealing with those things can require a deeper level of self-care than we are physically capable of when we are sick. The body will give us signals when it’s ready to deal with it on a deeper level however, it's up to us to listen and take action. If you have a chronic illness and you've found the secret combination to being able to live symptom free like I have, you know almost immediately when things become unbalanced and can quickly switch gears to bring things back in line. For others, who may not know what having a balanced life feels like, it might take crashing and burning completely before becoming aware of just how unbalanced they've become. The latter scenario is how the disease process begins and it's unfortunate we don't learn to listen to our bodies and seek balance sooner.
To help you see the different categories more clearly, take a look at the following basic needs and ways of finding fulfillment. After you assess where you are in these different areas I challenge you to find ways to sneak things in so that you can lead a more balanced, happy life. I also encourage you to revisit these over time and make it a habit of checking in and rebalance as things change in your life.
Self Actualization (morality, creativity, problem solving, learning, lack of prejudice and an acceptance of facts)
• Prayer, Thoughtfulness, Meditation
Esteem (self esteem, confidence, respect)
Love and Belonging (friendship, family and intimacy)
• Relationship building
Safety (security of body, health, family, property, employment, resources and morality)
• Environmental safety
• Health & well being
• Job Security
• Career growth
• Financial empowerment
• Environmental preservation
• Ethics and morality
Physiological (breathing, environmental, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion)
• Clean air, meditation, breathing exercise
• Environmental impact on health and well being through design
• PH Balance
• Losing weight
• Better Digestion
• Super foods
• Raw Nutrition
• Exercise and fitness
• Water, the amount and cleanliness
• Intimacy as a physical need
• Amount and quality of sleep
• Bodily function, sight, hearing, pain
• Illness and healing