The Wheel of Life
I have an exercise for you to review your own Wheel of Life, based on my training in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition's concept of primary food. It turns out that the food on your plate, what I call secondary food, is not always the most important thing. Primary food overrides it, and includes a fulfilling career, nurturing relationships, an exercise routine you love, and an enriching spiritual practice.
When you are filled up on primary food, regular food becomes secondary.
When your primary food (nourishment) is imbalanced, many different physical and emotional symptoms appear. Some examples are anxiety, depression, eating disorders, weight gain or excessive loss, skin problems, and chronic fatigue.
For example, if your relationships are not fulfilling you, you might turn to food for that emotional satisfaction – a substitute for love.
If you’re not in a loving relationship, you might come home and binge on ice cream when what you really need is hugs and kisses. See where I’m going with this?
If you’re unhappy in your job, you might start to experience anxiety on Sunday nights as you think about the week ahead, or you might snack all day at work to distract yourself and feed your boredom.
If you don’t have a spiritual practice, you may start to feel very lost and ungrounded and look to other people to fill that void. For example, you may start engaging with a lot of people sexually to feel grounded and fulfilled, rather than looking inside yourself for that sense of peace and fulfillment.
Exercise, another main area of primary food, can totally change your life. When you move your body regularly in a way that feels good to you, you greatly reduce the risk of depression, obesity, and stress disorders.
The Wheel of Life includes all the sub-areas of the main components of primary food, and it’s a great discovery tool to find out which areas are out of balance so you can take action to improve on them.
The first step here is becoming more mindful. Once you see your weak areas and strong areas, you can get honest with yourself about what needs to happen for you to create the life of your dreams, and then take action and get the support you need to get there.
Remember that wherever you are in your life now is ok, but there’s never a bad time to make a change, and there’s always another level you can reach.