A Life Balance Tool
By Tracie Hiemstra, 2001
Choices can be overwhelming, confusing, and elusive. When you find yourself being bombarded with too many choices, divide them into two categories: Energy Inflow or Energy Outflow.
The Life Balance Scale© can be a useful tool to remind ourselves to create energy, not just use it. Working from the bottom, our choices are based upon our beliefs, culture, history, instinct, values, and vision. From these we intentionally create harmony between inflow and outflow of energy.
Creating Energy Inflow is more challenging than distributing it, primarily because we tend to think that it is selfish to care for ourselves. In truth, if we do not, we eventually collapse. There are four categories to consider when creating inflow of energy:
- Spiritual Growth: may be experienced through people, events, scripture, the natural world, individual experience, inspiration, your inner world, society, institutions, insight, imagination, reason, speculation, relationships, emotions, order or disorder. You may approach your spiritual path through experiences that are social, solitary, practical, literal, symbolic, metaphysical, analytical, abstract, personal, immediate, systematic, and/or of-the-moment. Spirituality is not necessarily a religious expression, although it may be for some people. It could include meditation, affirmations, praying, attendance at spiritually based functions (church services, retreats, seminars, classes, trainings, meditations), or any other method you might use in the expression and expansion of your spirituality.
- Physical Growth: is taking care of your body and your appearance both internally and externally. It is paying attention to all bodily functions: diet, touching needs, sleep, physical activities (such as exercise, medical/dental care).
- Emotional Growth: is taking care of your feelings. It is your intuitive self, where you form nonintellectual, subjective responses. It is giving yourself permission to take care of yourself. It is being aware of your feelings.
- Mental Growth: is your thinking function used to expand knowledge and mental well-being. It is the ability to learn and reason; the capacity for knowledge and understanding. It is your left-brain linear thinking and your right-brain creative thinking combined and could include mind-stimulating activities such as reading, writing; becoming more computer literate; attending classes, seminars, workshops or other intellectual pursuits.