ORIGIN OF THE WHEEL OF LIFE
In my post titled A FULFILLING LIFE IS ONE OF BALANCE, I offered you a Wheel of Life as one of the tools for assessing your life balance. Variations of the Wheel of Life are a common tool used by life coaches. No one knows the origin of the life coaching Wheel of Life. However, the symbol and the term “Wheel of Life” originated in the Middle Ages. This was a time when, by today’s standards, life was short lived and difficult for most. Back then, the Wheel of Life was carved into the stone walls of cathedrals so that folks could find comfort in viewing them. People believed that the symbols on the wheel were instructions regarding coping with life’s cycle of unavoidable change.
The above image is an example of the Middle Ages Wheel of Life. I will take you on a tour around the above Wheel of Life, using clock hand positions to describe the four points on the wheel.
Sitting at the 12:00 position, you will find what appears to be a queen or king (for the sake of this post, let’s say “queen”). Although it is difficult to detect a smile on our queen, I have read that this figure is usually smiling. She is sitting in the position of HAPPINESS. This represents the part of life’s cycle when things are status quo or going well.
Moving clockwise to the 3:00 position, you will find the queen hanging upside down. It is my understanding that on some wheels you can see a distressed look on her face. She is now hanging in the position of LOSS.
Moving down to the 6:00 position, you will find the queen stripped of her crown and royal clothing. Some wheels depict her stripped naked. This is a symbol of trudging through the messy, uncertain, troublesome and difficult phases of life. The time when one might feel s/he is losing, or has lost, everything s/he finds valuable. This is the position of SUFFERING.
Moving forward to the 9:00 position, the queen is climbing up. This is the position of HOPE. The anticipation and hope that she will return to happiness fuels her climb.
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THE FOUR POSITIONS
We are always in one of these four life positions. Of course, HAPPINESS is our position of choice. Everything we do and experience seems to click when we are in this position. Our routine works perfectly. We feel comfortable and successful. Then life brings change. At this point, we usually move into the position of . . .
Here, we are faced with letting go of our routine, comfort, and sense of normalcy. We are challenged by the desire to regain equilibrium and return to HAPPINESS as quickly as possible. Since life’s wheel does not turn counterclockwise, we sometimes get stuck in the position of LOSS. The only way to return to HAPPINESS on the wheel is to move forward to . . .
This is a time of hard work and transition, where we experience life and allow its natural flow through acceptance. The only way to move forward into HOPE is to move through the SUFFERING position by fully experiencing change and the pain that sometimes comes with it.
Moving through to hope also requires action to create a new routine that will lead to comfort. So, we work hard planning, executing the plan, and revising the plan until our plan begins to work, and HOPE emerges. As our action steps move us forward, we begin to feel capable of achieving . . .
Back to the place where we start regaining the equilibrium we so desire. Things start clicking again, we feel comfortable and successful. Yet, this new normal is different from the last time we sat at the top of life’s wheel.
With each cycle and each new HAPPINESS design that life creates, we receive the gift of growth. I say it is a gift because the one constant in life is change, but we can learn from it. Learning is the gift. Growth is the gift. With growth, HOPE grows stronger and never completely fades as we travel life’s challenging journey. With growth, the trip around life’s wheel can become more comfortable. With growth, the ride becomes smoother as we learn to return more quickly to HAPPINESS.
THE WRITER’S LIFE CYCLE
A writer’s life cycle can be similar to life’s cycle. We are happy when we are writing and dreaming about success. Then something changes. Something happens that leaves us with a sense of . . .
What causes you to lose your writing happiness?
Your writing routine?
Your writing equilibrium?
Once we lose our writing happiness and start feeling a sense of loss, the next step is . . .
What is your writing suffering mode?
Self-doubt, fear, sadness, frustration?
When do you feel like life is dragging you through the messy, uncertain, troublesome and difficult phases of writing?
How do you move through and beyond your suffering?
What are some of your “SNAP OUT OF IT!” methods?
Once we snap out of it, we begin to move into HOPE. HAPPINESS is just a hop, skip and a jump away.
How do you find hope as a writer?
Yay! We are back to status quo, writing, dreaming, and writer’s life HAPPINESS. I know from experience that with each cycle, we can grow. With this growth, we always have a glimmer of hope. The cycle becomes less painful. And the ride back to HAPPINESS is smoother and faster.
SHARING WITH OTHER WRITERS
I would love it if you would share some of your answers to the above questions. What kind of changes set you on the path around the writer’s wheel of life? What are your tricks or tips for getting through the Writer’s Life Cycle?