Personal Growth – Wake Up Call

In the dim light of my home office, I stared at the paper before me: a sketch of a wheel. Suddenly all my time and energy invested in personal growth seemed…pointless! 

My wheel should be round and smooth, rolling effortlessly through life’s challenges, but this wheel was jagged, fragmented, and uneven.

Each spoke of the wheel represented an area of my life. And each spoke was fractured like brittle branches snapped in a storm.

Soulful Doodles: A Desert of Emotions

Staring at the ugly, irregular spokes, I doodled a desert scene around it, complete with cacti, dry, cracked ground, and a misshapen lump that would have been a cow skull if I had any artistic capabilities.

My soul felt dry.



My body felt lethargic.


Worn out.

The Wheel of Life

I felt like I had been riding on this dilapidated wheel for ages, feeling every bump and jolt but unaware of how damaged it was.

Each irregular wheel represented an area I felt was necessary for my life. One poke stood for Physical health. Others described mental health and environmental health. Sexuality, creativity, spirituality, relationships, and life’s purpose were the others. 

Some spokes were longer than others, but none were complete.

Ideally, when you do the wheel exercise that my own coach had just finished walking me through, every area of our life is balanced. The wheel is a perfect circle. But when one or more areas are lacking or in excess, the wheel becomes jagged and uneven, symbolizing the imbalances we face in our journey of self-improvement and personal growth.

I pushed the paper aside and went to drown my sorrows in my fourth cup of coffee of that morning as if more caffeine would somehow jumpstart my exhausted body, and I’d be back on the road to living the dream.

Drowning in the Chaos

I had over 300 self-help books on my shelf, each of which I’d read at least once and many several times over. 

I had endless podcast episodes filling my ears and hundreds of saved videos, notes, and articles on bettering each aspect of life. And yet, my wheel looked more like a toddler’s attempt at abstract art. 

How was this possible? 

I wanted to crumble the paper or use it as a prop in a comic tragedy entitled “Self-Help Hoarder.”

I wasn’t lazy.

I work hard. I woke up early and worked late. I felt like I was always working.

So why was my wheel so jagged?

I was a certified holistic health coach, for god’s sake.

I knew the importance of each spoke and owned about 20 books on improving each one.

So why was my wheel such a mess?

Since the 18 months my daughter had been in the hospital, my life had slipped into general chaos. Postpartum depression is a real thing, too. And so I had not been keeping up with my workouts or healthy cooking.

Isn’t it odd how stress can make us lose parts of ourselves we love most? We keep the responsibilities and the chores, but we lose the rituals, habits, and play that make life fun and rewarding.

The Power of Starting Small

My coach – who had guided me through the wheel project – encouraged me to choose a single spoke I could work on and see changes in and work on that.

I knew about the wheel. I’d done similar exercises with my clients, helping them regain wellness as gentle improvement in one area magically bled into improvements in others.

The interconnectedness of our lives is magical.

I’d seen it work for others, and now I needed a dose of my own medicine.

I chose health.

Sure enough, just as I had seen work many times on others, focusing on just one area of improvement (eating healthy, nourishing foods) began to energize me.

The domino effect worked. Soon, I was working out again and walking. As my physical health improved, my brain felt much more energized, and I started meditating and working on my projects more. It wasn’t overnight, but slowly, for the first time since my daughter was born, I felt I had control over my life, health, and energy levels.

As I began to get out of survival mode and began to love myself again, I was able to turn my focus to others, so my relationships improved, too.

The Speed Trap of Modern Life

It’s easy to get stuck in overwhelm.

A woman living unconsciously, surrounded by chaos and

You already know about 1000 things you should be doing.

You know you should be eating better, sleeping better, exercising more, working less, and stressing less.

There is an epidemic of unhappiness in the world. Deep inside, we know that we have taken a wrong turn along the way.

Life is going faster and faster, and the things that matter are left behind.

We all have that mental image picture of an ideal life. We all have a fantasy,

A life where we spend moments sipping tea, looking out over a sunrise, lingering over wine with close friends, and unhurried walks in the woods.

We promise ourselves that soon we will get things under control. But life slides by, responsibilities change but never go away, and the speed at which we move through our modern life goes faster and faster.

We are more isolated than ever before

We are less happy than ever before

So what can we do to change this?

I’ve learned from experience that it doesn’t have to be complicated.

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, nor does it even require you to eschew money and move to an off-grid compound (as appealing as that can sound!)

The Ripple Effect of Wellness

Start small. 

Pick a spoke.

And focus only on making small improvements on that one spoke. 

Journal each night on your successes or on what didn’t work. 

In the morning, plan the actions to improve that one wheel spoke you chose and watch as the energy opens up in your body. Care and attention can unblock energy we didn’t know was blocked.

One day, I promise you – you will wake up with the thought, “I feel like…”

Fill in that blank with meditating, exercising, going on a date with my partner, hiking.. whatever it is. And when you feel that – make it happen.

Don’t let busyness crowd it out.

Your body is innately intelligent.

When we learn to trust our bodies and listen to our deep desires and impulses, we will naturally move toward a state of health and happiness.

Don’t believe me?

Think of a time you sat on the couch and flipped on the TV, but then a random thought entered your mind: “I should go on a walk.” The TV was already blasting the latest drama news, and your brain didn’t explore the walkthrough further. Still, the impulse was there – part of getting healthy is noticing these impulses when they come and focusing on them.

Rediscovering Joy: Trusting the Impulses

Allowing the domino effect to work in your favor by starting with one spoke of your wheel and trusting your eminently powerful and beautiful body and mind’s innate intelligence will guide you to ultimate health and wellness.

At first, if you are like me, it feels so weird to trust yourself.

Since childhood, we are told to distrust our body – impulses like hunger are questioned as we measure our caloric intake and tell our body it can’t be hungry and to shut up.

When you let go of that programming and learn to trust yourself, you can begin to find your natural state of health, and your wheel, like mine, will become smoother.

Your Wheel, Your Journey

If you want to see how your wheel is doing – click here to schedule a free assessment with me.