I was staring at my life wheel; a circle divided into eight sections, each slice representing an area of my life that I wanted to measure. I had listed: family, friends, relationship, spirituality, finances, me-time, dreams and career. As I went through each section I rated them on a scale from 1-10 in terms of how fulfilled I felt in each of those areas. My answers ranged from a 3 in spirituality to an 8 for family. When my coach asked me where I would like to focus my time, I choked on the words that I knew I needed to say and fought myself to admit. I wanted to work on my relationship and my dreams, both which were ranked at 4.
My relationship was still new, almost three months old, and the first time in a year and a half that I felt like I was putting my heart out there again. I already recognized that I was doing the obvious errors of comparing this one to my past, but even with that recurring reminder, something didn’t feel complete.
My coach then asked, “what could you do to raise the level of fulfillment in your relationship?”
I took a moment to respond. Not because I needed time to think, but because I was too afraid to say the words out loud. “I need to decide if this is the relationship for me. I need to seriously meditate on it.”
Since incorporating regular meditation into my day, I now go to that time moment when I can fully concentrate on my big decisions. In this case, I asked my heart what was preventing me from feeling completely fulfilled. It said my dreams and my relationship were not in alignment. My relationship was not fully supporting all my dreams. Not that I was with someone who wasn’t supportive, he was, he loved my writing, and encouraged me to continue to build my coaching practice. But for the really lofty dreams, like living in another country and backpacking South America while on maternity leave, we weren’t align. And although maybe with time, and as we got to know each other more, he might change his mind, but that wasn’t enough for me. I needed to know that my crazier dreams were at least a possibility and not a “no”.
There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice. – Simon Sinek
After taking another week to decide if this was the right option for me I ended up breaking up with him, and followed that up with a couple of weeks wondering if I made the right decision.
I kept myself busy working more on my writing, including a big decision to write another life-consuming book. I took a weekend self-improvement course. I continued to study my coaching course. I made some big business decisions to hire someone to build me a new website and hire a virtual assistant to manage my social media. I was truly focusing on me. Then I met with my coach again.
As our session was ending, she asked me to pull out my previous life wheel. I completely forgot about it. And using the same pie-pieces I re-ranked each area. Not every area rose. My family dropped to a 7. My relationship, now that I was single, rose to a 5. My dreams gain two points to end at 6. Everything else was at a 7. My coach then asked me, “what do you notice?”
I could have answered on each pie-piece, but what really stood out for me was I was balanced. Everything feels right. I didn’t realize that such a sight change, and one that I spent almost a month doubting, actually was a really amazing change for me. Sometimes it takes a moment to visually see the entire forest from the trees; and to know the slight (and big) changes that we make are made with intention, to make our lives better. Upon that realization, I no longer doubted my decision that ending my relationship was the best thing for me. I have proof. And for now I continue to work on my dreams knowing that everything in my life is interconnected and when the time comes again for another relationship, I have a new baseline for each area of my entire life to maintain first.
What areas in your life would you like to focus on improving?
Kim Orlesky is an Executive Life Coach inspiring daily joy. She is a world traveller, author, one-time marathoner, adventurer, poor golfer, inconsistent yogi and puppy parent to her Weimaraner.