Life Balance Mandala - A Fun Way to Check In

LifeBalanceMandala.jpg

There's a common coaching tool known as the Wheel of Life (not to be confused with the Tibetan Wheel of Life) that's used to take a snapshot of how you perceive the balance in your life on the day you complete the exercise. Lately I've enjoyed making mandalas in the transition time I typically enjoy between work and the activities of the evening and I thought it would be fun to apply the wheel-of-life concept in an artful way to the creation of a mandala.

A Wheel of Life is typically a circle divided into several pie sections with each section labeled with one area of life—career, health, recreation, romance, spirituality and so forth. A series of concentric circles are created at equal distances from the center—usually 10—with "1" being the innermost circle and "10" being the outside circle. The practice is to mark in each section of the pie what level of satisfaction you're feeling in that life area, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the least satisfied and 10 being perfectly satisfied. The finished chart is simply intended to give you a visual of what areas in your life you're more or less happy with in that moment. It's not meant as a judgement of any sort; it's just a tool to allow you to see the overall picture. And since mandalas are great meditation tools, I was in the mood to explore these areas of my life in a meditative way.

Would you like to give one a try yourself?

Using a compass, draw a circle on your chosen surface. I used watercolor paper and my circle had a diameter of 4" (10cm). Divide the circle into 8 sections. You could make each section equal in size, as I did, or—it's your mandala—if you like, make the sections different sizes. Create a series of concentric circles beginning in the center and working out. I wanted to use a scale of 1 to 5, so I made four circles and used the outside circle shape as the fifth circle. If you want a scale of 1 to 10, you'd need to draw nine additional circles. I kept it simple. Label the sections lightly in pencil with the areas of your life you'd like to look at. I decided on: Emotional Wellbeing, Contribution, Fun, Meaningful Relationships, Financial Abundance, Body Wellness, Work and Spirituality. The categories are completely up to you. You could even make a mandala for one area in your life—creative practice, work, family, goals . . . you get the idea, and then create subcategories for that area.

Using a compass, draw a circle on your chosen surface. I used watercolor paper and my circle had a diameter of 4" (10cm). Divide the circle into 8 sections. You could make each section equal in size, as I did, or—it's your mandala—if you like, make the sections different sizes. Create a series of concentric circles beginning in the center and working out. I wanted to use a scale of 1 to 5, so I made four circles and used the outside circle shape as the fifth circle. If you want a scale of 1 to 10, you'd need to draw nine additional circles. I kept it simple.

Label the sections lightly in pencil with the areas of your life you'd like to look at. I decided on: Emotional Wellbeing, Contribution, Fun, Meaningful Relationships, Financial Abundance, Body Wellness, Work and Spirituality. The categories are completely up to you. You could even make a mandala for one area in your life—creative practice, work, family, goals . . . you get the idea, and then create subcategories for that area.

Now decide how you'd like to visually score each section of the pie. For the example on the left, I put a small dot in the center of each section at the point along my 1 to 5 scale. This became the point of a petal for each area. For the example on the right, again I made little dots at the points I rated each area. These dots became the tops of circles that fit within the wedges. So the areas I rated a 5 were the largest and touched the outside circle while the areas I felt less satisfied with had smaller circles nearer the center. 

Now decide how you'd like to visually score each section of the pie. For the example on the left, I put a small dot in the center of each section at the point along my 1 to 5 scale. This became the point of a petal for each area. For the example on the right, again I made little dots at the points I rated each area. These dots became the tops of circles that fit within the wedges. So the areas I rated a 5 were the largest and touched the outside circle while the areas I felt less satisfied with had smaller circles nearer the center. 

Choose colors (intuitively if you can) to represent each life area and work with each section of your mandala respectively. I used watercolor paints. Because I wanted to remember what each petal represented for me on the day I made this mandala, I wrote it alongside the petals. 

Choose colors (intuitively if you can) to represent each life area and work with each section of your mandala respectively. I used watercolor paints. Because I wanted to remember what each petal represented for me on the day I made this mandala, I wrote it alongside the petals. 

Work with your shapes, colors and sections in whatever way feels right to you. Just as you might date a journal entry, you might want to write the date somewhere on your finished mandala. I wrote the date on the back.

Work with your shapes, colors and sections in whatever way feels right to you. Just as you might date a journal entry, you might want to write the date somewhere on your finished mandala. I wrote the date on the back.

Remember to not think of this process as anything more than a snapshot of how you are in this moment. It doesn't need to be an indication of areas you "should" work on; it's simply a way for you to connect with what's going on inside you.

I'd love to see what you create if you feel like sharing. Just use the hashtag #lifebalancemandala.

And if there's any way I can support you in those areas of your life that fill you with purpose and allow you to share your message with others, drop me a note; I'd love to hear from you!

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