Until I learnt to coach, there was only one kind of “wheel” in my life: the chakras, or energy centres of the body, which are sometimes visualised as whirling wheels. As a Reiki practitioner, or energy healer, I channel much of the energy through the major chakras. My coaching course introduced me to another kind of wheel: the wheel of life.
Coming towards the end of the course, the wheel of life was the perfect finish. It gave me a tool to move forward in my own life in a systematic way – as well as being a concept that can be used with coaching clients.
When I first saw it, I thought it was no big deal. I consider myself a fairly self-ware and quite purposeful person who knows where she is headed. I have a very good idea where I want to be in 5 years. But as I looked further ahead, and especially as I looked 20 years into the future I realized my priorities would need to change with – shall we say – advancing middle age!
Of course, the issues will be different for people at different stages of life – someone young may want to plan ahead to get that perfect job, or start their own business, or start a family. For me it became more about quality of life in the later part of life.
The things that are most important to me today, such as my peace of mind and work satisfaction, will likely remain so into my 70s. But what about health – will that deteriorate over time and can I do something now to minimize that decline? How about financial stability – how will I ensure that if and when the years push me to reduce work? And if I want all these things to be able to live well in the long term, what do I need to do today?
These questions really got me thinking. And then a couple more arose – what about safeguarding my mental health and enjoying a sense of community, which studies show is a large part of one’s happiness in later years?
Some of these questions led me to change my 9 top priorities; others got me focusing on what I need to do right away to get where I want to be 20 years hence. In addition to financial stability and a sense of community, I added physical health and new learning to the list – physical health because this needs more care as one grows older and new learning to keep the mind agile.
Working backwards from 20 years into the future, I came up with a list of actions I need to take now, within the next 5 years, and so on. And I am happy to say I have already started the journey. I have joined a holistic health program to bring my diabetes under control, I am working on creating a Reiki community that will help all members of the group, including myself. The individual members may change over the years, but the community, bound together by a shared interest in healing, will surely stay. And I am creating a habit of signing up for a new course every quarter There are other things on my list to create good possibilities for myself over the next 20 years, and I fully intend to get to them too. Of course, I do not know what life has planned for my future, but I know I am doing what I can to make it comfortable and fun.
Pamposh Dhar is a coach, counsellor, Reiki Master and meditation teacher based in Singapore. She is founder of Terataii. Pamposh is also a writer and editor, having worked for many years as a journalist and public communication specialist.