As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I have been attending a series of webinars led by Andrew Morris, entitled "The Holistic Translator". Andrew gave the fourth webinar several weeks ago, but I must admit that I have only just caught up – moving house and a very busy August have meant time seems to have disappeared in front of my very eyes. Anyway, I took the opportunity on this very wet and dreary Bank Holiday Monday to watch the webinar, and I felt compelled to write a new blog post to share my immediate thoughts.
The fourth webinar was entitled The Seven Spheres of Life, and this is a concept championed by John Demartini. While Dr Demartini is a little too American and OTT for me (no offence intended!), this theory really struck a chord. He argues that all our day-to-day activities fall into one of seven categories, or spheres, and we each have a unique way of approaching these spheres, meaning we each have a different set of priorities. These values are a snapshot of our life as it is right now, and the order of these values can and will change over time.
In the webinar, Andrew encouraged us all to analyse how we organise our space, and how we spend our time, energy and money to determine our own personal hierarchy of values. After some contemplation, I thought I'd share my order, as it is today:
1. Familial: My husband and I are temporarily living with my parents until our new house is ready, which naturally means the familial sphere is pretty high up my list. But I've put it right at the top of my list because I would also include our dog Sally as a key member of the family, and I am always happy to get out of bed in the morning to go and take her for a walk. I invest a great deal of time, energy and money in Sally, but she is worth every penny. She also takes up a huge amount of space, with no less than three beds scattered around the house!
2. Vocational: My career and nurturing my small translation business are also very important to me. My current office is in a spare bedroom, but in our new house, I will have a dedicated study and I'm already thinking of the best way to maximise storage space, so I have enough room for all my dictionaries and teaching materials. Translation is my passion and although it took a while, I am really glad I got to the bottom of why I'm a translator.
3. Physical: Until May 2014, the physical sphere may have even been higher up my list, as I used to play netball at least twice, if not three, times a week, as well as spending hours volunteering every week. But when several injuries finally caught up with me, I had to have a knee operation which wasn't as successful as I'd hoped, and I have been forced to retire. This meant the physical sphere slipped a long way down my list for a few months, but Sally has changed all that, and we regularly walk 5 miles a day – yesterday, we walked around Eyebrook Reservoir, a local trout fishing reservoir that is also popular with twitchers, and is mercifully flat! I am also now able to do water-based activities, so I go to aquafit classes and swim a couple of times a week. Sport and exercise have always played a really important role in my life, and my husband always tells me to go and do some form of exercise when I'm getting grumpy and stressed out!
4. Spiritual: While I am not a religious person, I still find myself nurturing my spiritual sphere every day – walking, cooking, listening to music, singing and playing the piano are all activities that both excite and relax me. I hadn't realised how much I missed playing the piano (it's been kept at my parents' house for the last few years), but yesterday I found myself measuring walls in our new house to work out where it would fit. If that's not an indication of what's important to me, I don't know what is!
5. Financial: This is a bit of a tricky sphere, as I'm sure it boomerangs its way from the top of the list to the bottom (and back again), which is probably not the best approach when running your own business! But for now, my finances are on an even keel and I keep an eye on the accounts to make sure I'm not going to run into too many difficulties.
6. Intellectual: For me, this is very closely related to the spiritual sphere, yet is still rather distinct. I would include reading a book or the newspaper in this sphere, and I do read every evening before falling asleep, but I don't necessarily read the most intellectually stimulating books, so that's why this one is right down near the bottom.
7. Social: This sphere has taken a bit of a dive to the bottom of my list since moving house, but it does not mean I am neglecting it completely! We have made some new friends in the village, and I am planning on attending a couple of ITI networking events in the next few weeks, so hopefully this sphere will start moving back up the list.
I'd love to know how everyone else assesses their spheres, but for now, it's my mum's birthday and it's time to put my chef's thinking cap on and come up with something yummy for dinner this evening. As well as having the odd cuddle with a rather sleepy Sally!