Tag Archive: Personal Growth

What is The Wheel?

If you read the blogs on my biography, you can see where the concept of “The Wheel” came from. It’s basically what I call a set of practices designed with the intention of nourishing all of a person. It includes the totality of a person. The way it does this is to include five different kinds of practice. One way to look at it is nourishing or exercising different bodies. In my case, I nourish my physical body by eating healthy foods and getting daily physical exercise. I nourish my subtle body by practicing Qi Gong and restorative Yoga. I nourish my emotional body by practicing opening my heart, kindness, and forgiveness. I nourish my creative/cognitive body by practicing writing. And finally I practice sitting meditation which aims at including and nourishing all of these bodies. Meditation, I consider to be a meta-practice or a primordial, “ground” practice.

The idea is that most if not all beneficial practices fall into the above 5 categories: physical, vital, emotional, creative, and The Whole. And if you pick five practices that nourish the 5 categories, and practice them every day, you, in your totality, are going to be increasingly healthy and satisfied. I call  engaging in a set of practices like this, “turning The Wheel,” because I’ve found it has wheel like properties. Once it is turning, it acts like a stabilizing, gyroscopic flywheel. Like a flywheel it stores energy. And once its going it doesn’t take much energy at all to keep it going.

Here are the basic instructions for being happy and healthy: “Love. Repeat.” That’s pretty much all we have to do. We all do this. And all of us have some happiness and some health in our lives or else we wouldn’t still be here (with no love at all, we would soon perish.) But typically what happens is that we don’t love in a balanced way. We don’t love in a comprehensive way. We leave out big parts of ourselves. We might even hate or fear parts of ourselves.

The Wheel emerged as an answer to questions like: how do we most efficiently and effectively Love-Repeat? How do we Love-Repeat in a way that nourishes our totality? What is the simplest, most effortless, most efficient way to be satisfied? To be fulfilled? To be whole, complete, centered? To be resilient? To be physically fit and healthy? To be full of vitality?. To have a big, happy heart with lots of healthy relationships? To be living out our unique destinies, loving our work/play/art? To be successful in all these areas!

Basically, The Wheel aims at generating and focusing a whole lot of love.

It’s a Love Dynamo!


Two years ago, I went on a week long silent meditation retreat where a form of Qi Gong was also taught. On the first day, I knew I had found the next practice that I needed, a practice that would nourish and cultivate my vitality.

After the retreat, I began to practice Qi Gong every day. At some point during the retreat, I really got it, like a revelation, that daily practice is truly key. Harnessing the diurnal rhythm is how to most efficiently and effectively establish and grow practices that cause you to thrive. For example, ten minutes of exercise every day is going to work a lot better than three twenty minute sessions a week. When you engage in a practice every day, it quickly becomes automatic, like brushing your teeth. (More on this later.)

To the daily Qi Gong, I added physical exercise, emotional/relational work, and meditation. In order to fit these sessions into the day, I made them nice and short: 10 minutes each.

I was feeling good. I was beginning to thrive. And yet, there was still something missing! I hadn’t taken my passion, working with synergistic practices, out into the world. I had not created a livelihood based on inspiring and helping people to thrive by engaging in healthful practices.  I had recently completed a Waldorf Teacher Training program. There I learned about how regular artistic practice is not only healing, but it develops the capacity to manifest and show up in the world. During those three years I did a lot of art. It became clear that daily art practice was the fourth spoke of The Wheel. I began to write every day. A new book and my new livelihood emerged from that practice.

After doing these five different kinds of practice every day for a year, I saw that this circuit had wheel like qualities. So, I called it “The Wheel.”

I entered into that daily turning of The Wheel, knowing that it would nourish me and bring health, because I had already experienced this with the various practices. What was new was shortening the sessions and doing all five kinds of exercises every day. I entered into this with an experimental attitude. How well would it work? After month or two, I was seeing that this was a very powerful and surprising easy approach. Once the Wheel was turning it accumulated momentum. It required very little effort to keep it spinning.  It centered and anchored the day. I was also struck with how efficient it was. Relatively minimal effort and time yielded maximum beneficial effects. In other words, I was becoming increasingly happy and healthy with ease.

How cool is that? I’d been engaged in various kinds of personal growth work for decades, and it was rarely easy. This is the central message I want to share that it is possible to heal and become increasing healthy and happy, easily and enjoyably.

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