Life Areas: Separating the Inseparable

I won’t be posting a video today (and most likely tomorrow, either, unless Panadol tea is a miracle cure), due to an unwelcome cold and an unholy runny nose. Instead, I thought I’d address a couple of issues that were raised by a couple of blogger buddies of mine on the topic of life balance.

In this post I’d like to address a point my friend Linda Gabriel made in the comments section of my 9th Video on how the concept of “life balance” can be limiting, because

… it presumes there are parts of our life that are separate. Even though I just spoke of different “areas” of life I understand that’s an illusion. Life is not comparmentalized. If you try to find balance in the air in a balloon, you can squeeze the air from one end to another, but it’s still all the same air!

This is an extremely important observation to make in order to approach life balance in a healthy way.

The seven life areas don’t exist in isolation, nor do we experience them separately. Our Spiritual life area permeates everything we do. Our Physical body is with us wherever we go. When we choose to be alone we’re influencing our Social life, as well.

There’s one reality. And everything in it is interconnected.

Separations in Academia

Our education might have masked this truth from us.

When we go from a biology class, to a physics class, to an English class, we might have lost sight of how they are connected, and what they relate to. All academic subjects refer to things in reality, and reality is one.

Living things don’t exist in a vacuum. They are influenced by the physical laws of nature. The English language has a history that threads many cultures and civilizations, and how we pronounce words is influenced by our biological make-up, and the noises we are able to make with our mouths.

There are always overlaps between academic subjects, because they deal with matters that aren’t separated in the real world. To truly understand these academic subjects, we must accept what they refer to, and that reality is one, and indivisible.

So, why speak of life areas when they overlap in so many ways?

Every academic subject has a focal point.

The focal point of biology is life and living organisms. In chemistry it’s chemicals and their properties. In geography it’s the Earth and its features.

These 3 subjects are interconnected. But when it comes to studying biology, for example, you will look at chemicals and the Earth’s features, and how they relate to life, because that’s the focal point of the subject.

Separations in Life

When it comes to our life areas, we shouldn’t think of them as being separate. Instead, we should acknowledge that each life area has a different focal point. It’s concerned with certain human needs that we can identify as being of a Spiritual/Intellectual/Psychological/Social/Professional/Recreational/Physical nature.

How would you classify prayer, meditation, and religion?

How would you classify nutrion and exercise?

I suspect you can think of obvious life areas to which these topics belong. This isn’t to say that no other life area will play a role, but that some topics can be identified strongly with one of the 7 life areas.

Why Life Areas Matter

But what’s the benefit to maintaining this separation? Shouldn’t we lump all human needs under the single category of “Human Needs”?

While we have many needs to fulfill, our lifestyle may not encourage us to care for all our needs. When we focus on our work and neglect our relationships, or our health, it means that we’re not approaching life in a healthy way.

The seven life areas help to identify the different types of needs we should be aware of for healthy, happy living, and develop the awareness to continuously care for all these needs.

Precisely because the life areas can’t be separated. And they all play an important role in our lives.

Life balance is an important topic because we don’t tend to approach life in a healthy and holistic way, and need to be reminded of the life areas we must care for.

In tomorrow’s post I’ll look at a point raised by another friend of mine, so stay tuned for that! 🙂

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