Checking My Compass

There are seasons, and there are seasons of change. Right now, I’m in a season of change.

After teaching at UC every Fall for five years, next Wednesday evening will be my last class. My small-group coaching program, Memoir Mastery, opens for enrollment tomorrow. (Yesterday, by the time you read this.)

I like to check my bearings in seasons of change, sort of like making sure my car is ready for a long road trip.

The idea of the Compass model came from a book I was reading, but these ideas are in many other books. This book had words but no illustrations, so I made one.

Visuals help me learn, remember, and do.

This is my Compass:

A line drawing of a circle with four arrows coming from it, in the four directions of the compass, with subheads: Spirit-Spiritually Aligned, Body-Physically Energized, Mind-Mentally Focused, Soul-Emotionally Connected

To evaluate each dimension, I don’t give each one a rating, like 4 stars or 6 on a 10-point scale. That’s too left-brain for this process. I want something more right-brain, and better yet, nonverbal (the limbic system is nonverbal).

This method works for the whole brain.

Step 1: Start with any of the four dimensions. Consider your life currently along this dimension. Give it some thought, but also let yourself feel it. What does it feel like?

Step 2: Find an object that represents the current condition of this dimension in your life.

Step 3: Consider the questions below. Here’s an example:

Dimension: Mind

Goal: Mentally focused

Object: the Big Ben travel alarm clock in my bathroom.

Describe the object: The clock is a little old and it makes a ticking sound, and it’s a little dusty on top with a few errant splatters of toothpaste. (I know this because I cleaned it a couple of days ago, but it wasn’t the cleaned version that came to mind.)

Why does this object represent this dimension? My mind feels untended, noisy, like it needs a good cleaning. Part of the problem is that it is filled with the sludge of bronchitis. But the bigger problem is I’ve been cramming my days with Mind activities. Grade papers! Get ready for the next class! Get Memoir Mastery set to go on Teachable!

Yes, UC is ending and MM is launching, but there will always be more of whatever comes next.

What’s so funny about my mind is that it thinks the solution to too much thinking is more thinking.


The only way to bring balance to the Compass is via the other dimensions.

Chewing the Cud of Good

trees, hard to see through the fog

Thankful for healthcare providers.



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