Thursday, January 9, 2020

Beautiful Living Systems Embrace 7 Focus Areas

Everything is connected--at least that's how we, as women, tend to view situations, experiences, relationships, and so much more.  We tend to understand holistically, which means we "comprehend the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole" (Google definition of 'holistic').   We see the bigger picture and look for understanding as to why and how things are interconnected.  

In an article written by Bob Goldman for the Spring 2017 publication Stanford Medicine entitled, "Two Minds: The Cognitive Differences Between Men and Women," Goldman relates:

        In 1991, just a few years before [Nirao] Shah launched his sex-differences research,
        Diane Halpern, Ph.D., past president of the American Psychological Association, began 
        writing the first edition of her acclaimed academic text, Sex Differences in Cognitive 
Though her idea was largely seen by academics as a futile study, Halpern disagreed and continued her research.  What she found may not be a surprise to us as women but it did open a new branch of research in the scientific world.  Thank you, Dr. Halpern!

As research into the biological differences of male and female brains progressed, an interesting study was conducted in 2014 at the University of Pennsylvania which Goldman also references in his article: 

        The two hemispheres of a woman’s brain talk to each other more than a man’s do... 
        Researchers imaged the brains of 428 male and 521 female youths — an 
        uncharacteristically huge sample — and found that the females’ brains consistently 
        showed more strongly coordinated activity between hemispheres. 
What does this mean?  As women, we tend to think whole-brained--again, we tend to see the bigger picture and look for understanding as to why and how things are connected.  

This is very important to understand when we are talking about how we see our place in the world, how we set new objectives, and how we dream about better lives and opportunities. 

As a woman, I tend to be more empowered about the decisions I make, the reactions I express, and the degree of confidence I feel, when I can see as many angles as possible.

The same is true when I'm looking at my life.  I want to try to cover all my bases.  I want to experience complete and balanced living.  To do this, I need to understand the full spectrum of living.  What are my options?  Where do I need to focus in order to be rebalanced?  How can I live and experience life more fully?

As I pondered the experiences and opportunities I've had so far, seven focus areas developed.  Now, I set my goals, view and develop relationships, choose opportunities, and measure my balance according to these 7 Focus Areas.  I believe that a beautiful life can be a harmonious, orderly, and balanced creation even in the face of unforeseen challenges, uncontrollable circumstances, and painful learning curves.  

My hope is that I can help women access tools which help them to learn, understand, and actualize their capacity to live a beautiful life with greater meaning, purpose, and joy within those seven areas of focus: 

A Private/Inner Life  
  • This includes all things spiritual, emotional, and mental.  
  • It takes into account, our need to ponder and think, process and understand, pray and meditate, visualize and feel, remember and record, correct and reanalyze, renew and refresh.
A Public/Interactive Life  
  • This includes our families, in all their varieties, our social connections on all public levels, and our civic or community connections.  
  • It takes into account our capacity to maintain and strengthen our families as the fundamental unit of society, our manners, and etiquette, our ability to cultivate enriching and renewing relationships, who we allow to mentor and influence us, and the wisdom and courage to create standards of behavior and boundaries that are healthy and soul-affirming.  
Health & Wellness  
  • This includes hygiene and physical care, what we consume, health and fitness, rest and leisure, dress and grooming.  
  • It comprises being physically prepared to handle life’s opportunities and challenges with stamina and confidence.  It also means presenting oneself in the best possible light and loving it!
Personal Environment
  • This includes safety, order, home care and management, physical work environments, care and keeping of my possessions, and organizational skills
  • It takes into account our ability to create and enjoy a physical environment wherever we are which is both protective and renewing.
  • This includes all formal and informal avenues for learning, learning by observing the experiences of others past and present, and through our own experiences both joyful or painful.
  • It takes into account the preparation needed to realize our goals and create new opportunities.  It also includes actively searching for new knowledge from multiple avenues and turning that knowledge into wisdom because we interpret that knowledge appropriately and have gained understanding.
Work and Career
  • This includes preparing, being available to serve within our circle of influence, providing meaningful service, learning how to access and use available resources, networking, creating income for our needs and wants.  It also includes both paid and unpaid use of our time, talents and abilities.
  • It takes into account our capacity to be actively engaged in creating and adding value to others, our world, and ourselves.
Wealth Management & Creation
  • To make money is not to keep money.  This Focus Area includes our abilities to budget, invest, use thrift, protect through insurance, and to be generous through philanthropy, tithing, and volunteerism.
  • It encompasses our ability to secure, manage, and grow the resources necessary to sustain and enrich life.  It assumes an abundant life and mentality.

These are the 7 Focus Areas of Beautiful Living:

I have set personal objectives in each of these areas.  Some of them are extremely simple.  Like my goal for Personal Environment which is: I make my bed before I leave my room 5 days a week. Simple right?  It may seem small but every time I walk into my room and enjoy how tidy and organized it looks I feel like I can make order, I can keep a promise to myself, I can live more beautifully!

My next post will include a planning sheet and instructions which accompany this system.  Until then...

Live Beautifully,

Heather Butler

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