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From Jackie with love: Circle of Life

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By Jackie Rainford Corcoran

Explore Big Sky Health Columnist

If you’ve ever had a wobbly bicycle wheel, you’ve probably brought it to your bike tuner to have it trued. To true something means to make it even, symmetrical or level.

Here is a simple exercise that helps true our lives. It measures areas that are out of balance and encourages us to make adjustments that create a smoother ride. It’s called the “Circle of Life” and is provided by my health coaching school, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. All students are asked to complete it in their first few weeks of admission.

Before completing it, I knew my circle would look more like a starfish. Still, I was surprised when spirituality came up as the area most in need of attention. This prompted me to ask questions like, “What does spirituality mean to me?” and, “How do I want to expand it in my life?”

A new journey started from there. I began incorporating meditation into my day, attended workshops at the Dharma Center in Bozeman and read books on spirituality.

My hope is that you take 3-5 minutes to fill out your Circle of Life and see what you discover:circle-of-life

1. Place a dot on each line (or spoke) to represent how satisfied you are in that area. A dot in the center means absolute dissatisfaction and a dot on the outer circle means you wouldn’t change a thing. Dots in the middle indicate that you’re somewhere in between.

2. Now connect the dots. Most of us end up with something that looks non-symmetrical. That’s ok. This is where we get the juicy information.

3. Determine where and how to spend your time and energy in order to create a more balanced and fulfilled life.

Before sitting down to write this column, I did the exercise a second time (two years later). I compared the two and found that while I have made adjustments to bring more spirituality into my life, it still looks more like a star than a circle. That said, I now have new questions and new solutions on how to further true my life.

Let me know how it goes…

Jackie Rainford Corcoran is an IIN Certified Holistic Health Coach, a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, public speaker and health activist. Contact her at, or find more at

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