The perspective one gains from writing a book is almost as exquisite as a river view which is why I feel everyone should be writing a book. After I had written my first, some potential writers asked me to help them write their life story, I desperately wanted to help them. I tried and failed. Over the years, I've discovered that these novice writers get stuck and stop writing around chapter four - around the time when life gets too complicated to organize. If only there was a simple way to organize life.
Later in life when I was given another opportunity to teach life writing, I remembered my visit with an elder who described to me an indigenous medicine wheel that was divided into four parts - body, heart, mind and spirit
The concept of four parts is as old as recorded time. Hippocrates in 400 BC referred to them as the four Humors, Aristotle as four sources of happiness, Eric Fromm as four orientations, Keirsey Bates as four temperaments and eventually Stephen Covey brought them back into business modernity as the four dimensions, the quadrants of body, heart, mind and spirit.
It's biblically based as well. In 1406 BC, Moses referred to them. “What doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear (respect) the LORD thy God, (mind) to walk in all his ways, (body) and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy (heart) and with all thy soul. (spirit)"
In 27 AD Jesus refers to them as well, , "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul (spirit) and with all your strength (body) and with all your mind.”
I wondered whether this simple organization of four would help novice writers so when I began teaching the life-writing course, I started using the four quadrants as a way to help organize life. It worked - novice writers were pushing past chapter four.
Then I remembered how the all-encompassing concept of 'forgiveness' had also defied organization. Was this the map we had been looking for?
Cliff, who was taking my writing course, agreed to help me with organizing forgiveness into four quadrants. We even started to map it out on blank papers taped to the back of my office door. He became very excited about it. He had more to forgive than I did. Then he was diagnosed with stage four gallbladder cancer....
"If you wish to fly to new heights, begin by setting your sights on a destination you can reach and then create a flight plan, a map, that will be your guide." - Debbie Ford