Navigating The Entire
Circle of Your Life

Your Journey has not ended but it has just begun. You began from a place that was dark and you are working your way into the light or maybe you are already there. People often get frustrated because they don’t feel they are healing quickly enough or wonder why others seem to be doing so much better than they are. There is no time frame or rush. Everyone is different and each of us has experienced more than our share of suffering. There are no exceptions. It is important to keep learning and using your tools that allow your brain/body to heal. The key words are patience and persistence.
Remember the deep paradox of this journey. You are letting go to move forward in contrast to our strong inclination to keep fixing ourselves and those close to us.


Many people feel better after a few months. They are no longer in a crisis, their pain has improved, and they stop. They usually continue to stick with some basic strategies and do fine. But my observation is that they are missing a huge opportunity to thrive. Once you break free of The Abyss, your potential to move forward is unlimited. The more you nurture this opportunity to grow, the farther you’ll be away from your pain circuits. The concepts of play, giving back, and the spiritual journey are not tools to combat anxiety and pain. That turns into obsessive behavior and little is accomplished. They are more about expanding your life and horizon into the life you always wanted. There are several aspects to creating this capacity to navigate and fully experience every aspect of your circle of life.

  • The foundation is awareness combined with the circle of life, which includes “the ring of fire.” Being aware of which part of the circle you are in is a powerful approach. You now have a choice of using your tools to change direction or stay where you are.

  • The goal of using the ring of fire model is not to attempt to be in one particular part of it. It is a common perception to feel that most of your life should be spent in the center. That is not life or realistic. Being aware of when you are in the center is the key and knowing when you need to enter it to “re-fuel.” It is the foundation for passing through the ring of fire and engaging in your life activities in the blue ring.

There are several important concepts to consider:
  1. You should nurture and expand the center. The more time you can realistically spend there, the better. It is where your body regenerates.
  2. As you learn to develop a “working relationship” with the ring of fire, it will paradoxically be less daunting and easier to navigate.
  3. The blue periphery is life and there never was a limit to it. We create our own limitations.

 Your new home

This final rest stop is a framework for settling into your new life and continuing to practice the tools that will help you indefinitely. We will conceptualize this stop as where you are building your new home.
  • The green center is your lot and it is round. It provides the foundation for your house and you can landscape it to your heart’s content. This is done by using tools that engender self-compassion and you are expanding the center.

  • It is important to protect your home and the red ring will do that for you. Anxiety and anger necessary danger signals. You will also be personally arming yourself to defend yourself and your safe haven.

  • Each room of your house represents an aspect of your life that you will furnish and decorate.

The phases of the construction include:
  • Dreaming of what you want and defining it
  • Drawing up final plans

The rooms:
  1. Entry – Awareness
  2. Family room – Social connections
  3. Kitchen – Diet/ Nutrition
  4. Bathroom – Processing anxiety/ frustration
  5. Master bedroom – Sleep/ Nurturing your closest relationships
  6. Other bedrooms – Your family/ guests
  7. Den/ office – headquarters
  8. Garage – Transportation to the outside world/ your reserves
  9. Landscaping – Nurturing and growing the center
  10. Protection: Alarm System, Dog, Self-Defense
  11. Basement - Workout Room / Exercise
The essence of life is avoiding threat and seeking safety. It is necessary to actively seek both in that you need safety to create the reserves you need to deal with life’s challenges. Otherwise, you’ll be overwhelmed a good percent of the time, with a limited capacity to enjoy your life or even worse, continue to suffer.

You have only just begun

We all equate home with safety, but all too often it is not, especially when chronic pain is in the middle of it. Family members are also our most powerful triggers and it is bidirectional. Creating a “safe house” or haven takes a focused effort but none of the steps are difficult with the right tools. You have heard the saying, “A carpenter is only as good as his/ her tools. You now have the opportunity to create whatever life you want and even though this is the end of this course, you have just begun your journey.