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Wheels to Wellbeing for Introverts

Guest Blogger, Lori King, shares her deeply moving story and the tips she's discovered while finding balance and happiness in her life. Hers is a story we can all benefit from.

I first became aware of the Myers–Briggs personality test in my twenties but it took me many years to actually understand what my results meant and how it applied to my life. While I knew in my heart I was an introvert, I told myself I was a practiced extrovert, acting in a way that I felt was more socially acceptable. I thought I could thrive in a fast-paced noisy world. I used to fight the whole idea of slowing down. But beating myself up only intensified the energy and emotional crash that came from pushing too hard for too long.

Jolted Forward

In 2015 an unexpected surgery dropped me into sudden, surgical menopause. I suddenly felt exhausted and off-balance in my body and life. Up until that time, my life had been lived at 180 miles per hour. I worked hard and I played hard. I believed could live on minimal sleep. Naps, yoga and meditation? That was too mild for me.

The surgery took me down. Surgical menopause was like running into a brick wall. I was stopped in my tracks, forced to rest. This was a good thing, but it was easier said than done.

In the months after, I tried, failed, and tried again to find balance. I had to learn a new way of living. I had to learn how to rest. I had to create new habits and make lifestyle changes with a focus on self-care. I had to learn to manage my energy more than my time and recognize what I needed in my life to feel calm and peaceful. I had to create a safe haven for myself to escape the angst in my heart and the chaos of the world. I had to rebelliously reject the world’s idea that busyness equals success. I had to learn to set priorities and say no to things that were not in alignment with my goals and values while saying yes to things that filled me with passion and purpose.

Along the way, I met a woman who referred to herself as a highly sensitive person (HSP). When I asked her to clarify what she meant by that, her description struck a chord with me. She was easily overwhelmed by bright lights, strong smells, and loud noises. She needed to withdraw during busy days to a private place where she could recalibrate, refresh, and re-energize. She became overstimulated when a lot was going on around her and excessive hunger disrupted her concentration or mood. This certainly resonated with me and helped me better understand myself. I began recognizing what causes angst in my heart and soul.

Wheels to Wellbeing

Surgical menopause was the catalyst that forced me to seek balanced wellness. Wheels to wellbeing is the tool that helps me achieve it. Let me explain.

I see wellness as a balancing act, much like riding a bicycle.

A bicycle is made up of two wheels composed of a tire, an inner tube, and the wheel itself. The wheel is composed of an inner hub and outer rim, which are connected by a series of spokes. Bicycle spokes work together to support and evenly distribute the weight of the rider. On its own, a single spoke is easily bent, but together with its fellow spokes, it supports a great deal of weight without bending. When one spoke does bend or break, all the other spokes take on more of the load. The extra pressure makes every other spoke more vulnerable to failure. Damaged spokes can cause punctures to the wheel or get caught in your frame, causing you to fall. Every single spoke matters.

In life, just like on a bike, it’s important to keep my spokes in good working condition, so I can stay balanced and continue moving forward toward a life of wellness. The spokes in my wellness wheel include nutrition, exercise, faith/spirituality, relationships, finances, self-care, nature, sleep, passions, purpose, and play. Together, they support my sense of well-being. When one of these spokes is not working, all other areas are vulnerable.

The Wheels to Wellbeing Tool

Wheels to Wellbeing is a tool to evaluate all the aspects of your life so that the money, time and energy you invest takes you further. It is a tool to check in with yourself, take inventory and determine what requires more of your attention. You can do this check-in on an annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily or hourly basis simply by asking yourself, “How am I feeling physically? Emotionally? Spiritually? Relationally?”

From a reactive perspective, it is a tool to determine what is wrong when you are feeling angst, irritability, or unsatisfied. From a proactive perspective, it is a tool to optimize your life so you have the maximum amount of peace, love, and happiness.

The beauty of this tool is that changing one small thing can be a catalyst for improving your overall life. You start exercising and find yourself wanting to eat better. You improve your relationship with your partner and find that all your relationships are elevated. You go to work on your spiritual life or relationship with God and come to realize that your body is a temple, so you start eating better and exercising.

When I got my nutrition right, my energy soared, exercise and physical movement came easier, and my fitness levels improved faster. Through a nutritional system, a friend introduced me to, I ended up meeting more like-minded people, so I felt a better sense of community and belonging. Everyone I met within that community was an advocate for developing leaders and teams through personal development and growth. Which led me to develop healthier emotions and a more positive mindset. So you can start by focusing on one single spoke that improves one area of your life but, over time, is the stimulus for overlapping enhancements to your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or financial life. One small decision can have a ripple effect that improves the quality of your life and becomes the catalyst for changing your entire life for the better.

From Pushing to Peace

One of my life’s goals is to ride my bike in beautiful places around the country and the world. Regardless of where I ride, there are always ups and downs. There are some streets that require effort and others that allow me to coast.

Life is the same way. There are times you coast and times you climb. I’ve had plenty of setbacks and challenges since my surgery and at times, it feels like the climb will never end. But I eventually reach the peak where I can enjoy the view and coast downhill for a while.

My younger self thrived with the thrill of being a super productive worker bee. I worshipped at the altar of my to-do list, ignoring the cry of my body and soul.

These days, the best thing I can offer the world is my well-tended spirit and calm energy. For me, that requires no more pushing, or rushing. Only less. Less stress, less noise, less busy. And more. More dancing, laughing, playing, resting, connecting, and self-care. More living with passion, on purpose, and in service to others.

I wish the same for you.

Author Bio - Lori King:

Lori has a passion for health and wellness, fitness and self-care. You’ll often find her cycling, practicing hot yoga, or on her stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Learn more at


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