Balancing Pies

If you were hoping for a post about pumpkin vs pecan, I’m about to disappoint you. PIES is an acronym for four elements of the human experience, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual. The quality of our lives depends to a great extent on our ability to balance the energies of these four areas.

In the physical arena, we need to designate time for exercise, stretching and joyful movement, but this is only the beginning. We also need to prepare and eat nourishing food, get adequate sleep, breathe fresh air, bathe regularly and engage in intimate touch with other humans. We need hugs and caresses and as many baby snuggles as we can get.

Our intellectual lives are fed by books, classes, documentaries or interesting conversations. We need to constantly challenge our minds, forging new neural pathways so we stay sharp and alert as we age.

Satisfying our emotional needs may require connecting with friends, partners, children, parents or other loved ones on a regular basis. We may need to laugh, cry or scream. We might need to read romance novels or watch sappy movies.

Our spiritual lives can be nourished by prayer, meditation, song, a walk in the woods or a sunset on the beach. Whenever we become aware of something bigger than ourselves, that feeds our spiritual nature.

A balanced life includes time, attention and effort in all four of these areas. Let’s take a moment to look at our daily lives and see how our PIES are doing. Are we nurturing our whole self? Are we caring for our entire being? If we’re doing a good job of balancing our PIES, we should feel energized, centered, grounded and whole. If we are neglecting one or more of these aspects of self, we might be feeling off-kilter, burnt out, annoyed, even depressed.

As we enter the holiday season, let’s take inventory of our PIES and see where we might be off balance. Let’s all make a commitment to nurture all aspects of ourselves, and if we’re doing a good job already, to support our loved ones to do the same.

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