In a recent lecture at Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge, Fitness Associate Vonda Trainor told an audience of residents the story of the Jar of Life. It went like this:
A philosophy professor posed a question to his class. He took an empty glass jar, and filled it to the top with good-sized rocks and asked, “Is it full?” The class replied, “Yes.”
He then added small pebbles to the jar. They tumbled into the empty spaces around the rocks, all the way to the top. He asked again whether the jar was full, and class agreed it was. Then he repeated the action with sand, and finally with water. Each time he had asked the same question and received the same answer, but the jar was only truly full when the water had risen to the brim.
Vonda used the story as an illustration of the Six Dimensions of Wellness when she and Group Exercise Coordinator Brittany Wisinski spoke at a recent session of the Westminster Institute of Lifelong Learning. The Six Dimensions run through everything that goes on at the Fitness & Aquatic Center, and other programs at WCBR, which promote wellness in body, mind and spirit – a whole-person approach to a happy and healthy life.
The dimensions, developed by Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, are:
“I use the Six Dimensions model in my work; it’s always in my brain,” says Vonda.
Back to the jar full of rocks, pebbles, sand and water… “Large rocks represent the important things in life,” she says. “Pebbles the other things that matter to you, and sand and water are the small stuff.”
“If we fill our jar with the small stuff, we don’t have time for the more important stuff. If we just focus on one dimension, all the others are going to suffer.”
And you have to take stock, and work on the parts you’re neglecting. “All of us gravitate toward what we like,” but you have to nurture all six of the dimensions, and make sure none are neglected.
“To improve your overall well-being,” Vonda concludes, “life balance is the essence.”