The University Record, October 8, 2001

Walking a tightrope causes some to take stock in their lives

By Michelle Begnoche
News and Information Services

“A balanced life is a healthy life” was the message from Sarah Ely and Doreen Murasky, senior counselors at the Center for the Education of Women (CEW) at the recent workshop, “24/7 Tightrope: Work and Personal Life Balances.”

Murasky used a tree as a metaphor of life, saying it represents a dynamic life. She explained how parts of the tree relate to different aspects of life. The roots of the tree correlate with the visible and invisible sources that sustain life. The trunk represents a sense of self, or values. The branches symbolize the direction of our energies.

Using the tree example, Murasky asked workshop participants to take stock in their own lives on individual levels and as a whole. “No tree lives in isolation, and no humans do. We are being bombarded daily by things that inhibit our growth,” including old ideas, old goals and the desire for money. People also experience facilitators causing growth in their life, such as information, attending to basic needs and solitude.

Ely and Murasky encouraged participants to make sure they are in touch with the right motivators to live healthy and balanced lives. They stressed that it’s not only the big changes in life that can have an affect, but the little ones, too.

CEW and U-M Family Care Resources Program sponsored the workshop as part of the Work/Life/Family Series. For more information, visit the Web at www.umich.edu/~cew.