Quilting the Balance: Integrating all the Pieces into the Whole

Responsible citizenship is about knowing yourself well as a whole person. We are whole people, knit together as a delicate interwoven balance of social, spiritual, biological, psychological, creative and emotional selves. At our best, the inter-related parts of ourselves function together in sync with one another. Our emotional well-being really is connected to our social well-being; our psychological well-being is connected to our spiritual well-being. These interconnections are all a part of the balance of being whole people.

In my journey toward wholeness, I’ve found it helpful to approach each day with a seven-fold model for wellness. Each week, I consider the following areas of my life:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Occupational
  • Spiritual
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Creative

And each Sunday, I make a plan for the week to do something to develop and nurture myself in each the areas.

While I’m making the plan, I picture one of several religious symbols that help me visualize the interconnectedness of these areas. They are from different world religions, which illustrates that this balance has been written in the fabric of religious understanding for centuries. The symbols I’ve found helpful are the following:

Star of David (Judaism)


Ichthus Wheel (Christianity)


Endless Knot (Celtic Christianity)


Eternal Knot (Tibetan Buddhism)


The points of each of the symbols stand for physical, mental, occupational, spiritual, emotional, social. The circles that surround the symbols are the creative self, which bind the other six in place.
All seven of these areas of our whole being are deeply interconnected. Responsible citizenship is about holistic well-being as you seek the balance of being the best, whole version of yourself.

-Megan Davidson, TCU Faculty

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