The a-ha moment

Pie Chart, Integrated

A good friend (and amazing art therapist) came over last night for dinner and was tooling around in my workspace. She illuminated the fatal flaw from the pie charts. Several of you also pointed it out. (Leslie, Victoria, I’m looking at you.)

Integration is the key. Combining. Overlapping. Interlocking. I am better focused now after speaking with her. I have clarity again. I remember my bigger-picture goals and I feel like i’m back on track.

  • Taking a walk with a friend and bringing the dogs along, rather than always just going out to dinner = fun + chores + health.
  • Photographing a project I do for work, or bleeding the project out into one of my own journal quilts or blog entries = work + creativity + fun.
  • Taking the stairs, avoiding the cookie counter at work, and planning ahead for snacks = work + health.

At least I made sure not to overlap the dating stripe into the work wedge. Some things just aren’t made for integrating.


  1. in your profession yes. no integrating… unless there is some other smart clever therapist out there for you! (not a client!)
    I met my hubby through my job… ;-) one never knows.

    Comment by V — 18 September 2009 @ 10:05 am

  2. I know this is an exercise that has greater depth than just a pleasing arrangement but I think this pattern has great quilt design possibilities!

    Comment by Janet — 18 September 2009 @ 11:55 am

  3. Hmmmm Interesting. I tend to compartmentalize myself as well, and this concept of integration is a good one. More forgiving somehow and less rigid while still including the important points. Okay, here’s a creativity challenge for you ~ can you make the chart showing this integration?

    Also, what program did you use to make the original pie charts? I’d love to make my own.

    Comment by Liz — 19 September 2009 @ 5:01 am

  4. Wonderful visual demonstration of integrating aspects of your life that you thought were at war with each other… The second (overlapping) image has such a sense of cohesion and peacefulness. I hope that putting these intentional overlaps into practice will be bring those qualities to your experience, as well.

    Comment by Tracy — 19 September 2009 @ 10:45 am

  5. your ah-ha moment has lent me some clarity as well. i feel inspired to create my own pie chart now as i have been feeling similarly lately – that various aspects of my life are pulling at me all in different directions making me unravel a bit. when i saw your pie wedges all vying for position in the pie chart last week, i never dreamed it would turn out so well-organized, so well-integrated, so at peace. i hope that it allows you to feel less stress while indulging each aspect! thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Terisa — 20 September 2009 @ 7:18 pm

  6. Integration is key :) It’s hard to get everything accomplished with such busy lives!

    Comment by April Pantall — 23 September 2009 @ 9:34 am

  7. I stumble upon your blog and I am in love! A few years ago I scrapped/journalled my therapy and it was an amazing experience. Your work is very inspirational and may just be the motivation I need to get back to it.

    Comment by Michele — 6 November 2009 @ 10:22 pm

  8. where’d you go? your missed.

    Comment by V — 7 November 2009 @ 5:28 am

  9. Looks like a well thought out plan. Certainly looks less overwhelming and more manageable.

    Comment by Shasta — 8 November 2009 @ 2:15 pm

  10. Hey Mal, did I miss an announcement? I miss your posts, when will you be back?? :)


    Comment by Christine — 9 November 2009 @ 12:52 pm

  11. Hoping this finds you well and happy….miss yor posts.


    Comment by christine — 3 December 2009 @ 2:59 pm

  12. Hello. I am an Art therapist in Regina SK. Canada. I have enjoyed reading your blog. My blog is Art Therapy Reflections. My passion these days in teaching Focusing Oriented Art Therapy. Warmly, Karen

    Comment by Karen — 5 December 2009 @ 11:30 am

  13. Mal,
    Where did you go? Are you still Turning?

    Blog reader Leslie

    Comment by Leslie — 9 December 2009 @ 10:55 am

  14. Hi Mal, maybe you still check your blog, because I wanted to let you that I’ve nominated you for the Lemonade Stand Award, come check out what it’s all about on my blog!


    Comment by Christine — 17 January 2010 @ 6:15 am

  15. thinking that perhaps you have met a wonderful man and that he must be very cute and he is jetting you around the world on marvelous adventures……and you are in remote locations with no internet access……

    Comment by christine — 13 February 2010 @ 5:16 am

  16. Hey Mal, I hope you’re doing well, I miss your posts.

    Comment by Katherine — 11 May 2010 @ 4:03 pm

  17. I hope all is well with you and you’ve just found other places to devote your energy. When I go without blogging for an extended period of time it’s usually because I’m feeling anxiety – I get stuck in a circle of “I should post – I haven’t done anything – I need to do something – I’m not doing anything – I can’t post.” Sometimes just throwing a post out there is enough to break the cycle. It gets me sewing again, and sewing is fantastic therapy. Wish you well…

    Comment by Sandi — 23 May 2010 @ 9:37 am

  18. I stumbled onto your blog last fall and love it! I check back from time to time to see what you’re up to, but, alas, no new postings! Ah-ha moments are bright and shining and inspiring. And moments. I hope you don’t feel you have to explain yourself or top an ah-ha moment. I have enjoyed browsing through your past entries and you have inspired me to actively pursue more artistic endeavors in my free time. We are complete strangers, but I hope you are well and will consider blogging again.

    Comment by Jessee — 9 June 2010 @ 9:33 pm

  19. Mal, I just want to join in the chorus of voices saying that you’re missed. Sending good wishes your way.

    Comment by Tracy — 11 June 2010 @ 9:56 am

  20. Hi,
    I’m one of your blog fans, still checking in from time to time, hoping you’ll be back. Like all the others, I miss your posts, and hope you’re well and busy with life and love. No pressure, just wanted to let you know you’re missed!

    Comment by Beatrice — 27 June 2010 @ 4:16 pm

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