What’s on Your Life Plate? A 45-45-90 Triangle


Last night, I was blessed with quite the insightful dream.


This weekend, I found myself calling out another girlfriend for her non-stop motion, then caught myself realizing what I really needed to do what check in with the RPM of my own wheels. After all, I’d written last week about how when we see someone else’s darkness or flaws, oftentimes it’s a mirror reflecting a similar issue in ourselves (works the same way with their light and beautiful side, by the way 😉

I retired to bed by 9:15pm last night, asking the Universe to send me a dream for clarification regarding my life plate. What can I handle right now? How much can I do without losing focus, burning out, or squandering precious time family and social relationships right here, right now?  We talk frequently about what’s sustainable for the planet; what’s sustainable on a personal level?

Interestingly enough, an intuitive friend in real life made a cameo in my dream world. As I attended some sort of outdoor dream wedding where guests wore bikinis, sundresses, and board shorts, my friend appeared. She didn’t say a word, but passed me by with a brief smile and left in my mind the image of a typewritten “45 squared-45 squared- 90 squared”.

After jotting down notes from the dream, the puzzle of dream images started to piece together. The trigonometry that’s been so crucial in my study of physics lately came to mind. A 45-45-90 degree triangle has two legs of the same length while its hypotenuse is a little longer. One big angle with two smaller angles of the same size. Find any side of a triangle by using the Pythagorean Theorum: A squared + B squared = C squared. Each angle and leg affects the other angles and legs of the triangle.

Metaphorical Triangles have made their way into my life as well lately. A love triangle or two, yes (just say no!). More relevant, however: a friend of my Father’s mentioned last week (in real life) that it’s best to have three things going on in your life, on your ‘plate’. Any more than three, we discussed, it’s simply difficult doing anything well and your relationships tend to suffer. Any less, well you just aren’t applying yourself.  A life triangle of sorts; A trio which belongs on one’s Life Plate.

So, I drew out a little 45-45-90 triangle, symbolizing my ‘output’ in the world. At 90 degrees, I wrote in my largest focus: school. The other two angles, each 45 degrees, get equal attention, and luckily in my case, overlap: “work” and “creativity”: yoga and writing. All support one another, forming a nice little triangle to fit on a maneagable, stimulating, well-rounded, yet not overtaxing life plate.

Dreams are such blessings; I encourage everyone to scribble even a few words upon waking to stimulate dream recall. The subconscious has much to tell us about ourselves, and I think it takes getting to know yourself well enough to know what should–and should not– make it into your triangle. That is, if you are a triangle person. Perhaps you are one of those people who can fit a square or even a hexagon onto their lifeplate…

What’s up on your triangle? What’s your 90-degree focus, and what are your 45-degree angles supporting it? Or are you balancing a square or hexagon on your plate? Maybe you’ve chosen one focus, a circle? Please comment below, would love to hear your thoughts!


17 thoughts on “What’s on Your Life Plate? A 45-45-90 Triangle

  1. Love this post Elisa! This is going to prove crucial to me as I head back to Hawaii in just one day! I learned similar lessons over the last year and even though I am one of those pittas that at times you envy, even we can go too hard and burn out. I think the idea of balancing no more than 3 things is a great idea. To enjoy Hawaii I will need to take on much less than I had previously or I too will incur stress and anxiety.
    This post came at the perfect time for me. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    • Hey Heather! Thanks! By this time, your toes are back in Hawaiian sand, and I can only imagine more than a triangle is filling your plate as you get situated from Bangladesh to island living (although, perhaps you’re on the beach with a pina colada ;). Sounds like this post DID in fact come at the perfect time for you to help assess what the next chapter of Hawaiian life will look like…no burning out, Pitta style again! I’m actually thinking of taking a trip to Oahu early June–keep me posted if you’ll be around, maybe we can catch up in person and talk about our lessons of the past year. 🙂

  2. This is a great idea. Alas, I’ve been lamenting my loss of balance for some time. I’m currently working on studying for my 7th out of 11 finals and am not feeling so well-rounded. My life is more like a circle at this point…with everything coming back to school. At least it’s temporary (4 days left!) But your post has inspired me to take a break and do a quick yoga flow and feel my body for a little bit while before turning my eyes back to this computer screen!

    • Talia, so happy to hear you stepped outside your temporary circle of finals to drop back into your body (11?!!! Holy moly. You’re scaring me for what’s coming up for myself!). Why, as yoga teachers and future doctors we forget to take care of ourselves at times, leaving ourselves off-balance, when health and balance is what we preach? And we forget especially when we most need a break–those breaks that actually help our neurons fire even better when we return to the ‘circle’. Hope you’re acing all of em, admire you!

  3. This triangle theory makes complete sense! And you articulated it so nicely. My pita says I’m a square (maybe a pentagon) while my vata says that a triangle would work best. 🙂 three always seems to be the magic number… Excited to ponder this thought 🙂 thanks love!

    • Hi Leslie! Thank you for the writing thumbs up! ..you know, I’ve actually been thinking of you, my “hopping around the island” friend, while channeling a similar energy of movement and excitement here in Ventura County. Oh, the balance between our pittas and our vatas…excited to hear the results of your pondering when we finally slow down enough to catch up 🙂 (go, go, go!) xo

  4. You r brilliant.

    You will have so many patients, u won’t know what to do first.

    u will need to do a daily tv spot in diego, to help the general population.



    On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 6:43 PM, Beach Girl Abroad wrote:

    > ** > Elisa Lipton @ Beach Girl Abroad posted: ” Last night, I was blessed > with quite the insightful dream. In my waking life, as my energy has picked > up, I find myself opening up; excited about everything and everyone around > me. One day not so long ago, I woke up, decided enough hermit-ting was > enou”

  5. What an inspirational dream, and not just for you but also for the people reading your blog as well. My triangle was feeling like a spirograph all day long:) Reading this was a nice reminder to pull the important things in and focus on them. Thanks!

    • Hey Jen,

      Thanks for reading, reflecting, and the comment. I love hearing how my dream is having a ripple effect– feeling like we are spiraling into spirograph-zone (love your use of that word!) can be stressful–reigning it into a neat, well-defined shape…well I only hope things flow and focus from here 😉 Welcome!

  6. love this post, lady. what naturopathic doctor do you see? i’m thinking of visiting one myself, as i truly think my blood levels are off. the amount of energy i have, or rather, am lacking, is completely unhealthy considering i eat pretty clean, workout, and sleep A LOT. would love some advice on a doctor in LA, as the only one i was recommended is down in SD. xox

  7. Pingback: Unplug. | Beach Girl Abroad

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