Counselor's Corner: The importance of having balance in life

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Fred Cavaiani

Sometime life feels out of balance. Our bodies can ache. Our hearts can feel emotionally bruised. Our minds can be obsessed with how terrible life appears to be. God seems to be so distant from us. To live a balanced life can be an unfamiliar concept.

When was the last time you felt totally relaxed and in harmony? Your body felt healthy. Your mind was calm. Your heart felt loving toward everyone. Your relationship with God was positive and uplifting because your experience was that there is an unconditional loving God or power in your life.

So many of us in this country do not take proper care of our bodies. We are near the top of the most overweight countries in the world. Though exercise is becoming more popular, eating healthy foods is not topping the priority action list for many of us. Exercise is realized as a priority but so many of us find it a struggle to exercise daily. Meditation and mindfulness are popular concepts but the number of people who spend at least a half hour to an hour a day in meditation and prayer are few.

We live in a culture of busyness. So often we are obsessed with what we must do next. This preoccupation with how much we must do and how much we must accomplish creates tension. Tension creates disharmony in our bodies. Living in our tomorrows and living in our yesterday’s takes us out of the harmony of the present moment and the embraces of the present moment.

I would like to propose a roadmap for having balance in a life that is filled with external emotional conflict and tension. Meditation, Exercise, Emotion, and The Present Moment. These words spell MEET. When we practice MEET, we meet ourselves in a very healthy way. We meet God, our body, our emotions and the present moment. This keeps us in harmony and keeps us in a relaxed mood. The practice of MEET needs to become an absolute priority in our lives which comes before anyone or anything else in our lives,

Meditation stops our busyness immediately. We slow up. We allow a depth to enter our mind, heart and soul that immediately forces us to stop rushing and focus slowly on what is most important – a positive relationship with God. Meditation helps us to do everything slowly and experience what is gong on within us. When we read a prayer, a spiritual book very slowly we experience something profound. Instead of analyzing it we experience a deeper awareness. The other form of meditation is contemplation where we simply remain quiet and focus on a word that we keep returning to from every distraction that passes through our mind. This first principle of healthy living, meditation, slows down our whole physiological and emotional system and gives us a chance to rest. We MEET a new part of ourself. We also MEET God in a deeper and more relevant manner. This meeting with God through meditation and contemplation allows us to have an experience of God instead of just an intellectual concept of God.

The second principle is exercise. Our bodies need to feel good so our hearts can feel good. It can be hard to be sincerely spiritual and emotional and have integrity with ourselves when we are neglecting what is best for our bodies: daily exercise. Make sure you exercise for at least a half hour five days a week or at least every other day. It causes your body to feel good and it also helps you to reflect even deeper on what is most important in life. The good feeling you experience from exercise follows into many other aspects of life. Do not neglect exercise from your life. Walking can be a great form of exercise if we stick with it.

Then we have emotion. This means that we embrace what we are feeling. We experience what is going on inside of us. Anger is always a superficial reaction to avoid what we are really feeling. True emotion allows us to feel scared and insecure and a desire to feel loved. It allows us to go deeper into ourselves and begin to heal from our emotional pain. Meditation and exercise, the first two fundamentals, push us into a deeper emotional connection with ourselves and with others. Emotion also helps us realize when we are in an emotional, negative neighborhood. Feeling resentments and critical toward others is a neighborhood we can choose to avoid because it does absolutely nothing for our roadmap to a harmonious life. It is making a bad investment of emotion to cling to resentments and criticisms.

Finally, we have the present moment. All we have is this moment in life to experience. The past is gone and the future is not here yet. It is here in this moment that we can slow down and get to a deep level with God, with ourselves, and with other people. As I sit here on our porch looking into the woods I let myself experience the trees and the relaxing green of the forest. It is filled with energy. There is something divine about embracing the present moment.

The practice of MEET changes my life. I am constantly and continually meeting something or someone profound in each moment because there is such divine energy in each moment of life.

When I practice MEET on a daily basis my life becomes balanced. The latest political news or catastrophes do not disturb my inner harmony. People that I know may suffer serious illnesses or even death. I will feel pain and sorrow but it doesn’t destroy my inner harmony or peace because I will know how to embrace and feel this pain which leads to even greater depth and harmony and wisdom.
Every moment of life becomes an opportunity to experience life, myself, God and others in a deeper and profound manner. Each moment of life becomes a deeper journey with God and a deeper journey with Love and Wisdom. However, if I neglect practicing these fundamental principles found in MEET, I then put blocks in my life from living to the fullest.

As I walk through life now, I notice people exercising more. I notice people taking time to meditate. I notice people having a loving attitude towards all. I see people openly and honestly and humbly expressing their feelings. As I observe all of this I say to myself: What a glorious way to live! I can fall short of this glorious way of life many times but it is very easy to get back on the right roadmap at this very moment. How have I practiced MEET today? Life is all about deepening this meeting with God, myself and others.

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Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his website is fredthecounselor.com.
 

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