Counselor's Corner: The practice of MALT

 So did you make a resolution for 2015? January is the month at my health club when an increase in membership is overwhelming the first week of January. By March, everything is back to a regular normal schedule. Maybe there are a few more regulars at the health club but not like this first week after the New Year begins. I think the beginning of a New Year is much like our lives. We resolve to make changes. We hope for better situations in the world. We wish for better relationships both for our families and for the whole world. And then what happens? Everything seems to go back to the way it was. 

I realize something this year. My desire for good changes should not be based on the results of what I hope to see in others or in the world. I need to focus on something very simple so that I can experience good things for myself. I need not worry about how other people will change or how you will change or how my spouse or children will change for the better. I don’t have to worry about how much money I will have or will not have. I do not have to get anxious about global warming or the plight of the poor in the world. I am not going to become preoccupied with how well the wealth of the world is distributed. Though all of these issues are legitimate concerns, I really have little if any direct power over their outcome.
There are three simple actions that I can practice in 2015 that can improve my experience of life and cause me to find an inner peace and happiness that will last throughout the year. The first action is to reserve some quiet time each day to meditate. It anchors me, settles me and grounds me. It puts me in a connection with a Power or a God that only wants to embrace me and fill me with wisdom and love. The second little action that I will practice is to be always kind to other people. It takes me away from hanging on to resentments and needing other people to practice the virtues that I may not practice myself. When I am loving I will experience love. In being kind to you I have to let go of my own misery and condemnation and rationalizations. Then there is a third practice that I will do in 2015. I want to see the good in everything and everyone. I am totally convinced that there is a Divine Energy in everything and everyone. If this energy was not there this world and everything in it would cease to exist. We are surrounded by an energy that just keeps going and going. We may misuse this energy but it is still there and it is good. Every cell of my body and yours is filled with this energy. Everything in life has this energy in some manner. Every Thing and Every One in life beams back up to the Source of Everything. Every Universe is filled with energy. I am beginning to realize that if there is a God then this God must be present in everything and everyone. 
It makes sense to me. Three simple actions, Meditation, Love, and Awareness. Easy to practice. I reserve the time to be quiet. I realize that only in loving will I be free. And I realize that I need to see the good in everything with a grateful heart. Well, maybe there are four simple actions: Meditation, Awareness, Love and Thankfulness for each moment and what I experience and see in each moment. I guess we could call this MALT. Meditation, Awareness, Love and Thankfulness. When I practice MALT I begin to melt in surrendering to a deeper experience of life, other people, and whoever God might be. Tension begins to leave me. Worrying about everything begins to disappear. The present moment is what becomes most important.
Because I am living in this moment with the practice of MALT the world suddenly seems to be a better place because wherever I am, there is a positive loving energy pouring out of me. Nothing has to get me down, though I may feel pain and loss and struggles. I look for the goodness inside of pain. I realize that goodness is always coming toward me in many different forms. My practice of MALT challenges me to look deeper at every moment. This becomes a much better way to live than living in negativity. Negativity is the absence of Meditation, Awareness, Love and Thankfulness. I will no longer live with the absence of these wonderful practices. MALT propels me into a joyful way of experiencing life. 
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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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