A Balanced Approach to Wellness

Archive for the ‘Focused living’ Category

Changing the things we know fail us

If you Want it Work for ItThe previous post was about changing ourselves and the will to change. Today’s post delves into my personal failing habit, with hope it can speak to others.

A thing that fails me is my addiction to sugar. I wrote about it in the post “My Contract for Overcoming Cravings“. My sugar addiction was bestowed upon me by well-meaning parents and a food industry that pushed sugar. From a young age, my addiction to sugar affected my health and my food choices, and it followed me into adulthood. Even as an adult educated in the insidiousness of sugar, I have continuous cravings for sugar, which I indulge too often.

The sugar-sneaked-in foods feed the addiction when I’m “off” sugar. The struggle to resist the sugar receives lip service from me, not conviction, because as soon as a host offers me sweet refreshments, I abandon my convictions and knowledge and say, “Sure” rather than explain or offend. My convictions are easily swayed by a pretty sugary confection.

My will to change is affected by the addiction. I’d like to be able to focus on so many other significant aspects of life, but the sugar addiction often takes the focus.

Spirit prompts me to make many changes in my life so that I can be reverent and virtuous in my living in order to be a conduit for the wisdom that is sacred. You would think that the closeness of my connection to Spirit would simplify the process of change. It should, but the force of the sugar addiction, and a few other negative habits, thwart my efforts.

So how can I change the things that I know fail me? Here’s what Spirit says:

  • Acknowledge the areas that create negativity, shame and imbalance, and then develop ways to change them.
  • Acknowledge the actions that are in line with goals. Small and large actions are worth acknowledgement.
  • Look an addiction straight in its glory and acknowledge its power. Then do the work to end it.

One step at a time, change is achieved. The things that fail us can be changed when we really want to change them.

The Will to Change

Will is a powerful force.

Wanting something—really wanting something—really, really wanting something—wanting something determinedly—inspires us to invest our time and thoughts to the wanted thing. When we know our energy is concentrated on achieving desires, we are willing to work and struggle. We are even willing to change!

Sometimes we say we want something—and we really mean to mean it—but the work seems too hard, the struggle feels endless, and the resolve to change is unsure. We waver, because the effort to change and invest ourselves fully overwhelms our self-fabricated existence.

Perhaps the desired thing is desired by someone else for us. Perhaps the desired thing is wanted, but not mightily. Perhaps the desired thing calls, but it conflicts with our obligations and schedules. Sometimes the desired thing is unattainable because of habits, opinions, or addictions we have entrapped ourselves in.

Really wanting something can be tangible awareness of soulful communication when the desired goal fulfills soulful elevation. The wants that give us true fulfillment are the ones that deserve investment.

The will to change: willing to strive and to invest effort, willing to make mistakes and to embrace differences, willing to change habits and to persevere. We can all live satisfying lives when we are willing to know ourselves and change the things we know fail us.

Balancing the balancing—the intertwined design of life

“The design of the body is just exact and nearly as beautiful as the most beautiful object. Being brilliantly designed and executed, the body accompanies its inhabitant throughout the body’s existence. Beautiful in motion, in repose, in its beginning and in its ending, ….”  from the chapter “Connection of the Four Components of Health” in Pond a Connected Existence.

“Being brilliantly designed and executed” is the description of the human body. This description refers not only to the physical component of the body, but also to the nonphysical components—the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual components. The body is a complex interconnected creation that demands balance of all the components to be truly itself. Balance is the key to life as designed.

What does it mean to live in balance?

Achieving balance is important to living well. Living well does not mean being prosperous or famous. Living well means living with purpose and with vitality, with awareness of the rhythms of the world, and with connections. Connections to other people, to the environment, to other creatures, to spiritual presence, and to oneself.

Knowing how to live within the constraints of the human body while enabling it to thrive permits the growth and development of a balanced being. Knowing how to give and take love, kindness, and support permits the widening of the emotions and the strengthening of the body. Knowing how to take interest in the world around and in its inhabitants permits the development of the intellect, the development of the emotions, and the versatility of the body. Knowing how to open to spiritual presence enables the relaxing of the spirit, which then relaxes the intellect, emotions, and body. Spirit—mind—emotions—body; all connected, all the time.

What is the first step towards balance?

The first step to bringing balance to the whole composition that is a person is to accept the intertwined design of life. It is important to understand that each decision, each movement, and each interaction affects the connected body in each of the components. By living as a connected human being—connected to oneself and to one’s interconnected composition and connected to all that is around (the environment, other people, the many creatures), a person can thrive and shine in a life well lived.

What is the second step towards balance?

The second step to bringing balance is to create realistic goals that achieve purposeful living. Here are three examples of steps to purposeful living:

  1. Creating warm and lasting relationships with family members and chosen friends balance all four components of health. This balancing goal can be achieved by scheduling time for visits with, calls to, and fun adventures with family and friends.
  2. Avoiding intentional damage to the environment balances the components of health. Thinking of ways to individually create less havoc in the world—less use of disposables, less reliance on animal products, etc.—balances the intellectual and emotional components of health. Following through and doing these things balances all four components of health.
  3. Avoiding intentional damage to our own selves balances the components of health. This step is not easy, but is necessary for balancing. Examining one’s lifestyle, choices, and activities balances the intellectual and emotional components of health. Following through and making changes balances all four components of health.

A simple way to bring balance

One way to balance yourself is to feel the weather. Rather than rush out of the rain, walk in it and feel the raindrops. Rather than avoid the cold weather, dress appropriately but let yourself shiver and notice your body’s shivering. During the hot months, let your body feel the heat and let it sweat.

Conclusion

By taking steps to connect with ourselves and with our situation (our surroundings, our society, and our ability to bring change), we can create meaningful and well-lived lives!

Mending the Memories

Sequoia

Sometimes we remember mixed up. A memory that felt so clear loses its details. A different memory disappears and reappears a few years later happier than the original memory was. Sometimes a memory is someone else’s telling of an event that we were at, and we remember it partially through our own senses and partially through someone else’s words. Sometimes an event is too traumatic and we remember just little parts.

Sometimes, our memories of an event are actually memories of our feelings at the time. We don’t see the event clearly, because we were ill or tired or busy. Or we were very happy or disappointed or worried. The event takes on the feeling and is remembered through a filter of emotion. The event might have been wonderful, but the emotion was not, and so the memory of the event is not of the real event. The event might have been sad, but the emotion was not, and so the memory might be fond.

Memories can’t really be mended, because our memories aren’t really broken; they’re just slanted. A slanted memory can be “straightened” if we are able to talk to others who were also there or if we think about the event with determination to see it differently.

Memories that make us happy are memories that can be left alone. Memories that bring sadness can sometimes be reexamined to find other sides. Memories that are traumatic and affect our living are helpful if they push us to live fully, but if they hold us back then we need to reexamine them and see them differently. Sometimes the old memories that hold us back are best put away in storage.

(If you want help with memory storage, read this blog post: “Enough Drawers“)

 

Politically Correct

Making fun of people is MEAN. It’s not a question of politically correct or not—it’s just MEAN. It has always been WRONG!

The damage from ridicule is usually hidden, but it is LARGE. It hurts the feelings and hurts the heart, literally. Hidden pain can cause generational harm—that’s how LARGE the damage is.

Making fun of people who are unknown to us or are famous is the same—it’s all MEAN. Being well-known doesn’t change a person’s sensitivity and doesn’t lessen the harm. People who think it’s fine to ridicule well-known people are WRONG—it’s damaging to their own well-being even more than to the people they ridicule.

Hurt feelings from being ridiculed can lead to compromised judgment and to destructive actions. Saying hurtful jokes or opinions about others can lead to self-chastisement and to shame which lower health. Both sides of the ridicule suffer, with each side harmed differently in physical and emotional ways.

Making fun of people is BELITTLING. It has never been right; it has always been WRONG. Reverberations from ridicule compromise whole societies and multiple generations. The effects are incredibly DESTRUCTIVE!

Being politically correct is not the answer. Being generous of spirit is.

The heart heals and the emotions balance when acceptance of others leads the way!

Superiority by Nationality

Countries group people by location, historical development, and geographical reality, which nationalistic feelings elevate.

Superiority by nationality is the viewing of all other nationalities in a condescending way. Feeling better than everyone who lives outside one’s own country is a sense of superiority that is confrontational behavior and enemy building.

Geographical reality creates differences among countries, because some countries are situated with enviable conditions and resources that inspire jealousy or resentment.

A country possessing enviable conditions and resources often maintains citizens who feel entitled to their reality and are possessive of it. Adjacent countries may have conditions and resources that are also deserving of pride, but the other country’s richness seems desirous, and so, the citizens of the adjacent countries may feel resentful or covetous. The clash of entitlement and resentment can lead to rivalries, racism, and wars.

Superiority by nationality describes relationships among countries, but it can also describe relationships among areas within a country, towns within a province, neighborhoods within a city, and loyalty to schools or universities.

At each level, location, historical development, and geographical reality affect how citizens see their environment and the environments of those who inhabit rival territories. Those who feel they have more behave differently from those who feel deprived. Each side can feel superior and relate to the other as less than. The feelings of superiority at the smaller levels can lead to rivalries, treachery, and self-destruction.

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People receive the life they are born into and some receive more ease than others, but their circumstances do not entitle them to feel superior. The more a person has, the more he or she should feel grateful and open to those with less.

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Spirit is sharing wisdom about  feelings of superiority:

Undeserved Superiority

Here is an important message from Spirit.

Superiority is a strange phenomenon. All people are similar, and yet, there are some who consider themselves superior. These people believe that race membership, financial position, gender affiliation, nationality, and/or education entitle them to raised social status. Physical attractiveness, athletic prowess, and fashion taste are other factors in people acting superior.

Religious superiority is the most destructive belief of all. No religious group has closer connection to God than any other. No group!

The sense of superiority is distancing and it clouds judgment when interacting with others. The sense of superiority tarnishes dialogue and creates contempt. As people distance, misjudge, and condescend, they define a society that is uncaring and disconnected. Such a society cannot nurture its member or provide empathy.

Spirit is clear that a sense of superiority is wrong thinking about oneself and others.

There are a few exceptions when the superiority comes from care for the environment. Everyone who puts their own needs below their care for the environment deserves to feel good about their actions. Focusing on care for the environment has no connection to race, religion, gender, nationality, financial position, physical attractiveness, athletic prowess, or fashion taste.

Respect for the environment unites us all!

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