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How to Stay Balanced in Your Life and Relationships

Kite in stormA number of events have conspired to upset our daily rhythms. Maude has been spending nights away taking care of the grandchildren for a couple of weeks. We are both dealing with health issues right now; nothing chronic, but enough to upset the regular flow of life. In the world outside, even truth and democracy have acquired a nasty cough.

These events do not compare to a major upset such as an earthquake knocking the house off its foundations or a family member being deported, but it is still a challenge to live with them without making them the single focus of attention.

We think the trick is to take every event as a learning opportunity. How can I remain present with this? It is easy to fail again and again, but take note and practice. Get back on the surfboard, remount that bike, practice until remaining balanced becomes second nature. If it hurts, it hurts. If it is wonderful, then celebrate. If the milk spills, don’t regret the fumble, just mop it up. By being present with what is, you are also present with yourself.

This becomes an opportunity to get to know yourself. What pushes your buttons? What knocks you out of that balance of peace within? The more you learn, the easier it will become to accept what is and practice being present with it. The general tendency is often to pull away from what is painful, or to hide from it within ourselves.

When an event creates fear, an opportunity for deep learning occurs. Here is where we get those flight or fight responses, where we pit ourselves against what is occurring, or turn and run. Stand your ground, look at what is, be with what is. Most of the fear, worry, anxiousness comes from our own minds. It is not about what is, but about what we make up around what is and what might be.

You also get support in these situations from your intimate relationships. Share openly and speak your fears and the projections of your mind. Let your partner and friends listen, and by hearing yourself speak it out loud in a safe situation, you will find an amazing calm and a pull toward the present, a present you are sharing with your loved one.

We, Phil and Maude, operate very much as separate individuals, but at the same time, we are supported in our growth and individuality by sharing with each other. It has been so helpful and so comforting to be able to speak our inner thoughts without the other trying to fix anything. Through that very calming experience of being heard and hearing ourselves, we come into the present with what is.

The same can be true for all other intimate relationships. We hold each other in love and derive comfort from each other. When our lives become more complicated both inside and outside, let us rejoice in the bird singing and the rain clouds and each other. We are here, together. How glorious!

Photo credit: Phil Mayes

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner

BookshelfIn this week's blog, we wrote about how to stay balanced in your life and relationships. These articles provide helpful suggestions and interesting research on the benefits of mindfulness.

7 Strategies to Face Life's Challenges "In our personal lives, and on a global scale, we face challenges that test our emotional mettle — injury, illness, unemployment, grief, divorce, death, or even a new venture with an unknown future. Here are seven strategies to help carry us through."

The Science and Practice of Staying Present Through Difficult Times "Research into mindfulness has shown the benefits of staying present, and of gently turning towards difficulty. Mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) trains people with addictive habits to manage their cravings mindfully by staying present to the sensations of craving, rather than trying to distract from them, avoid them or defeat them."

How to Face a Challenge With Confidence "Do not underestimate the power of being present. If you make a practice of facing your challenges—even in failure—with full presence and awareness, you will find most challenges are not challenges at all. Instead life’s challenges become messages from the universe. Meditation can help you cultivate silent awareness and is a good tool to help bring that focus to yourself during difficult times."


Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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