Balance can be achieved in many ways, but at its core, it is a personal journey. Through my work in a holistic wellness clinic, I found that a balanced life was an individualized experience for each of my patients. It was always a deeply personal journey. At the core of each individual’s experience, fundamental aspects of a balanced life came to light. By talking with patients, I discovered that those who felt the greatest sense of balance were those individuals who had control over the following three fundamental aspects of life:
This article will focus on creating a balanced life based on these three fundamental components. Keep in mind that health, relationships, and finance are all interrelated. You may also want to think about relationships in a more global way (e.g. your relationship with God, life or society). If these fundamental aspects of your life are not balanced, it will cause a great deal of psychic and eventually physical pain.
A balanced conscious life is holistic
Before we discuss the basics of a balanced life, let’s consider what is it to live holistically. Holistic medicine considers the mind, body, and emotions. The study of holistic medicine is much more complicated than the study of western medicine because it is a study of our place in a complex system. The study of medicine is a study of disease, which separates the body into individual parts − a fundamental mistake because although the heart is different from the liver, it is not separate. Neither could exist without the other. A competent holistic practitioner treats mental, emotional, and physical with the best of both western, and alternative medicine. He/she realizes that there is no separation among the three.
Life itself is holistic (i.e. one part of life is not separate from any other aspect of life). We differentiate individual characteristics of our lives solely for the purpose of understanding them. These characteristics include the mental, emotional, and physical. In reality, there is no separation between these three aspects of our being. If one lives life believing the mental, emotional, and physical are separate entities, they are living a delusion. Separation between the three aspects of your being is an abstract concept, but understanding the interconnectedness of the three can create a life that is free of delusion.
It is important to have a holistic approach to life. Improving one aspect of your life automatically improves all other parts of your life. It is imperative to make your health, relationships, and occupation a priority. Temporarily, one area may take precedence, but in the long term, they all must be brought into balance. When one aspect of your life is out of balance, there are negative ramifications to your entire being. Take for example a millionaire Wall Street broker who smokes four packs a day, and drinks 12 cups of coffee. He has a heart attack at 42. If he survives, he must approach his life holistically and confront his health at the expense of everything else. Another example are the parents who focus all their time and energy on their children. By failing to nurture their own health, they become ill, losing the ability to take care of their children. To avoid these difficult situations, we must take a balanced, ecological approach to life by attending to our health, relationships, and occupation. Let’s go deeper on the topic of holistic and explore the concept of holographic.
Life is holographic
In simple terms, we understand all parts are within the whole, and each part is critical to the whole. A less commonly known concept is the whole is contained in all the parts. Holographic projection film is an example of this. Before the days of digital images, three-dimensional pictures were generated by holographic film. If you were to cut the holographic film into its smallest piece, it still contained an entire picture of the whole. This principle applies to all aspects of your life; every piece contains a picture of the whole. Everything in the universe (one verse), including individuals, are holistic and holographic. Everyone knows that the drop is in the ocean, though few people recognize the ocean is in each drop. A practical application of this concept, which I would use when giving a speech to a large audience, was to connect and talk to one individual in the front row. By connecting with that person, I connected with the whole audience. It worked every time.
As individuals, we project ourselves holographically into the world. For instance, if someone has a clean bedroom, yet his or her drawers are messy, it is a safe bet their car is clean, but the trunk is disheveled. If someone does not take care of his or her body, it is assumed he or she do not take care of his or her home or possessions. These are examples that illustrate what it means to be holographic. Transforming one aspect of your life will transform all aspects. Having a holistic and holographic perspective can create quantum shifts in your life. Let’s explore the three main aspects of your life with our new perspective.
The first fundamental aspect to a balanced holistic life is your health. If you are an adult, your health is solely your responsibility. No one else can work out for you, eat your meals, calm your nerves or think less stressful thoughts. Health is entirely an inside job. You must have health, energy, mental focus, and vitality for long-term success in all areas of your life. So many people search extrinsically for happiness in relationships, and finances, ignoring their personal needs. Sometimes, the most important thing you can do for yourself and others is to be self-centered enough to put your health first. Consciously creating health will give you the mental focus needed to enhance all aspects of your life. Any coaching or psychological counseling fails or is only marginally successful without addressing health. Stephen R Covey said it best, “Internal victories precede external victories.” Win your personal victory of health, and you will see many rewards in every aspect of your life. Your health must be a priority; it is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
The second fundamental aspect to living a balanced holistic life is to have sustainable, successful relationships. Relationships are the best way to know and experience the self. When relationships are formed, life is no longer is life just about you; you must now consider the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of others. In a physically intimate relationship, this high regard for the other person is even deeper. The beauty and excitement of relationships are in the risks you take. You must be authentic, open, honest and vulnerable if you want your relationships to work. You cannot hide what you consider the ugly, undesirable, unconscious parts of yourself for long in an intimate relationship. To be successful in a long-term relationship, you must be willing to “Pay the Price.”
Understanding the concepts in “Pay the Price” will transform your relationships. You will be one of the few who transitions your relationships from conflict management into a creative process. Without a similar vision, most couples just co-exist. They grow their lives organically. Nothing is more mentally, emotionally and spiritually draining than co-existing in a loveless relationship because of money, kids or convenience.
Being together is a choice, so why would you choose distance, superficiality or contempt when you could choose authentic, mental, emotional and physical intimacy. Unfulfilling Relationships are very damaging to the spirit and have consequences in every aspect of your life. For long-term relationship success, you must learn the tools to create the relationship of your dreams. With these tools, you will be able to recreate every relationship in your life. Ultimately, you will bring a high quality of consciousness to the relationships that are most meaningful to you − with your spouse, children, extended family, community, the world and your vision of your creator.
The third fundamental aspect of life is the contribution you want to make to the world. The vision of creating modest economic order and taking care of yourself and your family is a grand, glorious journey. The fact remains, the majority of people despise the work they do on a daily basis. Emerson says, “Life is too short to spend one minute doing something you do not love.” Thoreau states, “The mass of man lead lives of quiet a desperation and go to the grave with the song still in their heart.” The reason most people lead a life of quiet desperation is they never deliberately or consciously created their life or their careers. They simply took the first job available, majored in something that sounded good, or followed in their parent’s footsteps allowing their lives to grow organically instead of consciously and deliberately. Organic growth is when we react to our environment, circumstances and family/social conditioning to determine a path in life. Sometimes this unconscious approach to life might work out; usually, it leads to a miserable destiny, not of your choosing. Many people know what they want in life, but never follow through. Instead, they become locked in a cycle of conflict, unhappy with their lives, and afraid to make changes.
Do not wait any longer embark on your journey to a consciously balanced life; You will ultimately create the life you have always imagined and desired.
Dr. Steven Cangiano began his college career with aspirations to become a high school teacher. These aspirations took a turn when he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and go into the field of podiatric surgery. He completed his medical school training at Temple University and his surgical residency at the NY College of Podiatric Medicine where he was chief resident. He continued his academic career and fulfilled his early teaching aspirations by becoming an assistant professor of surgery at the age of 27. He was board certified in foot and ankle surgery at the age of 28. As residency director of the Franciscan Health System of NJ, Dr. Cangiano grew the program into the largest in NJ. Dr. Cangiano published multiple articles in medical journals and spent a total of thirteen years in academic medicine before venturing off into the world of complementary medicine.