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Walking the tightrope: maintaining balance amidst change

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Wellness refers to a mindset or lifestyle that is conducive toward well-being. Our way of life affects our environment.

The absence of wellness occurs when we have not made good choices usually when encountering a life transition. Change is difficult, and adapting to such times takes skill. Wellness is an attitude that rolls with the punches life throws at us.

So the trick to maintaining wellness is identifying these transitional times before they become crises that coincide with illness, depression, anger, dissatisfaction, financial problems, career discontent, or relational infidelity. Times that lack harmony or peace merely require the redirection of mental, emotional, and spiritual energy because life is evolving, and past coping skills have become inadequate to meet the present challenge.

One must understand the inevitable stages of a lifetime. We begin as children, become adults, and mature into parents that are responsible for other human beings. As transactional analysis explains, we respond as parents, adults, or children depending upon the roles we play in significant relationships. A parent is a caretaker, an adult is an independent decision maker, and a child submits to authority.

However, we also play roles in our emotional evolution which differ depending upon our environment. We might be a parent at home, a child at work merely doing as instructed by our superiors, and an adult as president of the homeowner’s association.

The same stages of evolution are true of our spiritual maturation. As seekers of wisdom, we begin by accepting the rules and regulations of the masters and guides that are wiser than ourselves. Then, as we become adults, we are given responsibility such as who to marry and how to express gratitude and appreciation for that which is greater than us. However, in every successful spiritual awakening, the initiate realizes his or her insignificance to the totality of being. This occurs when true understanding is gained, and the wise one is accepted as an elder or sage in the community.

In cases where true respect for autonomy is challenged, a victim, rescuer, and persecutor dynamic can develop. The victimized child can be rescued by a parent from a predator adult’s attempt to discipline. These types of situations help explain how the lack of harmony and peace manifests as illness, financial difficulty, unemployment, and infidelity.

When dealing with discord, one needs to understand that one is usually moving to a new stage in physical, emotional, and/or spiritual understanding. The first major crises we encounter are our transitions to adulthood. We go from being submissive to an independent decision maker. Next, we transition to spouse or partner. We have to learn how to compromise in order to share our life with another. Similarly, those that become parents must transition to the role of teacher until the child becomes an adult. And of course, at such times, women experience “empty nest” syndrome and men often have mid-life crises.

A mid-life crisis occurs as an adult struggles to develop the skill set needed to become an elder. The role of parent/provider is not truly the role that the soul needs to take to find self-satisfaction; it is merely a stage in evolution. Thus, an Identity crisis occurs as we move from being an independent authority to an understanding that the world is far more complex and supernal than we ever imagined.

Consequently, we need to spend less time focusing upon our situation and more upon our maturation. Wellness is just accepting that some decisions help us transition better than others. Diet, exercise, meditation, prayer, service, and creative expression all tend to help us transition more easily. We will make these inevitable transitions; it just depends upon whether we want them to be joyful or painful.

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