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Living an Integrated Life

Recently, I was presenting (in person!) to a group of fifty Catholic pastors from around the state of California. The title of the presentation was “Living an Integrated Life for Pastors.” Afterwards one of the pastors came up to me to thank me. He said that he did not realize how un-integrated his life was until hearing my presentation. We both shared a laugh as I told him that I would take that as a compliment.

At the very beginning of my presentation, I address why I use the word integrated and not balanced. I find balance leaves people in a frustrating place of either/or. Either you have attained balance, or you have not, as if it is such a simple task. Yet, I have never heard anyone claim that they have attained and maintained a balanced life. So, I suggest that we pursue integration.

An integrated life offers us a holistic framework for living our lives in rhythm. No matter how many ways you label the categories of your life – for simplicity I offer: Body, Mind, and Spirit – rhythm offers us a way to acknowledge the inherent relationship between the categories. At any given time, there may be a focus on one more than another. When I am out on a bike ride for a few hours, there is more of a focus on Body, even though the exercise is also good for my Mind and Spirit.

In the presentation, I have the pastors pair up and share a practice that they are willing to commit to over the next month in the areas of Body, Mind, and Spirit. They then set up a check- in phone call with their partner a month out. I would invite you to do the same with a friend, partner, or colleague.

Here is the closing slide from the presentation:

“You are an unrepeatable combination of God’s gifts. There never has been, there is not now, and there never will be anyone else who is created in the image and likeness of God like you. You are irreplaceable and therefore your full participation in the ongoing co-creation as your best self is essential.”

Live an Integrated Life!

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