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The Integrated Life

by Stephen W. Smith

Today in Colorado–well it’s stunning and mesmerizing. It’s why I chose to live in such staggering beauty. I took a long drive today into the foothills and my road took me up and down, swaggering by hills and through green pastures. Beauty that is intoxicating. I stopped at a favorite tea house where I ordered French Press Coffee, Carrot Cake and ice water and just basked in the sunshine.

Glory! Why is it, that carrot cakes seems to help almost everything and everyone?

Then I reached for my journal and began to write a page about how deeply I am longing to live what I am going to call “the integrated life.” A life that I will begin to share with you here. I came up with ten descriptions of the integrated life I want to live. In post after post, Gwen and I will begin to share our hearts, soul’s longings and deep stirrings with you. Perhaps our thoughts will stir you to think more deeply; more contemplatively; more reflectively about the life that you are living and whether you are happy with the life you are living.

Here’s how the dictionary defines the word “integrate:”

   [in-ti-greyt] Show IPA verb, -grat·ed, -grat·ing.
verb (used with object)
1.to bring together or incorporate (parts) into a whole.
2.to make up, combine, or complete to produce a whole or a larger unit, as parts do.
3.to unite or combine.
4.to give or cause to give equal opportunity and consideration to (a racial, religious, or ethnic group or a member of such a group): to integrate minority groups in the school system.
5.to combine (educational facilities, classes, and the like, previously segregated by race) into one unified system; desegregate.

I want all of this in my life. I’m tired of managing silos of work, health, family and faith. I don’t believe in silo thinking any more. I don’t believe in the balanced life any more. I believe the balanced life is a myth and lie that someone invented to sell books and fill seminars. I’ve tried to find balance. Now I am liking two words, far, far better than balanced! They are the words integrated and rhythm. I’ll explain more in the blogs to follow.

I met today with some social marketing geeks who are going to help us revamp our blog, give a face lift to our old look and capture the message we will begin to share with you.

OK blog readers. I invite you to comment. What do you think an integrated life looks like? Do you want one? What can we do to live the life we want?

Copyright 2011. Stephen W. Smith


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