By Dr. Sal Benanti
We live at a time characterized by both tremendous stress and tremendous opportunity. To an alarming degree, various forms of breakdown in health, self, relationships and work have become a predictable part of the normal “average life”.
At the same time, while science continues to blend with the wisdom of other traditions, greater insight into the interplay of our mental/emotional, physical and interpersonal systems has provided the opportunity (and challenge) to optimize the quality of our lives like never before.
As a result, we live at a time of new hope and promise. No longer is it necessary, nor valid to assume, that stress and the high cost of its corrosive symptoms is “just how it is”.
This simply is not true.
Why Optimum Living…
I started The Center for Optimum Living in 1989 to provide bright, motivated and open-minded people with the kind of counseling that increases their ability to fulfill more of their life’s potential. Often, this involves overcoming some of the most stress producing “challenges” of our time. These include: personal, relationship and work difficulties, emotional distress, life-transitions, marriage and family issues, unexpected losses, underlying anxiety and depression… along with the fading of personal qualities such as a strong inner-spirit, self-discipline, inspired purpose, humor, enjoyment and commitment.
While the notion of “perfect living” with zero stress is totally idealistic, “optimum living” with minimal stress is an ideal that can guide us to a more fulfilling life. Accordingly, optimum living is about effectively responding to stress while still progressing toward our goals with creative energy, balance, joy and integrity.
This is our birthright and the natural result of unblocking more of our inherent strength in mind, body and spirit. With these resources in play, it is far more likely that we’ll attain our goals.
Since there’s potential for optimum living within us all, my private counseling practice engages that potential through positive psychology. I work with adults, couples and groups both locally and throughout the country. Some have very specific concerns. Others focus on broader issues like life-direction or maintaining momentum.
Most simply, my role is to clear the way for more effective perspectives and actions that are better aligned with attaining the best qualities one’s life has to offer. Becoming more influential through intentional, meaningful and effective communication, both within oneself and with others, is almost always involved.
My orientation derives from an unusually comprehensive background including two masters degrees and a doctorate from Columbia University, years of experience and training in human potential, personal and spiritual growth, goal achievement and nutritional therapy. My passion for learning about these grew out of necessity, since my Dad, who was a clear guiding light, died unexpectedly when I was 16. I love sharing what I’ve learned since then while helping others to fulfill more of their own best potentials.
Since stress can easily accumulate anywhere in one’s system, we also offer focused therapeutic massage/bodywork. Our exceptional massage therapists are great at releasing stress on two levels. They release “held stress” that inhabits one’s whole body-mind-emotional system, as well as stress that’s localized in specific muscles creating physical problems. Our work has been featured in a massage training textbook used nationally.
The Bottom Line…
The more we’re stirred-up by, sucked into and/or holding stress inside, the more distracted, unhealthy, unhappy and misdirected we become. But for those of us who choose, we can and do learn to live from (and expand) that strong and wise “still place” within the center of us all.
Our lives then become more consistently relaxed, open, enjoyable and fulfilled. Our own inner wisdom guides us, come what may, through all of our daily challenges. Never perfectly, mind you… but mostly, primarily and increasingly, as we live through the ongoing changes and phases that are part of everyone’s life.
Dr. S.C. Benanti The Center for Optimum Living www.optimum-living.com 6 Hillside Road Kinnelon, NJ 973-838-8375