Fit For Life: Be Grateful & Enjoy Your Day

Sunday, May 20, 2018


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I do not participate in organized religion. My mother is still trying to get me to church on Sunday’s and I have several employees that are always trying to entice me in that direction. I do not have the desire nor interest in attending or following along with all the believers and churchgoers.

I do however feel like religious people are seeking positive reinforcement and are trying to improve their lives and see the good around them. In many cases, people finding religion has saved their lives, or inspired them to become better people and I admire that. I am not against it on any level because religion can make someone a better person, and I am all about self-improvement.

But it’s not for me.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t live with gratitude, have faith and believe in a higher power, because I do. I read self-help books, listen to podcasts, and go to conferences. I am always trying to be a better person, just not through religion.

I just feel like science and astrology are responsible for our existence. In fact, many religions were formed based on the stars and astrology. I am not an expert, nor is this article about religion. I am not trying to stir a debate, I am just trying to bring awareness to our overall existence, and what my interpretation of GOD is.

Let’s look at the big picture and stop just looking at what we have in front of us. In order to stop taking our existence for granted, we need to look beyond the scope of the present and see things from a broader view.

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago in the form of a weird dream. Then several things happened that got me to thinking about our existence and how we are here, and what we should be grateful for. I received several signs that formed my dream and enhanced my faith in a higher power. Even though I am not religious, I believe in god and my interpretation of GOD is the creator of everything.

Let’s begin with the big picture and go backwards from there.

I love watching public television and shows that talk about space, the universe, galaxies, the solar system, and individual planets. I like it because it puts things into perspective and I realize how lucky we are to even exist. It makes you realize that we are merely a particle in the whole scheme of things and we shouldn’t take anything for granted.

The universe is everything. This describes infinity and everything GOD has ever created. It is something that has invisible boundaries, and no one really knows how big it is. There is no end to the universe.

Within the universe are galaxies. Galaxies are a cluster of solar systems that contain planets. Our solar system is the Milky Way.

Within our Milky Way is a collection of 9 planets, and as far as we know, only one is livable and that’s earth.

So, let’s talk about how lucky we are to be living on earth. Now I am not a big believer in luck, but let’s face it, we are lucky to be alive. There was no skill involved in creating earth. GOD did it and then we were created. So, let’s look at our existence and how we live.

We need oxygen to breathe and that’s the common denominator of all life forms. According to the research I have read, we are the only planet that has an atmosphere humans can thrive in. Air or oxygen is required for all life. Water is made of hydrogen and oxygen and that’s what gives plants life. Plants feed the animals and the animals feed us. It’s that simple but shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Our creation was complex but that doesn’t mean our lives need to be. We create a lot of our own problems and things that cause our lives to be complex. I am no exception, but I realize that, and I take the blame for it. There are a lot of things I should be doing differently, and when I become aware of them, I make changes. I try not to let the small things bother me and try to focus on the bigger things in life that matter. Things like my health and family. Everything else can be replaced but those two. So, we shouldn’t let trivial things get in our way.

I see a lot of people on a daily basis, and everyone has a story, or something going on in their lives that effect their mood, demeanor, and activity levels. Some of it is significant and some of it can be avoided with the right mindset. Some things are out of their control and some of it can be controlled.

When things are out of your control, it’s time to step back and work on you, and think about all the things you can be grateful for.

Step back and realize that the universe works in mysterious ways, and that in most instances we are in control of our own destiny. Think about how small we are as individuals and that every breath we take is a bonus. We are not entitled to be here, so be grateful for the fact that you are.

When sitting in traffic, waiting in line, or getting bad service stresses you out, stop and take inventory. When your boss disciplines you, or you have a bad day, shrug it off as part of life. You can’t control these things, so don’t let it eat you up or stress you out. Get stronger and make the necessary adjustments to limit the chances of it happening again. That’s all you can do. You can’t change people, and you can’t fix everything, but you can control your actions and reactions.

When your knees hurt, you’re out of breath walking upstairs, or your doctor puts you on medication for high blood pressure, take action and don’t feel sorry for yourself or complain to others. These are things that are in your control, and you can fix them if you make the effort. You need to want change more than you want to live in pain for it to occur. If you don’t like someone, avoid them. If something you are doing stresses you out, stop doing it. If a restaurant has bad service or food on a regular basis, stop going there.

Life isn’t always the way it’s supposed to be. It is what it is. It’s how we deal with it that makes the difference.

Regardless if your life is going well, or you are hitting some obstacles, there is always something to be grateful for. Remember that we are lucky to even exist, even if our existence isn’t always a smooth ride.

When you are down in out think of this neutral denomination prayer I created after I woke from my dream: It goes like this.

Thank you, GOD, for creating the universe. Thank you for creating the galaxy that our solar system exists in. Thank you for creating the planet earth. Thank you for creating the air we breathe, and the water we drink. Thank you for creating the plants that feed the animals we eat. And thank you to the animals that sacrifice their lives so that we can life with happiness and gratitude.

Now think of something you can be grateful for and enjoy your day.

Committed to your success,

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Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


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