Anthony Salerno began to develop his philosophy on how to live at the age of 18. Strongly influenced by Yogic and Buddhic traditions, he follows his inner voice, accepts what life throws at him and tries to maintain an attitude of ‘unconditional love’. Following this creed, Anthony was able to deal effectively with life’s ups and downs until one day, out of the blue, his wife of 7 years told him that she needed time apart.
‘It really hit me hard; I was completely shattered. For the first 3 days I couldn’t do anything other than think about it. On the 3rd day I was lying in bed and I just couldn’t handle the pain and the suffering anymore so I said to myself ‘okay, this is not what you want and you have other plans for your life but if this is happening it’s obviously meant to be, regardless of what you think’. I just needed to accept it because I was in so much pain. It was torture.
‘I thought: ‘I don’t get it but there must be some plan that I haven’t seen yet and I’m going to trust that it’ll reveal itself.’ Fighting with it wasn’t working so I just surrendered and immediately, underneath all the emotion, I was at peace.
‘It’s amazing how it’s all in your perception. While I was saying “Why is this happening? This shouldn’t be happening” I was in the most intense pain I’ve ever experienced and when I just allowed reality to be as it was then all of a sudden I was at peace. There was no drama. We still loved each other so much that I never felt like it was over.’
Dominique and Anthony had met at university, married young and within a short time had left their jobs and sold their house to set up the Blue Angel, a space for holistic practices and personal development, in St Kilda, Melbourne. Both were passionate about their work and battled to keep the business going. Then came the split.
One year later the couple got back together when Dominique, Anthony’s wife, returned from Thailand and India, where she had travelled to undertake yoga-teacher training.
‘I came to see that it needed to happen – for both of us because we were together from such a young age. I think it’s important that we know we can stand on our own, take care of ourselves, while being a couple. We both have a strong sense of purpose. We put all our attention and all our energy into what we do, and I suppose we took each other for granted a little bit. A lot of the time we spent together was focusing on our work.
‘It was really amazing what the break did for us. The separation put things into perspective and made me realize how important this relationship is to me. I love what I do but I need to have the person that I love with me and to have a life outside of my work. I don’t think we were balancing our lives and now we are very conscious of it. We have both cut back on the number of hours we work and we make time to do stuff that we enjoy – family and friends and other things.’
Anthony believes that the goal that many people seem to have, to eliminate all the negative elements from life, is not attainable or even desirable.
‘In life you’re going to get ups and downs. You can’t get rid of the challenges – you need them and when things get tough it forces you to grow.’
In his book ‘Beyond the Emotional Roller Coaster’, Anthony expands on this idea:
“Equilibrium exists in the universe and is maintained at all times so when we take a particular polarised stance on anything, someone, somewhere, takes the opposing stance to balance it out and we effectively create more of the thing that we oppose.”
This focus on the acceptance and balancing of opposites underpins Anthony’s teaching which describes how transformational healing can be brought about simply by learning to love everything unconditionally. Thus, the emotional conflict which is inherent in judgement may be transcended and a state of calm maintained.
Beyond the Emotional Roller Coaster by Anthony Salerno published
by Blue Angel Gallery, Australia 1st edition 2007