Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Life's secret ingredient.

I have a stomachache. Despite decent ingredients, my stew today was a flop. How can I save the ample leftovers and convert them into something more edible? Should I add some layers of cheese? Cheese saves almost anything.

What is the secret missing ingredient in my own life? What will convert all my past endeavors and failures into a cohesive and meaningful whole?

Jungian work, meditation, surrender, exploring the Tao-- these are sources of my soul's nourishment. These practices help me begin to find flow, meaning, and cohesion.

© Lewis-Barr 2008
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This morning I had planned to get my yearly blood test at a lab 15 minutes from home. But I was resistant. My days away from the office are sacred and my routine is precious to me. I meditate, have breakfast, meditate some more and write. It is a peaceful, joyful time. The blood work would completely interrupt my morning. I had to go immediately because these tests required fasting. I couldn’t have my morning coffee until I fulfilled this duty.

It was also extremely cold. I dressed and started the car but my mind continued its debate. I didn’t want to leave the warm cocoon of my morning. Especially not to fight traffic and get stuck by a needle in my vein! Why did I have to do these stupid tests anyway? Maybe I could wait until spring when the roads were clearer and the temperature above freezing? My doctor wouldn’t know and I’m a very healthy person…..

In my mind, I could see my mother, shaking her head. I was being a big baby. Go do the test. It’s once a year and not such a big deal. You can meditate in the car on the way there and back. Get it done and over with.

In the end, I got in the car and took the test. My second voice was right, it wasn’t a big deal and the results were desirable. Still, my internal debate revealed my dedication to my inner child and her questioning.

My family has always been nervous about my commitment to questioning, “why?” I don’t accept most adult conventions at face value. Does that make me harder to control? Probably. Is that why I’ve been pressured (like most of us) to abolish my childlike openness and the question “why?”

Being an adult shouldn’t only emphasize being “responsible.” It should stress being response-able, that is, being able to respond to life’s changing circumstances. Ironically, when we become adults and stop asking “why” we hinder our response-abilty. Too often we become automatic in our actions and simply follow a herd mentality.

How many of us aren’t living the lives we desire? We say we are forced to race from one activity to the next, short on sleep and a stranger to our loved ones (and ourselves). What would happen if we asked “why?” Why do we need to do what we do? Then, after the adult gives a standard answer, “bills have to be paid,” or “it’s expected,” or “people will think I’m crazy if I don’t do that,” find the child in you and keep asking “why?” Why do you have to pay the bills (in that way)? Why is it expected (and who expects it)? Why do you believe others and what they say? It is only when we begin to question our assumptions about life that we can make choices from our heart.

Despite my family’s fears, I don’t always give into my desires. This morning, the parental voice made the most sense. But other times, when I follow my intuition and the needs of my sensual self, circumstances usually arrange themselves ideally. When I am in dialogue with both parts of myself, I can find the flow of life, instead of always fighting the currents.

© Lewis-Barr 2008
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