Thursday, June 13, 2013

Care of the Soul

I learned something important yesterday.  Anxiety is caused by the gap between your Ideal Self and your Perceived Self.  The larger that gap, the more anxiety you feel.  Since I have been having so much trouble with panic and a sensation of not being able to breathe, there is something here I need to learn.

I have had it backwards.  I knew that the goal was to listen to my authentic self and to not let the ego be in charge.  But yesterday, I finally had the revelation that what I have been thinking of as ego is in fact my real, perceived self.  And what I have been calling my authentic self is actually the ego.  I imagine I am not the only one that has been making this mistake.  As my teacher was talking to me about this it dawned on me that this real, perceived self is in fact the soul.  This ideal self that is so demanding, intent on problem solving, and full of goals is not even real.  The ego and the soul are not equal partners.  They can never be made whole.  This reminded me of a book I read a few years back called The Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore.  Caring for the soul cultivates a rich and meaningful life day by day.  Our decisions either support or disturb the soul.  The wholeness we need comes from looking at life and spirituality from the point of view of the soul.  That is where we learn and grow.

I am leaving tomorrow for a trip to Europe with my 16 year old grandson, Zac.  We fly into London and will meet my sister, Sheila, and a friend, Barbara.  Our plan is to be tourists in London for four days.  Then we will take the train to Chateauroux, France, for six days where we will be part of a series of events celebrating the long friendship between the people of Chateauroux and the Americans and their descendants that were stationed in Chateauroux and Deols with the United States Air Force in the 1950's and 1960's.  We lived there from 1960-1962 when my daddy was stationed there.  He worked at the base at Deols.  There will be about twenty Americans traveling to Chateauroux for this celebration.  Zac and I will then go to Paris for seven days...just the two of us.  We plan to take a day trip to Brussels, Belgium, one day but return to our Paris hotel for the night.

I hope that this trip and all it entails...old friends, new friends, the places we visit, the food we taste, the smells, the cultures, the weather, the art... will feed our souls.  I hope we can forget about living successfully and properly and understanding ourselves so that we can relax and just reflect on how the simple pleasures of life exist right under our noses.

Now this is soulful.  Who do you think lives behind this little door?

Here I am with my grandson, Zac, and his daughter Molly and SIL Ken... at one of the lookouts at Petit Jean State Park.  Zac and I are packed and ready to head out on our big adventure.
 To health and happiness.