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  • Richard Brautigan wrote a poem I have always loved called “Karma Repair Kit – Items 1-4” which goes like this:

    1.Get enough food to eat, and eat it.

    2.Find a place to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there.

    3.Reduce intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself,
    and listen to it.



    Inspired by Brautigan, I created a “Soul Care Kit – Items 1-12" for myself, to help me survive the unprecedented stress of our times. Sound good? Read on.

    Items 11 & 12 are open, like Zen gardens, for reflection and meditation.

    Here’s to our collective health, sanity and success, so we can gather strength to live the change we want to see in the world, and create lives of joy, meaning and purpose!


    Soul Care Kit, Items 1-12

    1. Identify situations, people and associations in your life that make you lose your equilibrium, and put them at a safe distance, behind a firewall, where they cannot disorient and disrupt you. Resign from burdensome or crazy-making commitments.

    2. Dismiss psychic troublemakers and vampires altogether by telling them that while you will always hold them in your highest prayers, you can no longer continue the relationship and to please leave you alone now. A gracious way to say good bye is to tell them: “We have finished our work together.” If that doesn't work, you can also add: "Quite honestly, I am exhausted with trying to love you, and I need to take care of my soul now."

    3. Spend as much time as you can by the sea, and when possible, meditate at the bottom of large waterfalls. The negative ions will be better than years of therapy. Walking in the woods is good also.

    4. Create a safe sanctuary where you can be alone and stay as long as you need to, doing nothing. Refuse to make apologies for your need to be in "a room of your own."

    5. If there are people in your online life who send you messages that annoy or disturb you, BLOCK THEM! No need to explain.

    6. Visit the nearest zoo, natural history museum, art museum, and botanical gardens. Don’t ask why. Just do it. Giraffes are entertaining, as are the Chilean Pink Flamingos and penguins.

    7. Plan a trip to somewhere that nourishes your soul, even if you cannot get away for awhile or ever. Plan the trip in great detail and put the itinerary in your Dream Box.

    8. Learn how to tell friends and associates that you need a “time out.” This is a way to take control of unpleasant situations, on your terms. Let people know that you will be back at some point, but cannot specify when. Tell them you love them, but you need to take care of your soul now. Ask for their loving support.

    9. Make a list of the ten best ways to renew and refresh your mind-body-spirit, and do them. Cultivate happiness. Practice kindness. Laugh as often as possible. Entertain Angels. Spend time with fun, positive and creative people.

    10. Discipline yourself to spend at least half your day without using digital devices of any kind. Stop the addiction to text messages and email. Sign out of idiotic social networks which do not add value to your life. Develop a low-tech lifestyle. Cultivate your connection to the Great Spirit. Use the time you free up for service to others, to your community, to the world, and focus on becoming the best you can be as a catalyst for positive change.


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