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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.



    Here is my version:

    Soul Care Kit, Items 1-12

    1. Identify situations, people and associations in your life that destabilize you, 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 chaos merchants and psychic vampires. Tell 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 be your friend, and I need to take care of my soul now."

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

    4. Create a safe sanctuary where you can be alone and stay as long as you need to, doing nothing. Refuse to apologize for your need for peace and privacy.

    5. If there are people in your online life who send 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 Chilean Pink Flamingos and penguins.

    7. Plan a trip that would nourish your soul, even if you may never be able to take it. Plan the trip in great detail, and put the itinerary in your Dream Box.

    8. Practice telling friends and associates that you need a “time out.” Take control of your life! Let them know that you will be back at some point, but cannot specify when. Tell them that you need some Soul Time. Ask for their loving support.

    9. Make a list of your ten favorite ways to 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. If necessary, get help with your 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. Don't forget to breathe.

    11. Fill in the blank.

    12. Fill in the blank.

    (Photograph in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life)
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