Dan Keusal's e-newsletter
Spring 2018 edition:
"Spices, and Lovely Vitality"
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How do we live a life marked by "spices" and "lovely vitality"? How do we respond when we feel uncomfortable or uncertain? My reflections in this newsletter speak to these questions. The "Resources" section includes a quote by Brene Brown, an interview with Naomi Shihab Nye, a song by Mary Black, and another one of my photos (with a title that might intrigue you). May you find something here that helps put a spring in your step as you continue into this season of new life.
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Reflections: “Spices, and Lovely Vitality."
"A chickpea leaps
almost over the rim of the pot
where it's being boiled.
"Why are you doing this to me?"
The cook knocks him down with the ladle.
"Don't you try to jump out.
You think I'm torturing you.
I'm giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being
We each have times in our life when we are tempted to leap out of the pot, when life feels too "hot," too intense, too demanding, or when we simply fear the changes that we sense are coming, because we do not know where those changes will lead us.
In such times, we may feel "tortured." We may ask "Why, life, are you doing this to me?"
Jungian Psychotherapy is about helping us to ask that question with an open heart, and to look for the meaning that can arise when we do so. It's about providing support so that we can stay as present as possible to whatever life and our own deeper selves are asking of us. It is only through this process of staying in the pot and letting ourselves be "cooked," of mixing with the "spices," that our lives can take on flavor, and we can begin to embody "the lovely vitality of a human being." Jung called this process "individuation."
What are the ways that you try to leap out of the pot? What difference would it make if you could stay present, pay attention, understand, and then respond well to what arises in your life?
Resources For A Life Of Depth And Meaning:
(quote): "Because we've lost our capacity for pain and discomfort, we have transformed that pain into hatred, and blame. It's so much easier for people to cause pain than it is for them to feel their own pain." (Brene Brown)
(podcast): "Your Life Is A Poem," Poet Naomi Shihab Nye speaks in a genuine, straightforward way about the value of "spaciousness," and about how writing things down (even difficult things) helps us feel better. She also reflects on her most famous poem, "Kindness": "Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing." (Interviewed by Krista Tippet for the series "On Being"). (song): "No Frontiers" (Mary Black). Years ago, when I worked as a performing musician, this was one of my favorite covers to play. (photo): "Sweet Doing Nothing" (Dan Keusal) Click on the photo to read more about it (including how it got it's title), and to download your own copy from my web site: