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Making Peace with Your Self

Ram Dass

January always seems like an odd month to start a new year to me. Smack in the middle of winter, sliding right in after the holidays, January seems more like a time to lay low, huddle by the fireplace, and browse seed catalogues. My new year seems better suited to starting in the fall, when school goes back in session and the summer fades away. Putting away summer clothes, cleaning out the pantry, buying lots of school supplies (a real weakness of mine), and feeling the crisp newness of the fall air trigger that whole new-year-intention-setting thing for me. So when January rolls around and the airwaves are full of resolutions and expectations for change, it feels like a been there/done that mind set.

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Love the Work You Do

“May the beauty of what you love be what you do”. Rumi DSCN2125

This is the quote that greets me as I walk into my home office each morning. Everyday I read it, smile in appreciation, and get on with my day. But today, I got it. Do work you love, Rumi seems to be saying, and love the work you do. Ahhh…

In everything we do there are challenges. Jobs have high moments and well, not so high ones. Families give us both love and stress. Days are a mixture of all of this and we choose which vibration rules the day. My professional life combines the celestial and the mundane. Some of my time -not nearly enough these days- is spent seeing clients and working with the energy fields of the body. This is deep soul-fulfilling work and I love it. Most of my day though, is spent on the computer doing paperwork, editing announcements, and proofing documents. This can be soul-numbing work when the hours spill into the evening and deadlines loom. Together they are the yin and yang of my day and each serves a purpose.

The energy work reminds me that life is so much bigger than paperwork. The office work grounds me into the reality that everything needs a structure to thrive. I am blessed by both and in doing each of them there is satisfaction. Meaning is derived from a satisfied life. A life that matters is fulfilling. Happiness is the mark of a fulfilled life. The pieces fit together like a well chiseled puzzle.

Each day I make a decision to see my life as beautiful and whole. That doesn’t mean that everything is always great. People die, cars get flat tires, dogs throw up on new carpet, and unexpected bills come my way too. Wholeness of life- or self for that matter- isn’t dependent on circumstances. It comes from choosing to see life experience through a different lens. How I perceive the value of my work, and the delight I take in doing it, are mine to decide. Satisfaction, meaning, love, beauty, happiness, these are words that define a purposeful life.

Loving your work doesn’t have to mean a new job, but it may require a new way of looking at things. The true value of my work is in how I feel doing it. There can be a lot of beauty in an organized desk, a clean floor, or an empty inbox. As much as I see when I help the body to balance and heal in an energy session. Rumi asks me to let that be the parameter of my job satisfaction. I choose to do just that.

Energy and the Spirit


Holding space in the background of my work is the belief that “Love is all there is.”  The writings of Paul Tillich underscore this perception and provide depth to its understanding. Tillich was a German-born existential theologian/philosopher who lived in the early-mid 20th century. Bringing a cosmic focus to his understanding of God and salvation, Tillich coined a unique vocabulary to express the nature and essence of God.  He saw God as the power and essence of unconditional love, calling him/her the ground-of-being, ultimate reality, ultimate concern, and being itself. God as infinite and indefinable, but at the same time as manifesting in the tangible as finite reality; in other words, God is in all things, but also above all things. Creation completely embodies God and God completely embodies creation. In this way, no separation is possible, because no separation exists.

According to Tillich, the human condition is estrangement; the belief that we are separate from God, causing us to feel incomplete, broken, and guilty. Tillich went so far to say that the cosmic disease afflicting mankind is this guilt we manifest over being disconnected from God our Source of Being. Because of this, he saw salvation as a healing process, a return to the wholeness that was lost in the process of estrangement. [1]   This includes individual salvation of course, but within the greater scope of cosmic salvation, the saving of all creation.

“When salvation has cosmic significance, healing is not only included in it, but salvation can be described as the act of cosmic healing… Salvation is basically and essentially healing, the re-establishment of a whole that was broken, disrupted, or disintegrated.”[2]

So the return to wholeness, our natural state, is the purpose of salvation.  Healing then is restorative. It reestablishes our connection to the divine on both an individual and cosmic level and reunites us with grace. The return to right relationship with God is also the return to right relationship with our selves.  From a Christian perspective, this is the saving work of Jesus.

Tillich’s perception of God as ground-of-being, and salvation as healing, are important concepts in understanding the spiritual dimension of healing. Seeing the energy of the universe as the power, essence, and love of God means that our embodiment by the Holy Spirit is the flow of the power of God within us. This indwelling of power/energy/Spirit/God as both life force and inner healer opens the door to understanding both how healing occurs in us and through us. It is natural then to see healing as a spiritual activity, a God-mediated process that brings restoration of our inherent wholeness. This brings me back full circle to the spiritual focus of my ministry and work. It is the Spirit that heals.

[1] This is a compilation of Tillich’s ideas that I made after reading transcripts of discussions he had with a professor of religious studies and his students at the University of California in Santa Barbara in the 1960’s. Later published in a book called Ultimate Concern: Tillich in Dialogue with D. Mackenzie Brown. Harper and Row 1965, this dialogue can be accessed online at

[2] Paul Tillich, The Meaning of Health. Edited by Perry Le Fevre. Chicago, IL: Exploration Press, 1984, 17.