Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Going Home

Even though I am a few decades away from retiring, I still read the monthly retirement guide in the Wall Street Journal.  It has articles that focus on finding meaning and purpose in this stage of life.  Meaning, purpose and people's personal journeys always interest me.  Anyways, why wait until retirement to find meaning and purpose?  One of the latest articles, "Finding Your Way Home," by Kathleen Hughes chronicled people's experiences in visiting their childhood homes.  From a psychological standpoint, the motivating force is a way to reconnect to their childhood experiences.  Going back to the physical place can trigger deep memories and feelings.  Many people were disappointed because their childhood homes had been either taken down or remodeled.  Others found the physical deterioration of the home to have ruined their positive memory.  My favorite experience was the man who saw the family farm his grandparents had owned.  It was deflating because the farm looked small and in total disrepair.  Yet, he decided to look for farmland elsewhere to buy and share with his siblings to recreate the experience.  I like it because he understood that the physical place was not as important as the people who created the experience.  As long as he remembered the childhood joy, he could recreate it in another way.

In Ayurveda, one of the aspects of perfect health is being in a state of full bliss.  If someone's spirit is not happy, then there is not true health.  What is your spirit?  It is not your body.  It is your life source- your soul, your consciousness.  The soul and spirit exist in all living things.  It is the part of us that animates us.  This part of us lives on even if our physical state changes form.  Remembering that our spirit keeps our experiences and our spirit creates new ones makes us freer.  Our physical life is filled with many experiences and as time passes, more experiences are made.  The experience adds to our soul and it is not an end in and of itself.  Keep the memories alive and use them to create new experiences, even if the physical place has changed.

Stay healthy & well,

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