Things Fall Apart

Dinner in SausalitoThings fall apart and they should. Everything in life is in an impermanent state of flux. Things end so that new life can emerge. We lose lovers, pets, valued objects, moments, feelings, sleep, friendships, opportunities, and finally loved ones. When things crumble and fall to pieces, new possibilities are soon to present themselves. Thousands of mini deaths inform transformation within the individual psyche, because each of these dying moments gives birth to the process of becoming whole. It is only when we recognize them for what they are and receive their teachings, that we open ourselves to a deeper and more informed opportunity to participate fully in our relationship with life.


“This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again,

And fillest it ever with fresh life.”

(Tagore, R. Gitanjali)

By |February 17th, 2015|Categories: Change|1 Comment

Making Memories Moving Forward

Our 1890’s Queen Anne Victorian stood tall against the morning light. This was the day to say goodbye to a home that housed a thousand memories. As I approached the door, I turned the knob just so, just so that the key would round the lock and the thick, oak door would ease its way open. The smell of the house enveloped me, and I breathed in its polished wood and once burned embers that still held court in the tiled fireplace. Light poured in through the windows on the second floor landing, and I could almost hear the stampede of feet running up and down the wide, wooden staircase. Although the sound of children had long since gone, their handprints still stained the ceiling where they would often slap before leaping to the floor.

It was daunting to think of emptying a place called home. It wasn’t just the furniture, the artwork, the pots and pans; it was the unraveling of times gone by. As boxes mounted and rugs were rolled, what was once so intricate a tapestry, became just objects to store or move or to get rid of. Free of projection, removed from context, my dad’s dresser became a great piece for the group home, our farm table became a hot Craigslist item, and the letting go became liberating.

Memories are made, remembered and made again stringing together the many days of our lives. Activated by our senses, we can always go back: the smell of a cook fire, the fragrance of a rose, the way the sun hits the water, the sound of the fog horn in the night.

Freedom comes at a price; it always has. Letting go took time; it took the release of years saved for some future date; it took surrender; it took the relinquishing of an ideology that was no longer supportive. However, in the goodbye came a quiet hello. Hello to choice, the choice to choose consciously those objects that carry light and speak gently to the heart; the choice to say hello to a new dawn unconditioned by the past. Hello and welcome. ~ S. Dukes

Image: Paul Zachman, Providence, 2011


By |August 5th, 2014|Categories: Change|Tags: |3 Comments

Joyful Work

Stress, oxidative stress in particular, seems to increase in direct proportion to our loss of joy. We all know that we need more joy in our lives, but most of us may not know how to find it. Being that many of us spend most of our days on the job, it has become mandatory to try and find joy in our work. So, how do we do that? Change our jobs? Change our situation, our goals, or our expectations?

Just considering any kind of change can bring on more stress. That simple fact is: most of us don’t know how to change and even if we did, the measurable and immeasurable risks surrounding change are simply too great. Most of us just wait… We wait so long that circumstance, life itself, forces change upon us. And, usually, unfortunately, this type of change does not bring joy.

We fear staying where we are and we fear trying to do something about it! We wait for another day or a better idea – with fantasies of help coming to us from afar. Sometimes we just wait with no idea of what we are waiting for. Change will find us and that is certain, but will it be the kind of change we want? Is there something else we can do besides wait?

Maybe there is a simple solution: plan on not changing, accept where you are, and open more fully to that which you already have in this very moment. Will this bring joy? It may be just worth a try.

Image: Sdukes, 2011

By |May 29th, 2014|Categories: Change|0 Comments