Office Policies

We require masks, regardless of vaccination status. We schedule by appointment only and ask that if you want a same day appointment you call, rather than simply walk in. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Morning Reflection: Question without judgment, question for progress.

Question without judgment, question for progress.

As I continue this journey into my heart, mind and soul, I realize that although I become more aware of my thoughts by questioning, even the questions I ask myself are often limiting.

These questions are often imbued with judgment, which in turn restricts my answers, and continues to create barriers to even the process of self examination.

In the beginning my questions were loaded with self loathing, in such terms as “why am I so stupid’, or my all time favorite ‘why does God hate me so much that he keeps doing this to me”. The former victimizes myself, and the latter takes solace in the palace of victimhood, wherein I cannot be expected to take any action because after all, someone else is to blame (anyone, as long as it was not me).

Eventually, my questions became more mature, and I came to an initial level of acceptance of who I was. My questions reflected this progression, by changing to a questions of why. “Why do I act this way?” or “Why do I have a pattern of this behavior?” Over time, as I became more adept at reading myself, I began to find answers, which inevitably led to more questions. From the wisdom of the Bene Gesserit (from the book ‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert) we ultimately learn that it is how we navigate between our questions that determines our eventual destiny. Still, some of those questions are loaded with judgment, which in turns increases my burdens and slows my progression.

But now I feel that my questions are beginning to shift again. Now, along with the introspective Why, which still has so much value, I find myself starting to ask a new question, a question of process…How?

How do I make a difference in the world? How can I be a better servant? How can I lift others and use the talents and knowledge with which I have been entrusted?

For it is not sufficient to gain knowledge; I must apply that knowledge to gain wisdom.

How is process, how is growth. How forces me out of my comfort zone, where I have lived far too many years, and bids me take my place in the ever evolving future of possibility.

How makes me accept who I am, and assume the responsibility of who I can become.

How is powerful, how is scary.

How am I doing?
-- Dr. Alan Barnes

Monday, January 29, 2018

Morning Reflection: Who are you angry with?

Why I can’t let it go.

I had a revelation today, that answered a question I have been struggling with for a long time. Specifically, why do I remain angry at certain people in my life, and why can’t I let it go and move on?

I know that holding on to anger affects me negatively, and I try my best between meditation and life changes to release these feelings, but some stubbornly remain.

When I view anger at someone else through the lens of my 6 human needs, I find that it meets at least 3 of those needs. In being angry, I achieve my significance need by looking at the way I was treated, and feeling like a victim. But in addition, and this only came to me this weekend while teaching a class of 14 year olds who said that they struggle with forgiveness, I’ve realized that being angry at someone allows me to continue a relationship that for some reason I would like to perpetuate, even if the relationship was in some ways painful.

And further, I’ve realized that by being angry, it allows me to control the parameters of the ongoing relationship in a way that probably prevents me from being hurt again, which is a form of certainty.

So by not forgiving someone, I am able to supply my needs of certainty, significance and connection. It is said that any action that meets three of our needs will become an addiction if we do not take steps to control it.

So if I am to learn to more effectively forgive, I must learn to become self sufficient in my own needs.

And that is so much harder than I thought possible.

Who are you angry with?
-- Dr. Alan Barnes

Friday, January 26, 2018

Morning Reflection: The Perspective of All That Is

The perspective of all that is.

I have often wondered what my ancestors would think of me. Would they look at my life, marveling at the peace and comfort that surrounds me? What must my descendants think of me, struggling here with the rudimentary technology that they find comical in its inadequacy.

Will those in the future look at me in the way that I look at people 200 years ago; with a wry smile at the strange beliefs and customs that limited and constrained their progression.

I often wonder what is it that will appear so obvious in 100 years, yet is unknown to us now. My recent readings and studies suggest that our mind, focus and intention in the quantum and macro-quantum worlds is the next frontier in our ongoing adventure as a species.

Yet for all of our technology, I believe it is the progression of the collective soul of our common humanity that will ennoble and edify our evolution.

When we take the suffering of others more seriously. When we demand a greater humanity from those who would lead. When we are willing to allow humility and compassion to console our own wounds, and when we are ready to give of ourselves because in our hearts we are wealthy, only then will we be ready to live up to the divine spark that resides in each one of us.

When we see our lives from the perspective of all that is, we will recognize that we are more wealthy than we imagine, more powerful that we realize; far stronger than our challenges; and more loving than our fears.

Then, we will understand ourselves, and each other.

And we will have peace.
-- Dr. Alan Barnes

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Morning Reflection: The Perspective of Welcome

The perspective of welcome.

For many years, I lived with the false belief that God, or the universe, or whomever, hated me. I viewed every bad event in my life as a testimony to the truth that I was never going to be allowed to be successful. Growing up in a dysfunctional home often leaves more mental scars than physical ones, and that belief came out of a difficult environment.

I have come to realize that not only was that mindset damaging to my future, it was actually a way of excusing my own weakness and selfishness. If the universe was determined to see me fail, then I was never guilty when something went wrong, even though in quiet moments I could see that some things were my fault.

In reality, most negative events were just the reality of living in an entropic universe. Bad days occur, things break, and ill advised choices end up turning out badly.

For me, my life began to turn around when I adopted a phrase I heard. I believe it was Tony Robbins who said “Life is not happening to you, it is happening for you”.

I resisted this at first, because it forced me to accept that there is always something good in any experience if I look for it. It also forces me out of my self-justifying victim mentality, and into a mindset that places upon me the opportunity to be responsible for my choices, no matter how difficult the circumstances may be.

As my mindset, or perspective, changes, I come to realize that whatever the situation, I can find something of good, some lesson of value, in any experience. When I decide that my life is happening for me, the universe opens to show a myriad of positive possibilities, if I but welcome them even though they appear cloaked in misfortune.

When I do this, I am blessed.

How is your life happening for you today?
-- Dr. Alan Barnes

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Morning Reflection: What are you grateful for?

Now is the enemy of forever.

I’ve been writing about perspective, and how our emotions are affected by it. I’ve also come to understand that time is a perspective, but one that can consume us if we do not control it.

As people try to become more ‘mindful’, they attempt to bring their awareness into their current experience frame, trying to remove all other time references to truly focus only on what is ‘now’.

But in doing so, we risk taking for granted that and those which are now, but may not always be.

As I sit in my office at my home, I am moved to realize that the earth in this location was once free flowing lava, then fields, now houses, and may yet change into a scorched desert or a frozen tundra. If I tie myself into only now, I lose my gratitude references and can lose my sense of wonder at the time in which I find myself.

Likewise, I always try to treat my family from the understanding that they may not always be here, and that at a future time I could mourn their absence. There may yet be a future in which I am without one or all of them, and I try to feel that future in order to keep a clear perspective on the now.

When I maintain this frame of reference, tempore-sensu (latin, time sense), I am filled with gratitude and love for the people around me. I find a more profound sense of purpose and value in each day, realizing how blessed I am to be, here, now.

Maintaining a greater reference of time and location help me to find humility, gratitude, focus and joy. I am hopeful that it allows me to be a better servant.

I exist to serve, because it brings me peace.

What are you grateful for?
-- Dr. Alan Barnes

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Morning Reflection: The Beliefs of a Child

The beliefs of a child.

As I examine my thoughts, I find that the deepest, darkest and most restrictive self beliefs that I hold were formed in my early childhood years. Then, like scripture of the soul, they are followed without a sincere, objective evaluation.

I find it requires great stillness to become aware of these thoughts and beliefs. Often they are found in unnecessarily intense responses to a situation that did not deserve such.

Since most of these deep beliefs are formed in childhood, I have come to realize that the vulnerability of being a child creates an immense interpretive distortion in the experiences that shape our beliefs.

Our interpretation of any event is the process by which we create meaning, and meaning thereby creates an emotion. As a child, our vulnerability and immaturity can exaggerate a potentially painful occurrence into a life threatening perspective.

As an example, strong disapproval from a dominating parent can be interpreted as a threat of abandonment, which is then perceived as a life threatening event to be avoided at all costs. Or maybe a child who grows up seeing his or her parents dreadfully unhappy will avoid responsibility usually associated with maturity in a desperate attempt to avoid the pain which he or she perceives as being an outcome of being self sufficient.

These beliefs become a part of us. Never questioned, every active in our minds.

Over time, we perceive more and more experiences through this perspective, and we never stop to realize that the very lens through which we are viewing the world is distorted, deformed and destructive.

This often creates a psychologically debilitating pattern of painful perspectives and subsequent behaviors that limit where there are no boundaries, and restrain when there could be rejoicing.

Since these beliefs are usually formed in the presence of a perspective-magnified pain, I find myself reluctant to shine a light into my own darkness.

Only in the still calmness of peace can I truly stare into the center of my soul, and find a way through the darkness into the clarity of a newly awakened perspective.

Facing the darkness is often the only way to find the light.

So I search onwards, finding the truths of my soul.

But they are…elusive.
-- Dr. Alan Barnes

Monday, January 22, 2018

Morning Reflection: Changing my Perspective Changes my Emotion.

Changing my perspective changes my emotion.

As I try to control my state, or in other words control my mindset, I have found that losing my perspective is often associated with an increased intensity of unwanted emotions.

Last year’s eclipse was a chance for me to evaluate my perspective. For a brief moment in time, the moon obscuring the sun helped me experience, in a more profound manner, my place in the universe.

So often we allow ourselves to be drawn into this world-bound, time-locked existence where the small seems to be much bigger.

But when I am reminded, like last year, that we are a part of something much larger and more complex than we can comprehend, I find my perspective is changed, and the things which trouble me are reduced in comparison.

In experiencing the eclipse, I felt part of something greater. Strangely, this did not make me feel smaller, but reminded me that I am a component of a much larger whole, and that somehow soothes my soul.

I felt a sense of community with the whole human race, which brought a joy to my soul that few things can match. A friend of mine wrote that the eclipse was for him a ‘spiritual experience’, and I know how he feels.

While the universe can be a difficult place in which to reside, I am comforted by the realization that there is so much more out there than the small things which unbalance me day to day.

Whatever your belief about the origins and ongoing nature of this universe in which we reside, I hope you find strength and perspective when you look up into the sky.

We are a part of something greater than we can possibly imagine.

And that gives us value.
-- Dr. Alan Barnes

Friday, January 19, 2018

Morning Reflection: I Have Value

I have value despite my imperfections.

I wrote a while ago about Kintsugu, the Japanese art and philosophy of mending pottery with gold, which actually increases its value.

I have been meditating recently on the self belief that my imperfections decrease my value.

I believe this flows out of my addiction to Binaryism, making black or white choices out of gray data. When did I learn this addiction?

As children in school, we are taught in logic, mathematics, grammar and the rigid construct of the multiple choice answer.

Rarely are we instructed in the arts of philosophy, introspection and compassion. We are taught to look for the right answer, when in reality more truths in our world are articles of opinion rather than elements of facts.

But in our search for answers, we often forgo a truth of complexity for a lie of simplicity.

We force our opinions to conform to a rigid standard, instead of deciding to find beauty, value and depth in the chaos and imperfection of the human soul.

I have come to realize that my self-perceived imperfections are sometimes those things that allow me to be of value to others.

My introspection, born out of a desire to understand the demons which beset me, has given me answers that have cleared the path for others. My will, which has been forged in the chaos of my despair, has created a mechanism for determination despite obstacles.

My imperfections have caused me pain, sadness and frustration, yet they have also led to some of my greatest opportunities to serve others, which is becoming an overwhelming passion in the days of my life.

So I am forced to accept my imperfections as a part of the whole which I believe gives me value.

Although I question that, because that suggests that I think that value exists only because of what one does, not because one is.

But that, I feel, is a topic for another day.
-- Dr. Alan Barnes

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Morning Reflection: The Error in My Expectations

As I ponder my relationship with others around me, I realize that I tend to have expectations of people that are often not met. This is often a cause of sadness for me, and in going deeper I am reaching the conclusion that my expectations are often irrational, self serving and based solely on my unfulfilled needs.

Worst of all, my expectations are often a form of transactional living, where I am placing a requirement on someone else to do something or act in a way which they have not implicitly agreed, oftentimes which they don’t even know about it.

Expecting others to act a certain way in order to fill the gaps in my soul in effect reduces them in my mind to an object, someone who needs to act in a certain way in order for me to feel a certain thing. This in turn places a burden upon them, which they do not deserve.

I realize that in living this way, I am not honoring them as a person who has their own divine spark, their own consciousness, and the freedom to live as they want. Expecting someone to provide support for one of my essential human needs, without them having agreed to do so, is to devalue the relationship that I could have with them.

Perhaps in all of my judging, I can find a space in my soul to truly examine why I have these expectations. If I am truly trying to serve someone else, and give without expecting, then I should be grateful for their presence in my life however they choose to participate in my ongoing experience.

Expectations are antithetical to gratitude. Expectations destroy my peace in what is, forever reaching for that which is not and may never be.

If I am honest with myself, my expectation for them is often a manifestation of a need that I have not yet balanced within my soul. My responsibility is to do that in a way that respects others, not reduces them.

And that is not easy.
Dr. Alan Barnes

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Morning Reflection: Feeling Powerless

You only fear that over which you have no power.

My oldest son nearly died on his very first day of life. A few hours after I was blessed to help deliver him, a congenital heart defect was trying to kill him.

And there was nothing I could do.

I realized today that I have never overcome that feeling of being powerless.

To this day, I am still haunted by the realization that I could do nothing to help my son. I was at the mercy of others, dependent on someone else to do that which I could not.

I was nearly moved to tears today at the realization that what I fear most is being powerless. Unable to stand against that which assails me, unable to move in the face of an onslaught.

Powerlessness is my fear, the ghost which haunts my peace and troubles my soul in the quiet moments.

Yet in the end, we all face things against which we have no power. It is one of the similarities of the human condition, a reality that should unite us, even though often our fear will divide us.

For some it’s change, for some it’s the loss of something, for others, it’s the knowledge of their own weakness. Although our situations may differ, our experiences of feeling powerless are essentially the same.

In that moment, when we are faced with something we fear, it is important that we don’t stand alone. For while our souls may be separate, our fears and troubles can be a source of unity, strength, courage and conviction.

My hope is that I will be better at reaching out, lifting and helping others. As I struggle with my purpose, I desire to help others. Not for some eternal reward, and not for the praise of men, but simply because I desire to reduce the suffering that is present in the human condition.

Life is often cruel, but we must not be.

From the truth of the man I aspire to be… “Never cruel nor cowardly. Never give up, never give in”.


Dr. Alan Barnes

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Morning Reflection: The Caustic Effects of Childhood Criticism.

As I continue to deconstruct my demons, I have become more aware of my critical self talk. Often this is subconscious, barely noticed, at the periphery of awareness. Only by listening carefully and analyzing constantly have I been able to come to understand the deeper layers of my thoughts.

There is a saying that essentially says “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice”. Learning to listen objectively to my inner voice has enabled me to change behaviors that have been lifelong habits, but also question where these voices came from. I have become aware that many of these inner voices are in fact a conglomeration of various criticisms that were leveled at me as a child.

Children are unable to objectively reason through caustic, unnecessary criticism and see into the truth of a flawed, human parent trying their best but failing at that time. Children internalize cruelty at an emotional level, and its caustic effects can last a lifetime.

If we really want to change the world, we need to start with the hearts of our children, and this starts by treating them better. If we sow kindness, we can reap compassion; if we sow patience, we can reap wisdom; and if we sow values, we will eventually reap nobility of the soul.

The way we treat our children is the vibration we give to the world.

And that is a humbling responsibility.
Dr. Alan Barnes

Monday, January 15, 2018

Morning Reflection: Who do you blame?

Who do you blame?

As I journey through the paradox of my heart, mind and soul I encounter both helpful and harmful behaviors, those which uplift and those which demean.

Recently I have become aware of my tendency to want to assign blame and I have realized that often times my compassion is found wanting as I turn again and again to reactive blaming.

The truth is that blame is rarely a mature response to a situation. Blame does not soften the heart or console with compassion the accused, but instead it relieves us of our own responsibility and allows us to escape ownership.

Mostly, blame is just another way to satisfy my ego. If it’s somebody else’s fault, then I am protecting myself. Too often I find myself wrapping my soul in the judgment of others to escape an assessment of myself.

The biggest problem with blame is that it stops you looking beyond where the blame stops. Who is to blame for all of the troubles in my life? Is it my father, is it his father, is it Hitler who started a war which took my grandfather away from my father and destroyed their relationship, leaving my father emotionally unable to have a relationship with me. Where does the blame end? Where does the fault begin? This is a rabbit hole I have wasted far too much time going down, because there is no end, and no benefit to it.

I feel that in order to rid myself of blaming others, I must act with greater compassion for myself as well as others. Only when I extend compassion to myself will I end my addiction of self judgment and self protection, and in doing so find compassion for others.

Blame is not empowering emotion. It stifles the soul, hardens the heart and enlarges the ego. If blame is left unchecked, compassion finds no place to grow in our heart and we lose the chance to be connected to ourselves and to others.

So in order to stop blaming, and find compassion for others, I have to extend compassion to myself.

And that is a much more difficult proposition than I realized.

Dr. Alan Barnes

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Morning Reflection: The Resonance of Purpose

The resonance of purpose.

Sound resonates, wine glasses resonate, and energy resonates. So, I’ve discovered, does purpose.

As I step into the uncertainty of what I believe my purpose can be, I am learning to listen more intently to my thoughts and feelings.

As someone who probably should be diagnosed with ADD, listening to my inner thoughts can often be exhausting.

But the more I try to quiet my life so that I can better hear the sound of my purpose, I am achieving a greater clarity. This is not to imply that I know where things are going, quite the opposite, but at the times when my planning and performance intersect with my purpose, there is a greater degree of resonance.

That manifests in curious ways, such as the knowledge of the right words that will open the floodgates of joy for someone, or helping another person cross a difficult emotional bridge.

Over the last year it has been a humbling privilege to have been of assistance to people, using what I believe are my true gifts, to assist them in finding direction in their struggles and challenges.

Resonance, I have come to understand, is the guidepost to purpose. When a situation resonates, when my gifts and skills align with my desire to help others, and I feel that deep sense of purpose resonate within me, that is the Universe beckoning me onward. To lift, to serve, to inspire.

I have spent the last 30 years of my life trying to understand myself, sometimes pushing through despair and sadness, feeling like I was lost. I still don’t know where I am going, but I feel like I am moving forward.

And for now, that has to be enough. I would prefer to know my destination, but instead I will try for humility to accept my current progress, to serve where I am, and the courage to take the next steps on this journey.

Where are you going?
Dr. Alan Barnes

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Morning Reflection: Into the Unknown

Into the unknown.

Life is a very strange experience. The older I become, the less I understand the directions my life moves in. For someone who is addicted to certainty, that is a frustrating reality to inhabit.

More and more I find myself moving into a role for which I find myself strangely equipped, but emotionally less than sure of. It feels like Life has taken a hold of me, and is moving me through waters of its own choosing.

Change is my only constant, and I am learning, slowly, to make peace with that. It starts by letting go of the thoughts, ideas, beliefs and constructs that I have used to ‘hold back the tide’ of change.

Instead, I am learning to surrender to the flow of the water, and just try my best in each circumstance that I find myself in. Trust has always been my weak point, and that weakness is being tested daily, hourly.

I have been richly blessed over this last week to be in situations where this new direction has allowed me to use my gifts to help others. I cannot express in words the deep resounding calm that I feel as I have been privileged to help people through their challenges.

I feel like I am beginning to move into my purpose, a feeling I have not felt in a very long time.

But I have no idea where this is leading me. The future remains unclear, with a myriad of potential outcomes unfolding in front of me.

I am scared, I am hopeful, I am confused.

But I am moving onwards.
Dr. Alan Barnes

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Morning Reflection: The Antidote to Anger

Anger is heroin to the selfish soul.

As a young man, I was filled with anger, rage, fury and vengeance. In painful circumstances beyond my control where I felt powerless, my response was to dwell in the negative side of me, pushing it to grow stronger, become more, until it was enough to protect me.

I was able to control it, but it took effort, sometimes great effort. I learned control, but at a painful cost. In my struggle to control anger, I learned to suppress all emotion, both good and bad.

As I grew older, I realized that anger blinds us to our mind’s eye of reason. Anger is an isolating emotion, allowing us the luxury of demonizing and dehumanizing the ‘enemy’ before us, never forcing us to examine our own conduct.

Anger is the worst drug I know, because in it we lose contact with our highest, most compassionate self, and instead dwell in the darkness of our ego. Instead of compassion, we substitute judgment, instead of kindness there is derision, instead of grace, there is gloating. Anger makes us feel ‘justified’, while never forcing us to justify ourselves.

To replace anger with kindness, I have found that I have to let go of my sense of self, and instead follow the example of many spiritual teachers who embraced sacrifice over their own needs, who were willing to endure pain and hardship for the sake of others.

The antidote to anger is found in our empathy for everyone who crosses our path. Empathy is the causeway to compassion, service the ‘straight-way’ to selflessness, and love the pathway to peace.

I try to choose service over selfishness, and it has made a significant difference in my life.

But I am still learning.

Dr. Alan Barnes

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Morning Reflection: Balance, Certainty, Actuality

A troubled peace besets my soul.

As I explore my addiction to binaryism (thinking in terms of black and white), I come again and again to the realization that rarely is any situation truly a ‘win’ or a ‘loss’.

Life, it seems, is dependent more upon our interpretation of the experiences that make up existence, rather than the event that we enveloped in at the current moment.

In contemplation, I realize at a deeper, more complex level, that binaryism is both a blessing and a curse.

When working for me, it allows me to find joy in situations that may not be without imperfections, but I am able to overlook those imperfections and find peace and hope.

When working against me, binaryism steals from me the peace, joy and happiness that should prevail in a situation that is not without flaws, but which is generally in my favor.

Any addiction is a response to pain, so I try to understand why I am so addicted to this ‘black and white’ thinking. I arrive at the conclusion that I think this way because it allows me to achieve certainty, one of the 6 human needs. Coming from a dysfunctional and difficult childhood which was full of uncertainty, my certainty craving is a pathological protection, simultaneously serving me, and yet wounding me.

Certainty, it seems, is my addiction in the face of a deficit of faith, hope, connection and peace.

Life is about achieving balance during the storms, accepting both light and dark, in a overarching comfort that allows us to just exist in the moment, taking joy from all that is.

Yet I find balance elusive, and cling to certainty as my antidote, when in actuality, it is an addiction.

Why can I not just be?
Dr. Alan Barnes

Monday, January 8, 2018

Morning Reflection: Listening

“Silence cannot be misquoted, but it can be misinterpreted”.

As I grow through life, I have tried to learn to speak less and listen more. What greater respect can I pay other people than to truly listen to what they have to say, and try to learn from them?

Listening involves letting go of what I want to say, my desires for the conversation, and actually giving the other person time to pause, reflect and continue.

I have tried to stop myself from interrupting, talking over others, and also ‘rapidly answering’, where it is obvious that I have spoken before I have fully understood what has been spoken to me.

I have found that it is harder to do than I would have thought, but in doing so I have learned a greater control over interactions with people.

I have time in a conversation now, to allow compassion to have greater sway over condemnation, to allow humility to modulate that which could be perceived as hurtful, and to allow reflection to stop what could otherwise be resentment.

There is much to learn in listening, and I have tried to take to heart a quote attributed to the Buddha, “speak only if your words are more beautiful than the silence”.

Yet it occurs to me that my silence can be misinterpreted. A recent period of silence in a relationship that is dear to my heart was probably misinterpreted by the other party as something quite different.

My silence was deliberate, but only so that I could make sure that when I spoke, my words would be carefully chosen, and kind rather than callous. But I believe that my silence was taken quite differently, and at this point I fear that I must allow time to heal a wound that was self-assumed by the receiver in my period of silence, but which hurts nonetheless.

In this I also learned, that often when we misinterpret silence on the part of another, we do so in a way that is selfish, choosing the interpretation that best fits our own ego driven needs. In my interpretation of silence on the part of another, how often do I allow for the possible interpretation that places them in a better light?

As I try to move towards being a kinder person, I realize that the first, only and last barrier to kindness is that within my soul which I have not yet made peace with.

In speaking less, I hope to not only learn from others, but ultimately, to learn and better myself.

Today I will trust in silence, and move towards kindness.

And continue listening.
Dr. Alan Barnes

Friday, January 5, 2018

Morning Reflection: Ocean of Stillness

An ocean of stillness, despite the storms around me.

Growing up in a coastal town in England, a love of the ocean has been a part of me for as long as I can remember.

For me, the ocean is spiritual. The raw power, majesty and timelessness gives me a sense of perspective that nothing else brings.

For the ocean is an ocean, regardless of anything else. Yes the moon may pull it, but it still beats its way relentlessly to the shore. Patient, the ocean works tirelessly, at its own pace. Its song is the heartbeat of the world, calming, soothing and reassuring.

The ocean teaches me that persistence is a key part of life. While I am pulled, buffeted, lifted and dropped by the ravages of time, life and the incessant trials of humanity, the ocean bids me to remain calm, to stay my course, to succeed.

The ocean teaches me respect, in that it holds the secrets of life, but can be underestimated in its power and destructive capacities.

The ocean teaches me stillness in the face of storms, persistence in the presence of time, and the never to be forgotten truth that life is fragile, temporary and worthy of respect.

When I need to be grounded, balanced and restored I allow my mind to drift to the ocean.

And I am renewed.

Dr. Alan Barnes

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Morning Reflection: Choices

We are our choices, not our circumstances.

No one gets to choose their start in life. We are all born into circumstances. Some great, some good, some difficult, and some very painful. Although these can affect us, they do not define us.

Sometimes, through no fault of our own, we find ourselves in difficult circumstances. Poverty, divorce, loneliness and even sometimes addiction are circumstances outside of our control, especially when those circumstances are created by the bad acts of others.

But our circumstances no more define us than do our race, or the color of our eyes.

All of us have the unique power to make our own choices. Our choices are the truest definition of ourselves. Even when we make wrong choice, if we can but learn one lesson, then the choice has proven of value.

The greatest of all choices are the ones we make in humility, when we put aside consideration for ourselves and act in the best interest of others. Those choices define us in ways that nothing else can.

We are told that actions speak louder than words, but our choices are louder still. Show me a person’s choices and I can tell you who that person is, especially when they chose not to act.

Even though we sometimes choose for reasons that are not clear to us, as we examine the reasons behind our choices we will more fully come to know ourselves, and in doing so, we can better ourselves to serve others.

Your ability to choose, in your heart, in your mind and in your soul, is the greatest power you have. Guard it well, for in your ability to choose is the way to peace, fulfillment and joy.

Choose, learn, grow and become.

It’s all there for you.
Dr. Alan Barnes

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Morning Reflection: Time to Act

Why am I stuck?

As a new year begins, most people resolve to change something. For me this year, I have set no resolutions. Rather, I seek to go deeper, and understand why I have not done things before.

I seek to understand the areas of my life in which I have not yet manifested the outcomes that I want. There are many of these areas, and I must move into each of them as I try to understand what holds me back.

Mostly it is fear. Fear that I will be laughed at, fear of failing, fear of a loss of sense of purpose, or fear of pain. But these fears are not created in a vacuum. There have been experiences that have created these fears. Experiences that were probably misunderstood, but accepted as truth, and that generated patterns of behavior that I still follow today, even though they are patterned on a falsehood.

I wish to understand why I have chosen to live a life that is not in congruency with my dreams, because these actions have been my choices. If I accept they are choices, I accept that I can chose differently, and create different outcomes. If I accept that they are MY choices, then I also accept the responsibility to change them, and also accept the belief that I can.

There is no place more valuable than the graveyard. In the graveyard we find all the hopes, dreams, ideas and purpose that was never realized during that person’s time on earth.

My wish is that I do not take my dreams into the graveyard. My hope is that I can find a way through my fears, and become the person who I think I was born to be.

It is time to accept, to live and to manifest a different level of purpose.

It is time to act, to move, to believe and to begin.

It is now. I am here. I am beginning.

Dr. Alan Barnes