The posts will be about the nitty gritty of the process of integration and the creative work that comes from that process. In case the concept is not entirely familiar, what I mean by “the process of integration,” is accepting, embracing and balancing all of the parts of myself with the goal of continuous self-improvement. How do I integrate and balance body-mind-spirit-emotional body, self-family-work-exercise-politics-community work-spiritual practice, freedom-commitment…? How do I make room in every day for making life better for myself and everyone around me without getting overwhelmed?
I’m going to start with a story of a person who gave me the best piece of unique advice I’ve ever gotten one on one. That story is about practicing the fundamentals of a skill. Then I plan to flesh out the details of my daily practice, so the next pieces will give those details. I’ll be posting stories of people and what they’ve taught me, poetry I’ve written, answers to questions, questions to answer, and opinions I can’t resist sharing.
Who am I?
A unique person with an ordinary life trying to make the best of what I have, much like anyone else. I’m awful at expressing where I fit in the scheme of things and unsure how I come across to people. I can tell you my viewpoint, my main purpose in life, what makes me happy, but fit my identity and impact into a pretty package? Not so easy. In my mind, I’m a single red blood cell, moving through the body of life, absorbing what seems essential and nourishing whatever I can with it. You’ll decide what I am to you, if anything, after reading my words.
Why am I doing this?
I’ll be asking myself that exact question every time I bleed my thoughts into the public realm. I don’t have a clear idea, except that it will help me practice some skills, clarify thoughts and give me input on the daily work toward balance and wholeness that ignites my passions. Not long ago, the inspiration came, a friend asked for more information about the details of my daily practice, and things fell into place. I’m here writing for those I love and respect.
Table Salt – why the name?
For this, I’ll be calling on the words of friends to help me explain my reasoning. It’s shameless, but necessary. The name arose from my subconscious and I called upon them to judge and confirm the sense of it with me. Salt is a crucial element; it brings out flavor, brings on thirst, brings the metabolism in balance. It’s the only necessary spice and it’s totally taken for granted. As for my friends, for one “it means additives and high blood pressure.” Some just liked the sound of it. One commented that “although it may have negative connotations to some, I think that it is very you…a little flavor and necessary for life, but dangerous when …overindulged.” Another said: I do believe it reflects exactly who you are, perfectly….Hmmmmm…. “Salt”…. it is completely natural, a gift from nature,… it enhances, it is essential to life, it reflects the light when held to the light, it’s a little gritty, but -it makes most everything taste infinitely better- particularly when used with discretion and balance, it works best in unison- with many other diverse flavors and textures, versus say… flying solo, it has many ordinary uses, including beauty and medicinal, it can even be utilized to gain traction when things get slippery, and while a very common element, it has been held by some as being as worthy as gold, silver or diamonds, ounce for ounce, pound for pound. It is a gift from the Creator.”
So, I got my confirmation. Every other title that seemed to cover my style and what I am thinking sounded pithy, pretentious or arrogant. Had there not been a movie out with the name Salt, I would have chosen the single word. It’s simple, elemental and common. It has 4 letters, making it both sacred and profane. The Hollywood spy story has nothing to do with this, so I looked elsewhere for additives or alternatives. For years I have considered getting “NaCl” as a vanity plate, but that seemed too falsely clever. Rock salt had too narrow a definition. So, Table Salt it would be. But then, Table Salt as a url was taken. I added my maiden initials R.E. A. L. to make realtablesalt and here we are.
And the tagline … ?
Honor. Work. Learn. Evolve. It has a flavor of early 21st century marketing style, sure, and may come off as a bit pretentious. That’s okay. The words were chosen carefully for many reasons, among them are: the 4 letters in salt, the 4 walls in a standard room, the 4 directions of the medicine wheel that I use as a foundation for resolving issues, and the 4 steps in W. Edwards Deming’s project management cycle (yes, I love order): plan-do-check-act. Since the focus of these pages will be concrete steps toward a goal, I chose action words. Here’s a little bit about each word:
The foundation of a conscious life is built on gratitude, love and respect. When we honor people and things, seeking first to understand then considering the results of our actions, it is easier to make constructive choices. I can’t change anyone else, but I can appreciate someone with a little effort.
There was a time when I thought much more than I acted. It feels better to decide a course of action and dig into it. If it doesn’t work, I can change course later.
One of my friends was trying to help me flesh out what makes me unique when it comes to the work I do and said “you groove on wisdom.” That’s the plain truth. Thanks, Zave.
My greatest fear is of stagnation. One of my key goals in life is to leave every place I go better than I found it, or at least as good. If I improve myself as a first step, I’m more likely to have a positive effect on my environment.
Questions? Post them as comments and I’d be happy to answer as clearly as I can.