What is an Integral Life Practice

From: David R.
Sent on: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 3:28 AM
What is an Integral Life Practice? One of the best descriptions I know is this bit from Steve Barnes: Look at the three major areas of human life: body, mind, and spirit. What does your body say about you? Believe me, it says worlds about your values, discipline, emotional health, habit patterns and more. What does your career say about you? Are you operating at full efficiency there? Do you complain about money troubles, but not do anything about it? Do you dream, but not perform? Or are you working at a job that you would continue to do even if you won the lottery? To me, this is a major sign of an active, healthy intellect--the ability to do for a living that which you would do for free. What about your relationship with your husband/wife/significant other? To me, this is where you reveal yourself most clearly. You ARE your partner, flipped upside-down and inside out. If you like what you see across the breakfast table from you, great. If not, you have work to do. Remember: whoever you see over there was the best you could do. If you could have gotten someone smarter, handsomer/prettier, emotionally healthier--you would have. So take a hard look. Often, you can learn more from a person's partner than you can from meeting the person.

Viewed in this way, there is a lifetime of study in understanding the people around us, and in understanding ourselves as well. And a lifetime of potential stories in examining how people's flaws and gaps keep them from achieving their full potential. It can be painful to look at this stuff, but the only thing more painful is being terminally untrue to your own spirit. That, my friends, is a true tragedy. Better the pain of awareness than the agony of self-betrayal. By a long shot.

-Steve Barnes, http://darkush.blogspot.com/2004/11/loscon.html

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