Soul Food

Soul Food

One of the things that I’ve enjoyed most about building my own workspace has been creating it, down to the details, in such away that the environment inspires me, in some large part defines and on a daily level, reminds me of the things that I value and strive for most in my life.

The holy books are correct, life is difficult. Having been pressed up against that fact many times beginning at a very young age, I continue to do my best to seek out, lean in and connect with people, ideas, and a god that sustains and supports in these times. Although we must do the work and at times can feel terribly alone, having physical and emotional touchstones present in our environment help to maintain an attitude that acknowledges, confronts and is transformed by the sometimes  brutal storms of life. Richard Rhor calls this process of pain that leads to transformation “necessary suffering.”

In managing pain, disappointment and loss which can so quickly and completely  overwhelm us David Brooks suggests we can either be broken or broken open. It is choice we make as we wrestle, claw, pray, submit…in the midst of our dark days.

In the dojo, a place where I spend a lot of time every day, I surround myself (and my clients) with ideas, pictures, philosophies, memories that have been central to my fight to overcome adversity and choose transformation over despair. It is not as though reading a quote when you’re hurting or seeing a reminder of love makes all the challenge and hurt vanish, it’s rather just just goodness and love sprinkled in to remind me on my best days and worst that pain and loss are not the last words.

It does matter what we look at every day, the art on our wall shapes the way we think and feel, it’s a kind of soul food. About once a month I’ll walk around both buildings at the gym and reread the articles and reconsider the quotes to remind myself of how I’ve gotten to where I’ve gotten, how I’ve managed what seemed like crippling loss, overcome adversity and how with the help of god (in the form of loving people), I pulled out of some deep holes. As I reread and reconsider the images I humbly hope that I can be brave when the next round of challenge arrive, as they surely will.

Friendship, strength and honor,



2 thoughts on “Soul Food

  1. Don fells

    Friendship ,strength and honor ……

    To me , the movie Gladiator comes to mind when I contemplate the weight of Chris’s words .
    Some may consider that a paradox because Chris embodies such empathy and love while inspiring others to climb their personal Everest .

    My perspective may be enhanced by my participation in the gladiatorial arena of triathlon where Chris and I competed in the Mecca of the sport in San Diego , California for decades .

    I’ve had the privilege of watching Chris ascend to the highest steps of the sport …ahead of my place on the podium . I admired that ascent ahead of my own position because the friendship,
    strength and honor Chris had yet to encapsulate with words …he embodied and inspired his fiercest competitors to do so .

    I am a better athlete and person thanks to Chris D ‘s athletic aura that speaks to his magnificent soul .

    Love you Bro ,

    1. Cris Dobrosielski Post author

      Don, I hope my example moving forward can be 1/2 as steady and solid as the very thoughtful compliments and kind words you shared.

      We both have learned far more from our pain than any of our victories.That you and I and any who take a look at this might have the perseverance and endurance to get to the other side. And that on a daily basis we all remember that we are are brothers and sisters keepers.

      Thank you brother

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 − 2 =