We warmly welcome Barefoot Doctor to this site and thank him for his continued personal support. Doc has been a contributor and personal supporter of Divorce Aid for several years and we thank him for his generosity and inspiration.
Who is Barefoot?
He is a healer, self-help expert, former Observer Wellbeing columnist, best-selling author (including: Handbook for the Urban Warrior, Return of the Urban Warrior, Liberation, Dear Barefoot Doctor and Manifesto), media presence, creator of the Barefoot Doctor Chi/Qi range of perfumes, lotions and potions and general spiritual entertainer. He is also an accomplished musician and now presides over his incredibly popular website.
In the following article, he gives us his very personal perspective on his two marriages, divorces and the break up of a special relationship. Read more from him in our News and views section.
The trauma leading to parting with my first ex-wife
began three weeks after we met and lasted (growing more painful as it went along) until we actually separated seven years later. Pretty much the same pattern the second time round, only I'd become altogether more efficient at acting it out - it started after three months of meeting and only lasted till we split up four years later.
Why then, you'd ask, didn't I bail out after three weeks and three months respectively? I'd already invested emotionally in each scenario and wasn't willing to unhook myself when the opportunity arose. I'm glad I didn't, mind you. Both phases of married life provided the ground for some of the most important spiritual and all-round training I ever had. More importantly, round one yielded two of my three remarkable sons and round two, the third. Those boys were meant to have been born into those situations. There are no mistakes. I'm sure the whole thing is written in the stars anyway and involves past lives and all other kinds of factors too imponderable for mere mortals to grasp. So no regrets or recriminations.
My sons are twenty-three, twenty-one and fifteen now and I'm a free and crazy-living barefoot doctor of forty-eight with all a wealth of good stories to tell and an amazingly functional and loving bond with all three boys, permanent truce with my first ex-wife and a deep friendship with my second. Both times receiving the decree absolute were the happiest days of my life up to that point. Both times I wandered the streets in bliss laughing aloud like someone released early from a life sentence. And unless I was in denial or my recall system is on the blink (the second divorce was thirteen years ago after all), I didn't suffer post-separation trauma for a moment - I'd worked it all through while still married.
But what did traumatise me, strangely enough, to the point of lying on the bed for three days looking at the ceiling and crying, was when I split up with an Italian girlfriend five or so years back, with whom I'd only been consorting for a mere seven months, but whose loss to a swarthy continental, hit me so hard I nearly lost my sanity altogether and it took me a good three months to restabilise myself. I mention this because it makes obvious how it's not the separation that traumatises you, it's what it makes you see in yourself.
In the marriages, I'd already been examining all the bits of me that didn't work assiduously for almost all the time married.
Neither wife would let me take my eye off those faults for a second. (Well, if you want thorough training you need thorough teachers). But when I split up with the Italian, and I call her such for both discretion and because I've heard since countless times that no one can do you in like a beautiful Italian woman - I don't know if the same goes for the men - when I split with her, it brought up a whole host of unresolved issues all at once. And it's those unresolved issues flying up past your eyes from the depths of your belly that are what really shock you.
So when dealing with the shock, the first thing is to get clear with yourself that you're choosing to take this as an opportunity to re-establish a functional, loving relationship with your true partner in your primary relationship - namely yourself. Or more precisely, your higher self, your god, the perfected one within, or however you prefer to refer to it. This softens the blow of loss considerably by transforming it from a phase of suffering to a phase of unprecedented growth. And however much we lament the loss of someone we loved, none of us can resist the draw of unprecedented growth, because that's exciting and excitement is fun. Remember that?
Ah, yes, fun. You see fun is probably something long gone underground in your life with the breakdown of the relationship and what-have-you, but retraining yourself back into fun mode is the major antidote to the shock. Fun can be had in many ways and you know better than I what blows your hair back. But the common principle is to allow yourself to experience your life moment to moment from the perspective of the child or youth you really are beneath those layers of adult conditioning that weigh you down so. If stuck for a method to break the pattern, try dancing each morning alone in your room to a cheeky beat and really allowing your spirit to guide your moves until you find yourself gyrating and cavorting like the sexiest operator on the block. And talking of sex - it's a minefield and I'm not going there now, save to say that it's your duty as a fully-functioning human, to contact your own sexiness everyday in your own special way and to allow to circulate that essence throughout every fibre of your being, so that no matter what you're doing, you're feeling sexy while you do it. There's nothing like it to replace that sparkle in your eyes.
Because sparkling is what we all love to do, so we can attract a mate and start the whole shebang over again. But if you're serious about sparkling, pay attention to your breathing. Slow it down and deepen it so it's happening in your belly not your chest. Desist from holding your breath at all times, unless swimming long distances under water, and with every in breath you take, let yourself be filled with the magnificence of your personal existence, but with every out breath, say to yourself, "I'm sparkling now, I'm sparkling now, oh yes indeedy, I'm sparkling now!"
The above article was written for us by Barefoot back in 2001 when Christina Tait first encountered him and you probably think that marriage would never be on the cards for him again. Do read the following exert from his Docbox with the Doc's kind permission as always.
The amazingness of the view outside the window here
It seems a bit cheap always bouncing the words of my DocBox off the amazingness of the view outside the window here at my trim cubist palace high on a Catalan hillside but when I think of all the trips to the builders yards, household appliance stores, home furnishings shops and what-have-you merchants of Catalunya, to equip the place so it was comfortable enough to sit and write in, I realise there was nothing particularly cheap about it. And if you're looking out at a range of snow-covered mountains, glinting away in sunlight so bright, it's almost impossible, as they gently lower themselves at one end into a sheet of aqua-tinted glass someone once told me was the Mediterranean, not to feel so exhilarated in your heart, you simply have to somehow, however clumsily or repeatedly, share that sensation with as many as want to have something like that shared with them - and so here I am blurting on about it yet again.
However - and I always hesitate to mention too much about my personal sphere, for fear of being self-indulgent - the view I have outside my window is balanced, complemented and all but overshadowed by a different view in line with my right shoulder, of Nicola, Beautiful-In-All-Ways Soon-To-Be-Bride Of Barefoot, who is perched on a stool to my right, sparkling brighter and more radiantly even than the mountaintops and sea, eating a humble bowl of Spanish cornflakes, the sight of which is topping the sensation of gazing through the window by at least 150%, if such a thing were possible.
I was searching for a point just then, as in what am I getting at here, because I rarely know until the piece unfolds - it's a mysterious journey for me as well as you, this - and I realise the point is, that without in any way gloating - to the contrary, this is said in all humility in the face of the ineffable Tao - that if you believe you can and if you have a sense of what it is you want, you can, in time, guide in everything your heart truly desires.
I spent not years but decades out in the cold - working away developing the art as well as the craft of conveying what I hope is the essence of love and beauty, accessibly enough for it to have relevance for others - you, I mean. And I never had any proof it would ever pan out on the material plane. But gradually, as if by magic, it all just started dropping on the physical front - and now, here I am at the palace with the queen - I mean it can happen - everything is possible, is what I'm trying to convey.
It merely requires - I was going to say, reading Manifesto - but that's so cheeky, even if it's true - it merely requires, vision, faith and the willpower to do the work.
I'm tempted to reduce the entire trick of effortless manifesting to a single sentence here but am truly not up to it right now, hence why I must suggest you check out Manifesto - because it really does work. And this not as a plug - I don't plug - I'm not counting on future sales of Manifesto to earn me a living anyway - it's merely that I'm excited, because if it works for a crazy, unruly wayward Taoist scallywag like me, it can work for anyone.
For now, however, relax your muscles, lengthen your spine, broaden your shoulders and hips, breathe more slowly and deeply, sink your energy into your belly and draw your consciousness backwards into the centre of your brain. Now think of one thing you'd really like to see happen in your life. Create a scene and project it onto the inside of your frontal (forehead) bone, then surround it in a circular frame of brilliant white-gold light. Reduce it down to the size of a pea. Exhale and drop the pea down the front of your body into your chest, where you let it sit behind the breastbone as you work, rest and play. Refresh the image as often as you like but always return it to your heart at the end. (This is one particular version of the technique - there are others). And in time - no one can say how long - your heart's desire will be made manifest - far better and more gloriously than you can possibly imagine now.
There, did you like that?
We're off in Black Bullet, Vehicle Of Barefoot now to the mountains, there to be immersed in the hot waters of a sulphur pool nestled in the snowline.
May you have a weekend of sublime magnificence, during which you receive at least three surprises which delight and thrill you so deeply, it's all you can do to not to fall off your chair.
I love you, Doc
We have sent our congratulations to the Doc and Nicola. Read more from him at Barefoot Doc's letters and Barefoot Doctor Website
This is a great site with an interactive forum for like-minded devotees, podcasts, TV,courses and much more.