a blog by Chris Barrow

Peace of Mind

El embarcadero

A few nights ago I enjoyed a relaxed dinner in my home town with a former client and friend.

He called me out of the blue, travelled a distance to attend and offered no agenda – but my sixth sense told me that there would be a reason for this conversation.

Over dinner he described his last three years and revealed that he has “been through the wars” (as my Mum used to say).

His recent life resembled a season of Ray Donovan.

If you don’t watch the show (and you should) – he has had to survive multiple and simultaneous problems – financial, relationship, professional, physical, spiritual and emotional, although without resorting to the immorality of the aforementioned pugilistic Irish-American.

My friend has survived the bouquet of consequences cultivated by a series of bad decisions.

I meet a lot of people who are in seemingly inescapable predicaments – perhaps I attract them?

Do you attract people who shoulder enormous burdens and want your advice and encouragement? People who sometimes just want your permission to make tough decisions and to hear some appreciation for what they have lived through?

Those of us who are blessed (?) this way often attract people who hope that we know what they should do next in their darkness, because at some former point we have been authentic and transparent about our own mistakes, wounds, survival and resulting wisdom.

Over the years I have been designated by a few nicknames, the earliest of which was Sparrow (school), later Breaker, Breaker (CB radio – get it?) and the most common of which is Mr. Marmite (who you love or hate) but also Mr. Weeble (who wobbles but never falls down).

One discovery I have made as my years aggregate is that the wobbling never ends.

I have, however, come to the conclusion that most of us have the capacity to survive a wobble if we believe in the principle that, with the exception of health, nothing ever is either irreplaceable or final.

If you lose all of your money, friends, job, faith or enthusiasm – they can eventually grow back like flowers in the desert after a long-awaited rainfall.

There is nothing to be afraid of in loss.

However, those I meet who are struggling do so in order to avoid the loss of something other than health.

“I have to keep going because I don’t want to lose the………”



Kid’s education.



Pension fund.