Steven Washington
4 min readMay 20, 2019

Oops I Did It Again

Don’t worry my friends, I’m not going to start a ragged and corny rendition of the Brittany Spears hit from oh so many years ago. I use that phrase to call attention to something I recently did and I am certain I’m not alone in my actions. I recently neglected to do something that I know with every cell in me to be good for my body, heart/mind and spirit. I instead chose to do everything else but what I know to be good for myself. It’s almost as if I had a case of temporary amnesia. I didn’t pray & meditate and haven’t in a few weeks and DAMN I feel the results of that!

You might be thinking, “Really Steven, is that what all the fuss is about?” Yes this is what all the fuss is about and I’m going to tell you why. Many years ago, it was suggested to me that prayer and meditation would be a good practice for me to have because I have the brain of an addict. You see addicts have different brain chemistry than other people who are not addicts. This peculiar wiring of the brain affects the way we perceive our lives and the world. One aspect of. treating this is to work on developing a spiritual life; connecting with a Higher Power or Source energy of our own choosing through prayer and meditation.

For a long time I didn’t quite take that suggestion seriously. I would sometimes work on it and many other times I wouldn’t. I then would wonder why I felt as though my life wasn’t as peaceful or grounded as I would have liked. I also believe that other people perceived me as having a profound spiritual life and practices when I really didn’t. Maybe I had some but certainly not all that I needed.

Well, I finally came around and began to take this whole thing seriously. I think that an important motivator was the lack of serenity I had. I was letting the problems of the world get too deep into my heart and weigh too heavily on my shoulders. I was overwhelmed by racism, sexism, anti Semitism, homophobia, inequality and anything else that the media pumped out in endless supply daily. I also noticed that just as I began to reach my limit with the burdens I was carrying alone, I saw how many people in my life were actually living the spiritual life that I wanted to live as well. They would share their stories with me and I became inspired.

So there was my beginning of seriously practicing. a practice of prayer and meditation. It is something that I have to devote time and energy to and the more I do it, the better and richer it gets. What works for me is doing a short Qigong sequence followed by meditation and some short reading and making a gratitude list. This type of ritual really helps my brain and heart/mind. to focus more on what’s right and not what’s wrong in me and the world. It also helps to relax yet energize my body.

I would work diligently on this practice for weeks and then a business or pleasure trip would take place and I would lose my footing. Without the environment I created in my home, without the schedule I had formed to meet my self care needs, I would lose my way; almost in the blink of an eye. Those practices that became part of the glue that holds me together became replaced by other things that would leave me feeling empty or depleted energetically. Some of the temporary replacements were television, sugar, exercise (the type that strengthens the physical body but doesn’t serve the subtler energies within), and generally keeping the focus outside of myself and neglecting the inner reflection time that I truly need to live. All of those things move me further and further away from Source energy. When I am in the “flow” of life, I feel Source is as close to me as my own heart beat or breath. When I took time to pray the other night, I felt disconnected. I did it anyway but observed the awkward feeling. I felt as if Source was no longer a part of me but separate. As if I were talking to a person at the other end of a very long and dark. hallway.

I read a passage today that compares the need we all have for air, food, water and sunlight to our need to have some sort of connection to Source. When we deprive ourselves of air, food, water and sunlight, we suffer. We suffer because we aren’t getting the nutrients we need. Prayer and meditation are like nutrients for the soul. The soul needs to be nourished as well as the body. The soul, the heart/mind and body are all connected. They can never truly be separated.

As I reflect on the past month of work trips, displacement from the CA fires and how all of that rocked my foundation; I can observe the sweetness of coming back to myself. in the “doing” of my practices and the “being” in the space it all creates for me to live, love and thrive. within my life.

So, oops I did it again isn’t an exercise in self judgement. It is. an awareness of how easily we can step away from ourselves and Source energy. We can just as easily come back to ourselves and Source whenever we would like and nothing is truly lost but only gained.

Steven Washington

I am a man who has lived a rich life. From the projects of Stamford, CT to Broadway stages to the beaches of Malibu. I write to share my experiences.