The Common Threads of Life

Existential Angst During the Pandemic

Dr. James Hillman once said that our modern culture worships two gods above the rest: economy and psychology. Today, individuals revolve like constellating planets around these two universal structures. Less common are the words love, soul and destiny. Both the individual and the collective interact with these energies mythically. In such significant times as these, as we face the existential angst brought on the pandemic, we can readily see how these two vessels host our emotional, intellectual and imaginal lives. Many of us turn to the practical steps for answers, paying our respects to the god of economy. Others, turn more so to the psychological fantasy of growth. “I am working on myself… managing my anxiety… trying to stay positive.” And who can blame us? These altars bare all our best intentions and hopes, our efforts and activities.

David Whyte and The Three Marriages

In The Three Marriages, David Whyte argues that the soul must learn to find the common threads within 3 major areas of life. Says Whyte, “we are collectively exhausted because of inability to hold competing parts of ourselves together in a more integrated way” (Whyte p. 9).  Just as economy and psychology occupy our devotional lives, so our distinctive parts must be teased out from dogmatic practices and brought together again with new depths and understandings which lead to new behaviors and attitudes. We undergo tremendous exile from the norms as our rituals to the gods of finances and self-care fall to disruption. What once went to routines now beckons deeper questions and cooks with the heat of transformation.  What once was occupied by work now paints, screams, dances, journals, and condensates on the exterior of the glass vessel.

Emotional Expression and Emergent Life

Whyte says, “the deeper, unspoken realms of the human psyche, work and life are not separate things and therefore cannot be balanced against each other except to create further trouble” (p.13). Our “marriages” must undergo some painful realizations. Clients no doubt are asking big questions about what it is that truly holds them together. To be ok with not being ok is no small feat. As we sift through the areas of necessity for survival and well being, perhaps this is a good time to find the common threads between our values. Over the coming weeks, we are going to take a look at Whyte’s model for the three marriages Spending time in what hosts meaning will support our staff and our clients in the re-visioning work at hand. Fire dries up the moisture and new life emerges from the completed cooking of emotional expression. Let’s get it out!

Share on social


We are in-network with all PPO plans. We are proudly a certified Tricare provider. We are now able to work with Magellan Health/Blue Shield of CA HMO plans.

aetna logo
Anthem logo
Blue Cross Blue Shield of California logo
Cigna logo

Hear From Those We've Impacted

star star star star star

Barn Life is uniquely special. As someone who has had long stretches of sobriety with "traditional" communities and methods, Barn Life stepped in when I started struggling during the pandemic and said "traditional" methods failed to help.The staff here are exceptional. This is a truly subjective statement, but it is my honest opinion that the people from the owner (Hi Matt!) to EVERYONE else works there because they believe in the work and want to share the tools they found.Barn Life and their little sibling, Peer Mental Wellness were the launchpad from a shell of an existence to person with self-love/respect, and a life-mission of personal development.

Steven D.
star star star star star

Best for someone looking for spiritual healing in addition to their mental health healing.

Luka P.
star star star star star

Barn life is probably one of the most amazing facilities you could ever attend when it comes to mental illness. This was the first place that popped up when I was searching for help and I’m so thankful that it did. The environment is very therapeutic, the staff is awesome, and the group discussions and activities were so helpful in me understanding what I was experiencing. Do not hesitate to be a part of this place. It’s literally a game changer. I was only there for 6 weeks but I wished I stayed at least 6 months. Ever since returning home, I’ve been much happier and my perspective has changed dramatically. I’ve done things and participated in events at my college that I never thought I would be able to do. This place is truly amazing and I’m forever grateful that I found this place.

Ariana E.
star star star star star

Through trial and error of trying to stay sober this program is definitely the most caring and supporting of them all if anyone needs help and is willing to help themselves I suggest barnlife they will for a fact give you the push you need and the tools to keep you going

Mason T.
star star star star star

My daughter has been at Barn Life Recovery now for two months. It was my last resort to send her 9 hours away from me. She has been in drug and mental health rehabs in and out for two years. This was my last stitch effort to save my daughter and get her back to herself. Alyssa and I spoke multiple times before deciding. Their willingness to do everything for her and the different teams they have work with them is amazing. My daughter is happy again and clean and sober. She loves it there in their outpatient program. They restore your faith in humanity. They help restore someone who is broken in so many places to themselves. They have put the light back in my daughters eyes. They are committed to helping each person who truly wants the help. They assist in helping them get jobs and be responsible members of society. I recommend their program to anyone wanting to recover from drug, alcohol and mental health.Thank you to all the people at Barn Life who have made my daughter smile and bring the light back to her eyes. I am truly grateful.DawnaLee

DawnaLee W.
star star star star star

I am alumni from Zen Recovery Path / a great place , and live a happy healthy life ever since / great peaceful place to recover // Namaste

Michael M.



Contact us by completing the form below or call us anytime, day or night.

MM slash DD slash YYYY

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Previous Next
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this