When life is getting you down, try considering the concept of a spoon barn.  It’s all about living life to the fullest, even with change and loss. 

Spoon Barn

The likelihood is that you’ve never heard of Spoon Barn.  I’ve only recently come across the term as I was reading a magazine.  Consider the scenario:

An old wooden barn is falling down on your property. Rather than just let it all go to scrap, you build a table from some of the wood.  Time goes by and as the table starts to wobble and break, you make it into a chair.  As the chair deteriorates, you use some of the wood to carve a spoon.  

Part of the old barn lives on in the spoon.

So spoon barn is all about making the most out of what we have around us and bringing new life to old things.

So how can we use this concept in life?


Consider marriage. A couple meets and both are fun loving and adventurous in their 20s. They get married.  In their 30s they become parents and that fun-loving adventurous side seems to disappear. When they reach their 40-50s they get really into their careers and work long hours.  By the time they reach their 60s, they wonder where the person they married has gone.  

In this scenario, if we think of the spoon barn concept – it helps us look for the core of the relationship. Yes, both people have changed a lot over the years, the relationship has changed a lot over the years, but the core of each person is still there – and that is the part they fell in love with.

Focusing on that can help you through changes as we grow – often growing more apart, then closer, then more apart; in waves throughout the relationship.  Find the “spoon” in the other person and focus on that: You get more of what you focus on. 


Another example for the spoon barn concept is  with illness. Again, this can be a time of considerable change – and often loss.   The things you used to be able to do, you may no longer be able to do.  It is a huge adjustment.  But the person you were before the illness and loss is still there. That essence and core have not disappeared.   Focus on who you still are. 

An example of this is a client of mine who is frail and can’t leave the house.  She was feeling like she was a complete waste as she could no longer contribute.  But when we looked at who she was and what she was still doing – she was still making a significant contribution to friends and family.  

She is one of those people who always makes you feel better about yourself. She sees the good things in everyone and after seeing her, you always leave feeling empowered and with more self- confidence – even if you went to see her to take care of her! All her carers feel the same. And although she can’t physically do much and sleeps most of the day – she still emails her friends and family; when she feels up to it, she phones people; and she is caring for her carers.  And her loving positivity towards others still comes through.  But she hadn’t seen it in herself. Her loving, caring “spoon” is still shining through, even though other parts of her have changed.  She continues to have a huge impact on other people’s lives.

Image of a wooden spoon depicting Spoon Barn from CALMERme.com blogSometimes we have to take from our old life and repurpose it and adapt. Think about bringing new life to old patterns, even when things change.

The concept of a spoon barn is all about living life to its fullest potential.  

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