What Has Yet To Be Imagined

We know what we have and what is available to us. We know what is here right now. For a moment we are satisfied and then we yearn for something better. Something novel.

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We look to the dreamers, the designers, the inventors and the creators for what is yet to be imagined.

We look to them to dream up something new.

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Featured Art

@johnmorrisssculptor

Resuscitating Back To Life

A shift in perspective can give life to something that feels dead. By Madeline Johnson

Lately I have been experiencing many shifts in perspective about my life. A shift in perspective can give life to something that feels dead.  It can breathe fresh air into an old relationship, it can help you finally see the opportunity in a recurring nightmare of a problem, a change of energy can help you resolve an “issue” that you keep experiencing over and over.

I am beginning to see things differently, especially the problems and pain points – the obstacles that I face every day. Between you and me, they aren’t huge challenges, but they aren’t small either and thank God they don’t effect my health.

You and I both know, your mental and physical health is everything. Soul health too. Soul health is most important.

“Poverty consciousness and a sense of “not enough” can cast a shadow on your path. These ideas and core beliefs come with a high cost. Do you really want to proclaim yourself a victim of disappointment and failed expectations? Are you avoiding success because you will grow so tall that others may want to cut you down? Or is it possible that you are caught in a fear that you will lose what you have acquired, so you hold on so tight that you miss the opportunities to expand? You are being challenged to change the way you see the world and move from a perception of limitations to a perception of abundance. Take a risk, for you have nothing to lose except your confinement in a prison of your own making. Open the door and find the abundance waiting for you to claim it.

-from Wisdom of the Oracle Card Deck

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I use to think that the best form of prayer is a simple, single prayer of gratitude and appreciation for whatever God gives us. I still believe that to be true, but now I also understand that the act of prayer is also an invitation to surrender to what we think we need and want.

I now think of the power of prayer as a form of letting go and accepting that God knows better and with us at all times. 

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It was Gabby Bernstein today that turned me on to a new way of praying that truly resonates with me.

Dear God,

Thank you for showing me creative solutions

that are beyond my sight. 

So often we pray for what we think we need instead of surrendering to the knowledge that God has bigger, better plans for us. When we are open and allowing God to take over our lives we unleash the strength within us and stay open to the power of the universe and possibility. It is then that we collaborate and create our masterpiece in union with the divine.

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Remember, you are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you keep.

You are what you take from these. They leave an impression on you. Be careful what you consume.

You are the sound of the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life.

So drown yourself in a deep and beautiful sea of knowledge and existence. Let these experiences run through your veins and let the essence fill your mind and soul.

 

Featured Art

Holly Denham on Instagram

 

Excellent But Not Enough

Don’t limit your way of thinking to “this is the way it is, this is the way it has to be.” Challenge your mind to be open to possibility. By Madeline Johnson

The title of this post is from a phrase created by Edward de Bono, a very creative thinker who has impacted many, many people. I like it because it reminds me that while we can generate many great ideas, ideas that are actually excellent; we should never limit our thinking. We must remain open to the possibilities of life, for they are infinite.

I am interested in developing new ideas, not only for myself, but to also help solve the challenges of the world. I enjoy opening my mind and practicing the process of creative thinking.

The purpose of creativity is to change, to make things better, which is the mission of this blog and my life.

To make things better, one begins by opening one’s mind up to new solutions. Don’t limit your way of thinking to “this is the way it is, this is the way it has to be.” Challenge your mind to consider the possibilities.

The next time you are in conflict with another, when you are arguing –  make an attempt to move past being “right”.  To be “right” is okay but it is not enough.

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If you are simply trying to prove another person wrong – then you have lost the fight. An argument should aim to open the conversation to new possibilities. 

Start with an effort to understand rather than argue and attack.

Open things up, rather than close things down.

Sometimes the situation is only a problem because it is looked at in a certain way. Looked at in another way, the right course of action may be so obvious that the problem no longer exists. 

-Edward De Bono

Edward de Bono is one of the pioneers of Brain Training. In 1967 he invented the world famous Lateral Thinking technique. He is a proponent of the direct teaching of thinking as a skill. He has dedicated his life to help people from around the world improve their thinking abilities and creativity skills.

Instead of simply judging and fulfilling your need to be right – perhaps you should attempt to improve your thinking by elaborating around the possibilities of what could be.

Read: Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono

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Featured Artist

Ellen Jewett

Each sculpture is handmade and painted with no more tools than fingers and a paint brush. By virtue of this primal process, each creation is completely unique and produced in a fluid and intuitive manner.

Follow @ellenjewett on Instagram

Your Unseen Power & Contribution

How among the toxic state of public discourse might we come to understand that we can achieve a unified sense of peace with each other. Madeline Johnson

As the sun rose today I sat contemplating that which makes us more alike than different.  That which brings us closer together. That which unifies our hearts.

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While I truly appreciate our unique individuality, I, like many of you,  also long for a world of unity. A world where understanding and respect reigns true.

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A world where we realize that peace begins with respecting our individual contributions and the authentic expression of ourselves that will shape the future our our universe.

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How among the chaos of extremism and the toxic state of public discourse and polarity, might we come to understand that we can achieve a unified sense of peace with each other. An essence of tolerance.

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I want to believe that we all have the ability to appreciate our deep connectedness to one and other and our potential to contribute to a more sustainable, vibrant future.

The question is – how are we going to use that understanding? How will we interpret this knowledge of our connectedness to shape society for tomorrows to come?

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To make visible, what without you, might perhaps never been seen. 

– Robert Bresson

 

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The Thinkers

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man. He conceived the vitalist idea of the Omega Point, and he developed Vladimir Vernadsky’s concept of noosphere.

The Omega Point is a spiritual belief and a scientific speculation that everything in the universe is fated to spiral towards a final point of divine unification.

Robert Bresson was a French film director. Known for his ascetic approach, Bresson contributed notably to the art of cinema; his non-professional actors, ellipses, and sparse use of scoring have led his works to be regarded as preeminent examples of minimalist film

Robert Bresson

 

Featured Artwork

Illustrator Daniel Egneus

 

 

Too Busy To Feel

Why don’t we honor what it means to be a feeling, thinking being? By Madeline Johnson

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The consequences of emotional avoidance are usually worse than the experience of what we try to avoid.

What avoiding your emotions does –

  • Reinforces the idea that discomfort/distress/anxiety is “bad” or “dangerous.” It reduces your ability to face and tolerate necessary pain.
  • Limits your ability to fully experience the present moment.
  • Keeps you from moving toward the important, valued aspects of life.
  • Often leads to suffering: addiction, helplessness, hopelessness, depression, damaged relationships, and lost opportunities.

Read More How Avoiding Emotions Keeps Them High Intensity

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The ways in which we hold ourselves back by running from our feelings.

  • Situational: avoiding people, places, or things
  • Cognitive: avoiding thoughts, images, or memories
  • Somatic: avoiding unpleasant physical sensations
  • Protective: avoiding uncertainty through frequent checking, procrastinating, or assurance seeking
  • Substitution: avoiding by numbing, suppressing, addictive behaviors, or replacement emotions (i.e., replacing shame with anger)

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Those moments when you are just too busy to feel, but your emotions leak through anyway.

  • Will you love me if I’m boring?
  • I just feel helpless not being able to help you.
  • Why do I feel guilty letting you know what I need to be happy?

Why don’t we honor what it means to be a feeling, thinking being?

What if we were to embrace all of these feelings instead?

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These feelings are signals for growth. Eventually, you will have to walk through that door. These emotions you are running from are your keys to freedom. Let them guide you to do everything you don’t want to do.

Read Richard J. Davidson’s The Emotional Life of Your Brain

Featured Artwork

Liquid PinkContemporary and surreal digital collage art and photo manipulation by Gaia Barnatan. Based in Byron Bay, Australia.

Trust the Process

Trusting the process and reaching your goals. by Madeline Johnson

Goals can be so absolutely frustrating. Some days they seem to be so out of reach. Setbacks require creativity and a successful process. Read: Movement & Creativity.

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Trust the process.

Trust the Process has become a catchphrase in sports. It means sticking to a long-term plan even in the face of bad short-term outcomes. … Trust the Process means sticking to a well-grounded methodology to accomplish a long-term goal.

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Much of this calls for redefining, or refining, one’s relationship with time, and all the qualities and skills that will only come from engaging time more creatively and effectively. 

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The Difference Between Goals and Processes or Systems

  • If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a successful business. Your process (system ) is your processes for sales, marketing, fulfillment, operations, etc.
  • If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your (process) system is what your team does at practice each day.
  • If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your (process) system is the writing schedule you follow each week.
  • If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your (process) system is your training schedule for the month

The repetitive process, the habit, the ritual, the daily “doing” is what gets you to the goal. If you focus on the goal, you will get frustrated. Basically, you give up the need for immediate results. Transformation doesn’t happen in a moment, it happens over time.

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Better to Iterate

Think of repetition as doing the same thing with the same data over and over. Think of iteration as doing the same thing with different or refined data.

& Measure your success with feedback loops.

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Remember

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Books to Read to help you develop your creative process.

Steal Like An Artist

You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.

Big Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.

Featured Art

Kiki Smith Woven Tapestries

Kiki Smith works at the scale of the tapestry, creating large collages on paper from cutout drawings, photolithographs, and various textural elements. The collages are sent to Magnolia Editions, photographed, printed at scale and sent back to Smith for more handwork and collaging; this cycle continues (often for months) until the design is ready to be translated into a digital weave file and sent to an electronic, double-headed Jacquard loom for proofing as a textile.

“It’s the way that I work,” she told me from her studio in New York last summer, “making sculptures, too, I do the exact same thing: I make drawings, and from the drawings I make rubber stamps; from the rubber stamps I make impressions in clay, then waxes, and then sculptures. It’s a transformation, moving from one way of generating an image to another, which makes a hybrid.” Smith’s choice to compose her tapestries at scale rather than enlarging smaller images is crucial to their impact. To work large is “to emphasize the holiness of it,” she explains: “historically, these things were made to blanket walls… They’re blanketing space. In mosques you have the kilims that are hundreds of years old sitting on top of each other for prayer, and there’s that relationship between cloth and life and protection.” …

Kiki Smith’s critically acclaimed tapestries depict “a mythical world wherein human and animal forms entwine with natural phenomena” (Artforum); they have been exhibited internationally at venues including Pace Editions (New York), Timothy Taylor (London), Haus der Kunst (Munich) and Lorcan O’Neill (Rome). This 2018 survey of Smith’s tapestry editions to date features an interview with the artist and an essay by Nick Stone.

The Freedom To Continually Reinvent Yourself

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We overwhelm ourselves with huge, stupid, anxious questions. For example. . .

What should I do with my life? 

Now that is a terrible, awful question.

What should I do with the next 5 minutes of my life? is a much better one.

There is so much opportunity in the small moments of each day.

Connecting With The Keeper of Things Wild

A passage from Clarissa Estes’ book

Do not cringe or make yourself small if you are called the black sheep, the maverick or the lone wolf. Only those with “slow seeing” say a non-conformist is a blight on society.

It has been proven over centuries that being “different” means standing on the edge. It means that one is practically guaranteed to make an original contribution, a useful and stunning contribution to our society and culture.

When seeking guidance, don’t ever listen to the tiny-hearted. Be kind to them, heap them with blessing, cajole them but do not follow their advice.

If you have ever been called defiant, incorrigible, forward, cunning, insurgent, unruly, rebellious, you are on the right track.

In a world where nobody really knows anything, you have the incredible freedom to continually reinvent yourself. Go forth, forge new paths, no matter how strange.

From Tribe of Mentors

From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

A case and meditation for raising your vibration. Remember, attitude is everything.

We all have a state of consciousness that when we get to, things just happen effortlessly.  We perceive of the reality that is equal to the emotion we feel. You must believe it to see it.

A 21 day high-vibe meditation with Aaron Dougherty

 

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Estonia vs Ethiopia

While planning my next leg of travel, or what I refer to as my Cosmic AF World Tour, I realized that using Instagram as my only source of inspiration about where to visit next was a very bad idea. Coming to grips with my lack of geographical knowledge, I set out to discover more than the photos of turquoise shorelines and high peak mountains depicted in my feed.

Determined to learn about a new place and culture each day, I purchased a book that I am reading each morning to learn more about our world. Like, who knew Kiiking was an actual sport created in Estonia?

I quickly realized that I also needed to see more than the beautiful photos displayed on each page of coffee table books.  Using Local Guides Connect  with photos that are uploaded to Google maps (real photos by real people) in conjunction with The World, A Traveler’s Guide to the Planet has helped me make better decisions about where my next adventure might be.

 

Becoming Supernatural While Navigating a Greater End

Every thought we have is tangible energy with the power to transform. 

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Our purpose in life is not to please God or do the right thing or be perfect or look good.

Our purpose in life is to express divine intelligence through us.

We should look at the wisdom learned from the adversity in our lives to navigate a greater end.  

Dr. Joe Dispenza (Becoming Supernatural)

 

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Fascinated by the mind-body connection (how our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning), I am studying the power we have to manipulate a part of our genetic code through emotional states – and other things like nutrition, movement and relationships. What I am studying is something called epigenetics.  Here, is a super brief explanation to help you understand what the field of epigenetics involves.

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But, I prefer this analogy . . .

Think of the human lifespan as a very long movie. The cells would be the actors and actresses, essential units that make up the movie. DNA, in turn, would be the script — instructions for all the participants of the movie to perform their roles. Subsequently, the DNA sequence would be the words on the script, and certain blocks of these words that instruct key actions or events to take place would be the genes. The concept of genetics would be like screenwriting. Follow the analogy so far? Great.

The concept of epigenetics, then, would be like directing. The script can be the same, but the director can choose to eliminate or tweak certain scenes or dialogue, altering the movie for better or worse.

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by James Allen
As a being of Power, Intelligence and Love, and the Master of his or her own Thoughts, every being holds the key to every situation, and contains within themselves that transforming and regenerative agency by which they may make themselves what they will.

 

Reigning in the Wild of My Mind 

I awake each morning with some vague memory of my dreams. The next thing I know, my mind is everywhere and left unattended it races from worries about how I will get everything done today to past memories of arguments, problems and things left undone.

Meditation helps me reign in the wild of my mind and channel my thoughts and energy to bring forth what needs to be remembered.

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We are all just one exhale away . . .

Life is short.

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Give gratitude for the miracle of this fucking moment right now.

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What helps me think better each day?

Some Stealth Metta

The Buddhist Metta (Lovingkindness) Prayer is simple but profound.
It starts by blessing oneself and gradually expands outward from there, eventually wishing good intentions for the entire world and all beings, even our enemies. There are many variations and translations of this prayer, but what follows is the essence of it; if we all said this prayer with sincerity at least once per week, the world could be a very different place . . .
My heart fills with with loving kindness. I love myself.
May I be happy. May I be well. May I be peaceful. May I be free.
May all beings in my vicinity be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful. May they be free.
May all beings in my city be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful. May they be free.
May all beings in my state be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful. May they be free.
May all beings in my country be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful. May they be free.
May all beings on my continent be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful. May they be free.
May all beings in my hemisphere be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful. May they be free.
May all beings on planet Earth be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful. May they be free.
May my parents be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful. May they be free.
May all my friends be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful.
May they be free.
May all my enemies be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful. May they be free.
May all beings in the Universe be happy. May they be well.
May they be peaceful. May they be free.
If I have hurt anyone, knowingly or unknowingly in thought, word or deed,
I ask for their forgiveness.
If anyone has hurt me, knowingly or unknowingly in thought, word or deed,
I extend my forgiveness.
May all beings everywhere, whether near or far,
whether known to me or unknown, be happy.
May they be well. May they be peaceful. May they be free.

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Featured artwork by David Wallace

To Express The Creative Capacity of Our Essence

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.  – Joseph Campbell

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Absolute freedom. A life devoted to creative self-expression.

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A life that is fundamentally free is one that is free of certainty.  Purpose, passion, goals. . .they do not matter. The only guarantee of success is that every outcome is uncertain.  Their is no guarantee. Our purpose is not to be found or “discovered”. Our essence is to be expressed or we may fall into arrested expansion.

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To become completely comfortable with uncertainty is total freedom.

To live a life that is full of curiosity, enthusiasm and wonder.

To be free to live open to every situation at one time that we imagined would be difficult or a conflict.

To express the creative capacity of our essence.

This is how our lives become a work of art.

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To live in direct contact with the perpetual, dynamic uncertainty that is implicit in the power of life itself.  To appreciate the mystery of life.

This is equal to living in the heart of intimate freedom.

When we simply are, we are free.

There is no purpose to be found. Just the creative expression of life itself.

As you stroll along, if you’re awake enough, you will be led by your curiosity and excitement.

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Recommended Reading

Will I Be The Hero of My Own Life

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Links

Why Finding Your Passion is Bullshit @ThoughtCatalog

The Bullshit Question Your Ego Loves

Screw Finding Your Passion @markmansonnet

 

Quotes

The granddaddy of the consciousness movementGeorge Leonard was a co-founder of the Aikido of Tamalpais dojo in Corte Madera, California. He also developed the Leonard Energy Training (LET) practice for centering the mind, body, and spirit.

Art

Arrested Expansion by George Grie

Cairo is my muse by Huda Lutfi

Featured Art by Penelope Slinger

Why Keeping an Open Mind and Heart is The Healthiest Thing You Can Do

Having had my fair share of stressful and painful experiences, I am intrigued by studies that explain how negative emotions manifest as physical pain in our bodies. I am specifically interested in the role of stress and the condition of our heart because even though our heart governs most of our decision making, we truly take for granted one of the most magnificent masterpieces of creation.

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A New Type of Heart Attack in this article from Harvard’s Heart Health Newsletter.

Most heart attacks are due to coronary arteries being blocked by blood clots that form when plaques of cholesterol rupture. The lack of blood flow through the blocked arteries results in heart muscle dying — hence the name “heart attack.”

But over the past few years, physicians have come to recognize and better understand another form of heart attack. This unusual type of heart attack does not involve rupturing plaques or blocked blood vessels. It is called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or stress cardiomyopathy. Japanese doctors, who were the first to describe this condition, named it “takotsubo” because during this disorder, the heart takes on a distinctive shape that resembles a Japanese pot used to trap an octopus. The disorder was commonly believed to be caused by sudden emotional stress, such as the death of a child, and to be far less harmful than a typical heart attack. For that reason, some had also labeled this condition “broken-heart syndrome.”

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Purifying Your Heart

In the yogic tradition, so-called heart blockages are caused by unfinished and unprocessed emotions. They call this energy, Samskara, which in Sanskrit means “impression”. You know, the things that make either a good impression or bad on us that we can’t seem to get “over” – those things that cause our mind to ruminate on horrible or remarkable experiences that have happened to us. The heart and mind playing an important role in making us feel inspired and loving or apathetic and victimized.

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Our heart is an instrument made of extremely subtle energy that few of us come to really appreciate. The heart’s energy flow (referred to as Shakti, Spirit or Chi) plays a very important part of our lives and experiences.

The heart controls our energy by closing and opening. For example, you can experience great feelings of love for someone until they say something negative towards you. Vascilating between open-hearted and closed. For deeper reading on The Secrets of The Spiritual Heart, a chapter of the book I have now read five times, I recommend The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

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So science is also demonstrating that volatile emotions like anger and hostility are bad for heart health. But studies have shown that some of the quieter emotions can be just as toxic and damaging.

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“Study after study has shown that people who feel lonely, depressed, and isolated are many times more likely to get sick and die prematurely – not only of heart disease but from virtually all causes – than those who have a sense of connection, love and community,” Dean Ornish, MD, tells WebMD.

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Author Michael Singer explains that we have spent a lifetime of storing up unresolved conflicts which can lead to a heart that is shut down and closed for business. But all is not lost. We have a choice.

We can simply allow the experiences of life, whatever we label as good and/or bad — from falling madly in love to experiencing the death of a loved one —  yes, just simply allow those experiences to move right through us.

Will they be joyful and painful experiences? Yes. But the clinging and resisting and wrestling you do with these emotions will no longer distract you from living fully in the moment with an open mind and heart.

The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.

Art by Turkish artist and graphic designer Aykut Aydogdu, based in Istanbul.

The indomitable will of our soul burns on even during the downward spiral of our destiny.