Loving Our Inner Wild Nature

Madeline Johnson of Undisputed Origin on facing our fears.

Fact:

I am a divine child of God with an unbreakable spirit and infectious optimism.

That is all I need to be.

  Inspired by James Allen “As A Man Thinketh
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Wildlife and the wild woman are both an endangered species. Over time, we have seen the feminine instinctive nature looted, driven back and overbuilt.
For long periods it has been mismanaged like the wildlife and the wild lands.
For several thousand years, as soon and as often as we turn our backs, it is relegated to the poorest land in the psyche.
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The spiritual lands of the wild woman have, throughout history, been plundered or burnt, dens bull dozed, and natural cycles forced into unnatural rhythms
to please others.
It is not by accident that the pristine wilderness of our planet disappears as the understanding of our own inner wild nature fades.
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From Women Who Run With Wolves.

Running To The Truth, Instead of Hiding From Fear

Hot Yoga is not for everyone. Especially for those living in sticky, humid, steamy climates that reach upwards of 95 degrees in August by 10:00 am in the morning. For 90 minutes you are involved in a practice of moving meditation with a room full of others stretching and attempting to twist, reach and conquer the chatter of your mind and the stiffness of your body in 105 degree heat.
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At the end of each class, our teacher may or may not say something prophetic – something mind opening –
As David, my yoga teacher said the other day –

There is nothing to hold on to – nothing we need to carry with us – we came into this world with nothing and we will leave with nothing. There is nothing to do, nothing say, nothing to be afraid of my dear.

 

Facing Our Fears

Tara Brach in her book Radical Acceptance on surrendering into the darkest of our nights. We must practice. Practice holding our fear near our hearts.  Facing our fears is a lifelong training in letting go of all we cling to – and it is a training in how to die. Holding our deepest fears with kindness and resting in our seasons.
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And how Rilke has poetically proclaimed – we practice daily by resisting nothing that happens, we remain openly awake with awareness.
This is the place that has room for both the living and dying.
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How dear you will be to me then, you nights
of anguish. Why didn’t I kneel more deeply to accept you,
inconsolable sisters, and surrendering, lose myself
in your loosened hair.

How we squander our hours of pain.
How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration
to see if they have an end.

Though they are really
our winter-enduring foliage, our dark evergreen,
our season in our inner year–, not only a season
in time–, but are place and settlement, foundation and soil
and home.

The Select Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
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Can You Change your Personality If You Change How Your Neurons Fire?

As a change of mind changes everything – even the brain itself.

It turns out that DNA expression is far, far more malleable than previously suspected. So malleable, in fact, that behavior, and more specifically, personality alone can cause it to change.

Just when it seems like scientists have everything figured out, high-level human studies into the nature of epigenetic mutation continue to reveal disruptive insights into the complex nature of mind-body interactions, such as the recent study published in the prestigious journal PLOS One, which suggests that the benefits associated with regular practice of yoga, meditation, and other related relaxation techniques influence our DNA quite readily as well.

Featured Artwork 
Aykut Aydoğdu is a Turkish artist and graphic designer that produces surreal artworks with hidden meanings and thought-provoking visual metaphors.

How Good Can it Get?

Because I am more prone to incessant worry about future events than I am to anticipating good outcomes, or pleasant surprises, I continue to struggle with my pessimism bias. That is I tend to exaggerate the likelihood that negative things will happen in the future.

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This morning, walking back from the gym, I had a thought drop in from the sky. A simple little question just popped into my head.  The question I pondered. . .

I wonder, how good can it get?

or better said by Alan Cohen . . .

 

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Here, a cheat sheet to the many cognitive biases that keep us stuck.

Featured image “Open mind” ceramic series by Johnson Tsang

Leaving a Legacy of Love

Somewhere along stumbling to happiness and following our passion it’s easy to miss the true purpose of our existence. So wrapped up in achieving personal success, whatever we think that looks and feels like for us, we forget about the memorable mark our day-to-day behavior leaves on others. We get caught up in the bigger picture, the ultimate”legacy” we want to leave, placing the focus on our desires instead of others.

Making a True & Measurable Impact

Sure we talk about making an impact on the world, but the world is composed of millions and millions of people.  To be aware of the impact we have on each other with every single encounter is the start. From this second to the next; that last moment until now, every look, every sigh, stare, word, jab, smile, frown, punch, hug. . . .even the thoughts we are thinking that we do not dare to share, our truest purpose is to become awake to how are we making each other feel.  That feeling we leave behind is what matters most.

Did you lift them up? Show appreciation? Make them feel important?

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It’s how we make each other feel.  It’s the after effect, the residual emotion left from our words, our touch, listening to our friend, partner, parent, child, acquaintance, that truly matters mot. The bigger legacy of love is built on these day-to-day opportunities to make someone feel important and appreciated.  Did we leave them feeling loved?

Leaving a legacy begins with our behavior and everyone has the opportunity to leave a legacy.  It starts right in front of us, every second of the day. A chance to leave a legacy of love.

But people are so frustrating, so anxious, so hard-headed.

Try Reasoning instead of Rage.

It can begin with reasoning with those that are hurting. Reasoning communicates a message of respect. Respect is a building block to better relationships.

Recognizing the Good in All.

Praising another’s good behavior will reinforce even better behavior. When our good actions are praised we internalize it as part of our identities, and understand that even though we may have done things that weren’t kind in the past, we are able to change. Praise opens up the relationship to a higher standard.

Leaving a Legacy of Love Starts with Flipping the Script

Creating a new narrative about the way you want to leave your legacy. Sure you may build the next Facebook, Uber or Airbnb, perhaps you will find cures for diseases unknown but in between the chaotic moments of hustle and grind, how did you make everyone feel?

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Listen to Flip the Script from NPR’s Invisibilia

How therapists use the concept of non-complementarity behavior to help you make your own relationships better. Are you arguing with others? Angry? Upset? How do you flip the script? It starts by doing the opposite of what your natural instinct is, and in this way transforms a situation. Usually when someone is hostile to us, we are hostile right back. The psychological term is “complementarity.” But then in rare cases someone manages to be warm, and what happens as a result can be surprising.

 

 

 

On Trusting Yourself

tumblr_static_tumblr_static__640Perhaps stumbling through and failing at life sometimes moves us to lose the deep trust in ourselves that we need to thrive.

That loss of self-trust keeps us down, frozen and afraid to move forward.   Perhaps if we raise our “royal minds” and learn again to trust ourselves; no matter how many mistakes we make, as Ralph Waldo Emerson suggests in his essay “Spiritual Laws” we can begin to understand the importance of trusting oneself.

What a man does, that he has. What has he to do with hope or fear? In himself is his might. Let him regard no good as solid but that which is in his nature and which must grow out of him as long as he exists.”

What your heart thinks great, is great. The soul’s emphasis is always right.

Emerson moves me so. If I ever get a dog (which I will one day), I will call him Emerson.

On another random note, after reading Daily Rituals “How Artists Work”, I have added two  new rituals to my day – the act of taking an “air bath” – a walk in the cool air to cleanse my mind after a long day as Ben Franklin did every evening and enjoying a “sun downer” – a glass of wine like Carl Jung.  So fun.