I’ve run across a number of articles recently that speak to the physical benefits of silence. One I just read a few days ago talks about how silence generates new cells in the hippocampus of mice. This is an intriguing finding, given that we know that trauma shrinks the hippocampus. Here’s the link to that article: http://www.lifehack.org/377243/science-says-silence-much-more-important-our-brains-than-thought
Another article, which I read a while ago, speaks to a number of benefits that arise from spending time in silence, Read More “702nd Week: Befriending Silence”
I recently finished reading a book that consistently brought me back to the importance of learning to shift awareness to the heart instead of emphasizing the brain—to perceive the world through heart intelligence rather than just cognitively. Read More “Week 645:Perceiving With Your Heart”
One of the things that always touches me is listening to the critical ways in which so many of us talk to ourselves. It’s as though we culturally tune into a particular channel of self-awareness and are taught to give ourselves a hard time, weighing ourselves down with “shoulds”, comparing ourselves negatively to others, and making sure we jump on ourselves immediately if there is any hint that we might not be measuring up to whatever judgments we may carry.
For many of us, there is also the underlying anxiety, uncertainty, and downright fear that arose during times of trauma when we may have experienced verbal or physical abuse. With abuse tends to come an internal dialogue of self-blame which then grows into an internal litany of what’s wrong with us and why we, or our lives, will never be okay.
Recently, I watched a Tedx Talk by Andrew Newman, the creator of the Conscious Bedtime Story Club and the author of many children’s books. The talk is entitled, “Why the Last 20 Minutes of the Day Matter” and I was captivated by what Andrew had to say. Here’s a link to his talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfcZhlK-FAURead More “776th Week: Programming Ourselves for More Gentle Self-Talk”
As we experience the intense polarization and conflict in the United States, and also that which has arisen in so many other countries, it feels more important than ever to engage practices that remind us that we are one earth family and that we can’t survive independent from the countless contributions of our human family and our other-than-human earth family.
I’ve written before about the South African concept and practice of Ubuntu—“I am because you are”, which recognizes and lives into the reality that it is only through the support of the people around us that we are able to be. Here’s one reference describing Ubuntu, one among many: https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ubuntu_(philosophy)
Another approach to this same idea comes from Psychiatrist Dan Siegel who has developed what he calls “Intraconnection”, where he describes our awareness as moving from “me to we to mwe”. Here’s a link to his new book on the subject: https://www.amazon.com/IntraConnected-Integration-Belonging-Identity-IPNB/dp/0393711692/ref=sr_1_2?crid=N39CCKTAR989&keywords=Dan+Siegel+intraconnected&pldnSite=1&qid=1658667706&sprefix=dan+siegel+intraconnected%2Caps%2C124&sr=8-2
Then, there’s Thich Nhat Hanh’s coining the verb interbeing, where he says that we interare in every moment, that we cannot really be separate from everything around us. Here’s a link to an article by Thich Nhat Hanh on interbeing: https://www.garrisoninstitute.org/blog/insight-of-interbeing/
These and other related approaches and concepts invite us to expand our worldview to move beyond U.S. culture’s (and the cultures of other countries, as well) emphasis on individual issues such as rights, freedom, and independence. For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to dive a bit more deeply into this subject than you may have done before and ask yourself, each day, to recognize your interbeing and interdependence in some way you might ordinarily ignore it.Read More “883rd Week: Cultivating A Deeper Awareness of Interbeing and Interdependence”
Just before the election, I had an unexpected—and unusual for me—interaction with someone on Facebook that reflected something we’ve all seen emerge over time. It seems that differences of opinion are now taken as attacks. Read More “Week 653: Speaking with Respect”
Recently, I read an article that described a research project done by a woman in Germany. It was published in the American Psychological Association Bulletin and addressed a subject that I have experienced and promoted for many years. The research looked at the relationship between a person’s sense of greater life satisfaction and a belief in oneness, “…the idea that everything in the world is connected and interdependent.”
Two things struck me about this research. First, that it was published by the American Psychological Association gave me hope that the concept of oneness is becoming more mainstream, or at least on its way to that, and secondly that this belief has a positive impact on people regardless of their religion.Read More “753rd Week: The Benefits of a Sense of Oneness”