Sometimes

SOMETIMES

Sometimes
if you move carefully
through the forest,

breathing
like the ones
in the old stories,

who could cross
a shimmering bed of leaves
without a sound,

you come
to a place
whose only task

is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests,

conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
and

to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,

questions
that can make
or unmake
a life,

questions
that have patiently
waited for you,

questions
that have no right
to go away.

– David Whyte
from “Everything is Waiting for You” & “River Flow: New & Selected Poems”
©2003 Many Rivers Press

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To be human is to make meaning out of meaninglessness

ImageThe only real choice we have is the meaning we give events in our lives

I wrote earlier:

1. Powerlessness is the worst feeling someone can feel

I can now with a little bit of confidence add the following 2 as the other painful feelings in life.

2. The inability to realize that it is we who decide the meaning of things that happen to us

3. Inability to decide a “constructive” (life giving) meaning after tragedy because it conflicts with our preexisting world view.

I spoke with the mother of one of the victims after the trial and truly the most painful thing was, not the grief and loss but the ongoing meaninglessness of it all. The  literal fabric of her life shaken so drastically to pieces… it takes strength to live with contradiction and then even more strength to become congruent. Up through the fertile stench of society… Life… finds a way.

Undercover Goddess Mastermind!

The first ever Undercover Goddess Mastermind is convening! We are 5 women that came together to support each other plans, inspirations, and dreams! I knew I wanted a woman’s circle, I just didn’t know how it would look! We will keep the circle small and expand later!

Life is about failure as much as it is about success.

My endless fascination with neuroscience. What did Nathaniel Branden, Tony Robbins, and Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live all have in common? They apparently knew what neuropsychology is now able to show – self affirmation enhances performance~!

See the article here:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024150800.htm

“They theorized that because self-affirmation has been shown to make us more open to threats and unfavorable feedback, it should also make us more attentive and emotionally receptive to the errors that we make.”

What’s interesting is that the researchers defined ‘self-affirmation’ as a process of  “focusing on the important qualities that make us who we are.” Instead of focusing on self-affirmation as a single thought or incident.

The surprising discovery is that contrary to popular belief self-affirmation can actually help a person ADMIT their mistakes and makes that person more resilient when faced with having made a mistake.

There is an actual neurophysiological response to errors. It’s called the error-related negativity response. “The ERN is a pronounced wave of electrical activity in the brain that occurs within 100 ms of making an error on a task.” Fascinating that there is a wave of electrical activity after making a mistake!! I wonder where this electrical wave originates?

Through this study we can actually see how receiving negative reinforcement after making a mistake as children imprints us with a heavy sense of threat when faced with an error. “To increase the sense of threat in the task, participants were given negative feedback (“Wrong!”) when they made a mistake.”

Not only did the self-affirmation group show more resilience to mistakes but their performance actually improved!

They actually made fewer errors!

We can actually regulate our defensiveness when faced with an error – this mechanism is the key success difference between people who can admit and learn from their mistakes versus those that resist and deny their error. In turn, this openness to threat and receptivity to error also makes us more resilient and better task performers! Such a simple study with far-reaching implications on a cultural level.  Although psychology had previously determined self-esteem to be an important component of living as healthy individuals, there is much skepticism in our society about approaching mistakes with an open mind – in some circles this is somehow considered ineffective.

The cultural attitude is that humility (receptivity) is somehow in conflict with self-affirmation. Also that self-affirmation prevents people from seeing their mistakes. This study shows just the opposite. Self-affirmation can allow us to admit our humanity and our mistakes with it.

Now if we can just find that sweet spot between too much self-affirmation to the detriment of being able to see mistakes.

Perhaps one day we will have a portable EEG sensing device that will track the spectrum of “error response” and we can correlate that to our level of self-affirmation or lack thereof. These are fascinating times!

Becoming a woman

You know you are becoming a woman when you’ve stopped crying over men, over why your family isn’t perfect, over drama and find yourself crying over knowing your life’s purpose (for many years) and wondering why you aren’t following it! It’s scary to be so certain of something and that nothing will complete your life’s story except to pursue that purpose. Not relationship, not having kids, not money – but completion of your life’s story birthed out of your specific circumstances of where you were born, when you were born, how you were born. Those external circumstances combined with the passions of your true identity form your life’s meaning and purpose. With every breath, I am an instrument of social and economic justice.

Disarming

An important part of relationsihps is learning how to disarm your mate. To take that person seriously enough so they feel heard and honored but laughing and helping  to ground your beloved in the “bigger picture” to help him or her see a new perspective.

Becoming a woman

You know you are becoming a woman when you’ve stopped crying over men, over why your family isn’t perfect, over drama and find yourself crying over knowing your life’s purpose (for many years) and wondering why you aren’t following it! It’s scary to be so certain of something and that nothing will complete your life’s story except to pursue that purpose. Not relationship, not having kids, not mone

y – but completion of your life’s story birthed out of your specific circumstances of where you were born, when you were born, how you were born. Those external circumstances combined with the passions of your true identity form your life’s meaning and purpose. With every breath, I am an instrument of social and economic justice.