Today Malala Yousafzai is on the cover of Vogue Magazine speaking for the education of women in Pakistan. You may have heard of her as that girl who was shot in the face for wanting an education, seemingly a big threat to the system in her country.
She is the youngest person to be granted the Nobel Prize which she shares with Kailash Satyarthi, India’s lifelong social reformer who has many campaigns agains child labor in India. He advocates for the universal right to education.
He has many videos on YouTube, including his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Some of the other videos must come with a warning. You will be shaken to your soul. Human trafficing is at an all time high! Why?
Those among us who are so lucky to have our children grow up without this threat can use our thoughts to help this cause. Where would we be without our education?
I have talked about the power of our thoughts. Since we are here in our non-threatened lives, we can ask our higher power to give more power to the work of this man. He has saved 87,000 children from slavery. His best friend was murdered in the process. It is them against the Mafia.
“The solution lies within the womb of the problem.” Kailash Satyarthi
I agree. He is now in my thoughts as an example of how powerful we are as human beings.
Who wouldn’t like to be wild and free, if just for a moment’s pleasure?
It is believed, the newest frontier is the freedom within our minds. Consciousness has been explored since we got free from being chased by wild animals, dating back to the Early Pleistocene, consistent with the emergence of Homo erectus, about 1.7 million years ago, according to many of scientific historians.
To be aware, you may have realized four states of consciousness – as awake, dream-filled sleep, deep sleep, and beyond deep sleep.
Reference: Philosopher Walter Kaufmann, The Origins and History of Consciousness.
In 1949, Erich Neumann in The Origins and History of Consciousness did a good job of outlining the archetypal stages in the development of consciousness. He was a psychologist and philosopher.
If objective evidence of self-awareness can be taken as evidence for consciousness, then consciousness as it occurs in the primate with their more fully developed cortex may have evolved ~5 million years ago, at or around the time when great apes split off from the lesser apes.
We have had lots of time. I suspect we know more than we admit.
Self–awareness is defined as being aware of oneself, including one’s traits, feelings, and behaviors. Neuroscientists have believed that three brain regions are critical for self–awareness: the insular cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the medial prefrontal cortex.
To become more self–aware, we should develop an understanding of ourselves in many areas, like your personality traits, your personal values, habits, emotions, and the psychological needs that drive your behaviors. Don’t worry, it’s not a homework assignment. You have all the time you need to become self-aware.
Scientists differ on the difference between consciousness and self–awareness, but here is one common explanation:
Consciousness is awareness of one’s body and one’s environment.
Self-awareness is recognition of that consciousness—not only understanding that your consciousness exists, but further understanding that you are aware of your thoughts as well as your actions.
Why? Because there are benefits! Here are some bennies, but not all the bennies. There are ongoing ascending levels to being aware of your body and your environment.
Identifying your emotions
The ability to have accurate self-perception
Being proactive about your safety
Possessing strong self-confidence
Having better health
Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses
Identifying what you need to do to complete a task
Recognizing errors in schoolwork and make edits or changes
Having the ability to understand and talk about feelings
Recognizing other people’s needs and feelings
Seeing how your behavior affects others
It prepares you for the “Real World”
As long as you live, you can venture to become more and more self-aware.
A connection is a causal or logical relation or sequence, the connection between two ideas.
An emotional connection is a bond that holds partners together in a relationship. This ability is one of the most important strengths for human beings to have. Without a strong emotional connection, relationships can easily drift apart.
See link below: Donna Pisacano Brown
“Human connection is an energy exchange between people who are paying attention to one another. It has the power to deepen the moment, inspire change and build trust.”
Do you doubt the importance of connection?
By neglecting our need to connect, we put our health at risk.
Connection to others can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems. It is obvious, we all need to improve our immune systems with a pandemic.
Social isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness, fear of others, or negative self-esteem. Lack of consistent human contact can also cause conflict with the our friends. When isolated we may occasionally cause problems with family members.
The Cure for Loneliness
Improve your social skills. Some researchers argue that loneliness is primarily the result of a lack of the interpersonal skills required to create and maintain relationships. … I understand and I will post more about this in future posts.
Enhancing social support … asking for help. The truth is asking for help is a sign or strength.
Increasing opportunities for social interaction … reaching out. Even online, you can make heart warming connections.
Change negative thinking. … accentuate the positive.
Loneliness causes people to feel empty, alone, and unwanted. People who are lonely often crave human contact, but their state of mind makes it more difficult to form connections with other people. Imagine being a college freshman. You might feel lonely despite being surrounded by roommates and other peers. As children it was easier to forgive and forget and enjoy one another’s company.
Be aware! If you know someone who seems to spend a lot of time alone, it could be a sign that they are lonely. It can happen to anyone these days. One of your colleagues working from home and living alone is likely to feel lonely. They need someone else to initiate contact. Just to say, “Hello, how are you? Let me know your thoughts.” Or something else more natural for you; you know what I mean.
Why Talk to Yourself: How It Makes You Smarter! Besides, you will appear to be using your voice activated, hands-free device.
Talking to yourself helps you to clarify your thoughts. It will help to determine what’s important and firm up any decisions you’re contemplating. But only if you speak respectfully to yourself.
What happens to your body when you’re lonely? “When you’re experiencing loneliness, your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, go up.
Cortisol can impair cognitive performance, compromise the immune system, and increase your risk for vascular problems, inflammation and heart disease.”
Before there is any real damage: Pick up your phone to call and speak with them. Use FaceTime, WhatsAp or Zoom. Say, hello, in there; straight into their hearts and minds. If you make it easy, it will be easy.
Donna Pisacano Brown, 2018. She knew this before COVID!
How nice it is to be here right now where we can finally talk out loud about feelings.
Once we stop the nagging voices in our heads, naughing away our sense of self-worth we find space to be with ourselves.
Are your next thoughts, kind? If they are unkind, this negativity can easily grow into a victim mindset – loss of hope, feelings of despair, and no sense of worth.
When we reach for worth outside of ourselves we inevitably face disappointment because all the good stuff is inside of us.
When I lived alone far from home out in California I imagined I had a BFF at my side, whenever I needed her. That worked so well that I took on another imaginary friend, this time a lover. I no longer felt alone.
Life is fluid even though it appears to be full of all things solid. Actually, science has proven that matter is made out of moving particles, we call atoms. These particles are moving and from my perspective they have a fluid movement to them.
I feel out-of-sync when I am out of this energy flow. The key to it is, to not try to be in the flow, but instead to move in the direction of your dreams day-by-day. Sooner or later the flow is felt. You’ll know it by how you feel.
I feel lighter, on the verge of laughing, a joy that no one need take away without my permission. I love it.
Now imagine another person who is calm and content.
Think about which of those you’d like to be.
We are free when we have freedom to change.
We have freedom to change when we know the truth about what was modeled, in front of our senses, as little children; before starting school.
The good or bad feelings we felt as a little child, replay easily in our everyday lives. This is the colored lense with which we see the world. Our own particular take on it, our perspective.
I’ve spoken about having lived in California for six years during my 20s. It is the land of the weekend transformational seminar. I was able to stay close to myself to truly need only two of those seminars during those six years.
I couldn’t help being attracted to this title: “How To Create Your Own Reality.”
In a nutshell, the way to create your own reality can be illustrated as follows.
Imagine a dream you wish will come true. Everyday or several times a day, think of the details of your dream and continue to refine it. Say yes, in everyday reality, when you have a choice to say yes, to little elements of your dream. This can be very entertaining.
While you are refining your dream, keep a sharp eye on reality. Just observe it. Little by little (or right away) you will see your dream coming into fruition. As it gets more and more real, there will be a building of tension.
Most people give up, being very uncomfortable with the tension. This is what Paul Simon spoke of in his song, “Slip, Sliding Away.”
If you can ride it out, you will bridge the gap between your dream and reality.
Think of that tension as a taut rubber band between your two index fingers. One finger represents your dream, the other, represents reality. As the rubber band takes on more and more tension, it will in time break. At that point you will need to realize your reality is what you asked for in your dream. Your dream has become your reality.
As always, feel free to leave a comment below. I love to have conversations with my followers.
When I have time to read, often I read three or more books on the same subject. It was the librarians at Henry Ford Centennial Library, where my Mom worked, who opened me to the value of research. Killing time until Mom got off of work, the librarians, her friends, would ask what my interest was today and suggest I relax looking out at the fountain. Magically, three very interesting books on one subject would be set by my side. Time then became irrelevant.
The three books I am presently reading are:
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
The Inner Life of Animals by Peter Wohlleben
The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram
Like most people, I know from Disney’s The Lion King and Elton John’s song, we are all connected in a circle, a circle of life. If you are paying attention, like I am, you know there are threats to that circle coming from those who put profit ahead of ecosystems.
I am humbled to learn about the connections within our natural world, the balance, the dependencies that create a situation where life itself, survival, is a matter of adapt or die. This happens in Nature every hour of every day.
Most of you know I am all about living things; humans, plants, and animals down to the tiniest microscopic organisms. I reuse every plastic bag and still regret their existence.
I’m looking forward to the day when my husband helps to ban plastic from our lives.
Many friends have heard me say I wish we could have skipped the combustable engine and gone from horse-drawn carriages to hovercraft. I suppose hybrids are a start.
Living this long, I am grateful to see the environmental movement go mainstream, along with whole foods, and a higher consciousness about our carbon footprints. Lovely.
Author, Peter Wohlleben has lived close to Nature since childhood. Listening and observing the forest and its inhabitants. The country of Germany gave him a forest to manage. He observes it. He writes about his observations along with our human imprints as a reporter would report the unfolding of events. I learned what I didn’t know, I didn’t know. Now, as a result I am more open than before about what I don’t know.
Abram’s book, The Spell of the Sensuous, went pre-internet viral. It was so popular, high school and universities found multiple ways to use it. Beside his intention as a philosophical book, it found its way into psychology, natural sciences, media and communication, biodiversity and indigenous studies. This is a fine tool for finding our connection to earth.
I am both empowered and humbled, . . . glad to have had the time to read this summer.
I guess this is another silver-lining benefit of having to hide from the virus.
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These have nothing to do with how you think. They don’t determine how you act.
Like all things that challenge us, they only have the significance you give them. They are dismissive whenever you choose, just like last year’s problems.
They grow on your fear.
They wither and die when you place your focus on something else. Turn away and affirm what you do want in that moment and the irritation is gone! As soon as you wish it so. You are the master, you have the power.
They may be part of bigger problems so many people are voicing now, and have been voicing for a long time; wanting to end the suffering. This is the humanitarian and political side of issues.
I speak of the personal YOU in this moment. The you who would prefer to relax, be free and loving. The you in your heart who wants to care.
This is inside work.
Get help if your irritation is big enough to feel out of your control. Help is everywhere, and in many forms. Be honest with yourself and with those you reach out to and the help will be there. Just remember: Nothing good is easy.
I’m not a therapist. Most people don’t need to be psycho-analyzed, certainly not by me.
They need connection, empathy, a sounding board, friendship.
My qualifications come from a lifetime of staying free by being aware of entrapments, like those listed above. I use may imagination in the moment to create the feeling I prefer to have soon after I feel pressured. Through use of my senses, at any moment, I can change whatever is happening by changing my thoughts, my perspective.
I practiced over time to get good at it and have it be as effective as picking up any hand tool. No one person taught this to me. I was pointed in a direction by my own intuition. As I walked an unconventional path, I let my awareness take-in increasingly more data. I used my imagination to stay free from stress and kept busy by using my creativity every day. Allowing these things to work for me got me the outcome I desired. Inside this bubble is happiness.
Yes, I deserve it. And you desire it. In the end, your relationship with yourself will be all that matters. While you are here realize happiness as your birthright.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I kept this in mind when I moved to Hawaii and realized the natives were speaking a form of pigeon English. At first I was appalled, having been raised in a highly literate family of lawyers. Then, I remembered being in California years earlier and being told my upbringing in the Midwestern US gave me a funny accent compared to most of the English speaking world. Many people have altered the sounds of English words to suit the phonetic sounds they mimicked from adults. All children do this no matter where they were raised. Some have learned their sounds and accompanying associations from living in the wild. These highly sensitive peoples are just like you and me with a particular distinction. They are connected to the earth. They do not destroy forests, pollute waters or endanger animals. They live with the oneness they feel with their environment.
Just like everyone else, everyday, I have to survive and thrive. In Hawaii I communicated daily using the street-wise pigeon English and accompanying Hawaiian hand gestures. I even had long red finger naiIs and waist-length long hair. Over four years, I was instructed to get a fresh fish at dawn straight from the beach-landing fisherman as long as I had one dollar and a newspaper to wrap it. I was told where to get freshly baked bread for a few dollars and for $35/night, my family alone could stay at the Boy Scout Lodge in Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It was breathtaking! Memorable.
I was on a short list for a free ride in a island touring helicopter because they needed a second person for weight distribution or they couldn’t fly. I found a sense of belonging in a highly trans-ethnic island culture by being considered Kamaaina, meaning “of the island.” Stop, drop your phone, center yourself and feel it. Lets learn to fly by imitating the sensitivity of indigenous people to become more grounded in the earth. She is our home.
Oh, dear old summertime. Many of us are hard at work with the rest of us at leisure. Oh, and what a leisure it is! After the pile of effort it took to keep ourselves warm during Winter, . . . we have realized our dream of Summer.
With COVID, our focus is directed inward. We can be with family, care for our home like never before; be very, very careful, practice a skill, explore the internet and read. Its as wide as your imagination.
I am continuously reading something. This year, during our family’s 43rd annual camping trip, I was reading, The Spell of the Sensuous, Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, by David Abram.
I understood, quite some time ago, how we are one with the world and the Universe.
This book describes how to be far more connected to Nature and every living thing in it. In his words, our eyes and the texture of our skin takes-in the nuances of the shifting wind and the nourishment of a rambling brook.
He goes on to suggest that we got the word, “rambling” from the nature of the brook itself. That we got the word, “wow” and “bang” from lightning and thunder. And that we operate at this sensitivity level.
Calling ourselves emotional has been a stifling label. We can set ourselves free from it. We are naturally sensitive, just as are the birds and the butterflies are sensitive. We get our sense of flying from all of nature traveling by flight.
David Abram, a summa cum laude graduate at Wesleyan University, he holds a doctorate in philosophy from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Watson and Rockefeller Foundations and has a Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction.
He has traded sensory information with indigenous people in Indonesia, Nepal, and the Americas. As an ecologist and a philosopher, his writing has influenced the environmental movement in North America and abroad.
This is his first book. Its lyrical, poetic, and intellectually embracing. It startles our senses out of habitual ways of seeing and hearing for a wider, fuller engagement with Nature.
He traces the steps of Rene Descartes, from the 17th Century; followed by Edmund Husserl in the early 20th Century, followed by Merleau-Ponty in more recent times. They all developed the idea that our earth is animated with life that flows to us and from us.
We are communicating with it and it is communicating with us. It’s a rich exchange.
Amazon has The Spell of the Sensuous. It is published through Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House, New York.
In this world, we have people, animals and plants, . . . insects, (oh, let’s skip by them).
Scientists have long been telling us that animals and plants are subordinate to us in self-awareness and the ability to feel satisfied. Not true. Some of you know where I may be going with this. But no, that is for another blog post.
Today, I am determined to write a special blog for fathers. Happy Father’s Day, to all you daddies.
You know if you offend your dog, your cat, bird, or mistreat your plants they wither, they retreat.
So it is also with humans. We know nasty treatment comes in many forms. I know, you know you need to end it with your generation, now.
I say this fully intending to help. I pray I come across without judgement. If you feel judged, know I do my best not to judge.
On this Father’s Day dear dads, please be aware of The Line. The Line is not be be crossed. Every living thing has a line to stay within. When you cross it, you trigger that withering response, that retreat.
Dad’s, you have everything a person can have in life. You have a family. That’s huge. It requires you trade your old life for a new life. A life of being good to your partner and children. Having a family is unlike anything else on Earth. You get what you give.
The plants do it right. Just look out over a field, . . . my empty lot next door. Animals do it right. Watch the Animal Channel or read Nature, the magazine, The Sierra Club Magazine or Nature Conservatory. For more inside information read Peter Wohlleben’s books.
Get into it. Not only for your own sake, but also, for the reputation of Men. It seems someone, somewhere, worldwide, gave men the permission to slack-off. Not you, of course, but far too many men are sitting in easy chairs while their full-time working/at-home working partner does everything for them. Who died and made you KING. Gee whiz. Your partner does not want to have to ask you to participate in the life you created together. You need to get up and volunteer to help create and maintain it.
So much can be said, communicated in a kind and loving way. When an attitude changes and a positive, loving spin is applied to everything you say, it grows like the lawn you trim throughout the Summer. Ask for appreciation after you have given it. Then, watch how easily you get the appreciation returned to you. The respect and appreciation you deserve after your performance. Like your event, or your position on the field, you have a grand play as Dad.