Category Archives: Art

Susan Cain: The power of introverts

“In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.”

Self-Directed Biological Transformation (via SFGate)

“This week some exciting news has come out about the effect of meditation on personal wellbeing. Adding to the mounting evidence that meditation has a number of beneficial effects on things like blood pressure and depression, what’s crucial in the new study, which just appeared in Springer Nature’s journal Translational Psychiatry, is that meditation actually causes changes at the deepest level, in our genes. The study was top level, involving scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the University of California, San Francisco, and Harvard Medical School. Before detailing the research, let us paint the broader picture, because that’s where the real breakthrough is occurring.”

Source: SFGate

Week of February 18, 2018: Reflection & Sequence & Playlist (Self-Acceptance, Individuation, Freedom)

Affirmation:  I choose to give and receive love in equal measure.

This past week was challenging. I received some bad news from several of the universities I applied to, and it was hard to deny the sense of inadequacy that swept over me upon opening my fourth rejection  letter e-mail . Yes, you heard right (or…read right), of the six programs I applied to, in hopes of earning my PHD in Psychology (studying the mind-wandering network—the network in the brain linked to rumination, anxiety, and also dreams—that voice in our head that seems to incessantly loop), I have received four rejections. Three more programs to go (2 of which are my ‘safety’ Masters programs), but this experience has got me thinking…

This news has been (slightly) devastating, causing me to reformulate my position in life and evaluate my place in the world. I have been feeling a sense of unease these past few days as I have begun to question the ways in which I hope to contribute to this world and this constant need for external validation. I have become increasingly aware over the past few days just how incessant this need for approval and validation is. It’s maddening.

Firstly, I began observing my relationship to social media. I am growing curious about what I post, when I post, and why I post, becoming aware of this mind-numbing compulsion for social validation through these social media outlets and I can’t help but feel like a slave to the outside world. Much like the denial from these several grad programs, I am noticing my tendency to seek external validation to illuminate internal worth. Trying desperately to appear a certain way on social media to be liked, accepted, envied even. Why is it that my sense of self has reduced so boldly to a few simple clicks and an algorithm of which I know very little about? Why is it that I am allowing my emotional state to be dictated and controlled by this platform of which  could be seen as a tool for sharing/archiving/and discovering?

The addiction to this need for external validation runs deeper than just an incessant need to confirm my worth via social media channels. I remember as a little girl, the fabric of my psyche was similarly composed as I would fondly admire the extroverts, the popular kids, the rebels. Grouping people into an identity, one that I wished to be more part of, while often operating just outside of and on the periphery. I remember being a young girl and idolizing the ‘popular’ kids. Wanting to be like them, dress like them, hang out with them. Driven by the need to be accepted by the ‘cool’ kids, as a measure of my own worth. My grad school validation is eerily similar operating under these same principles. Being accepted by an institution that can claim my worth. In psychology, I believe that this is known as having an ‘external locus of control’, meaning, my internal makeup is soothed only by external means. This often leads to a rollercoaster of emotion, and constant highs and lows as I cling to any approval or acceptance.

I have to be OK with whatever comes my way and recognize that whether I am accepted into grad school or not,  it is my responsibility to turn to faith and deepen my understanding of a divine plan. I tried my best when it came to applying this round and if I don’t get in that marks the third year in which I’ve applied and been denied to graduate studies. Maybe, it just isn’t for me… I can’t say that this third rejection will drastically alter the course of my life, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that another rejection may in fact alter me applying again for another cycle. I did put things off last minute in a lot of ways. I didn’t improve in the GRE as much as I would have liked, and I’m not published. The recipe I present to an admissions committee isn’t one that statistically shows success I suppose, and I get it, maybe it just isn’t a good fit. Either way, I am devoted to teaching, I am devoted to consciousness and better understanding these aspects of mental and emotional health and whether I explore that in the formalized institutional setting, or rather in a more individualistic and entrepreneurial way, I am committed to that mission.

I am committed to better understanding this epidemic of anxiety and depression. This sense of isolation and loneliness that may be contributing to the shootings that are happening unexplainably left and right. The pressure and tensions rising in this sometimes volatile world, and how we relate to technology and social media and our striving for acceptance and validation to find a sense of self-worth. All of which make things sometimes seem too much to handle. I am going to dedicate my life to the pressure cooker we call society and work to formulate an alternative route for myself and others that promotes self-soothing, and provides the steps necessary to help us live a life with a calm nervous system.

Sticking it to the man, to the popular kid complex. The avoidance of ‘weird’ people that don’t fit in to some formula. Committing to you. Let’s bring back independence, individuality, and personal responsibility. This gentle/yin yoga sequence and playlist are dedicated to just that, with some heart openers and poses that allow us to be our own best friend while practicing the art of radical self-acceptance.

Amen to that.

 

 

 

Xavier Rudd – Follow the Sun

Lyrics
Follow, follow the sun
And which way the wind blows
When this day is done
Breathe, breathe in the air
Set your intentions
Dream with care
Tomorrow’s a new day for everyone
A brand new moon and brand new sun

So follow, follow the sun
The direction of the birds
The direction of love
Breathe, breathe in the air
Cherish this moment
Cherish this breath
Tomorrow’s a new day day for everyone
A brand new moon, brand new sun

When you feel life coming down on you like a heavy weight
When you feel this crazy society adding to the strain
Take a stroll to the nearest water’s edge, remember your place
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came
So which way is the wind blowing
What does your heart say

So follow, follow the sun
And which way the wind blows
When this day is donet

 

Xavier Rudd – Spirit Bird

Lyrics

Give it time and we wonder why, do what we can laugh and we cry
And we sleep in your dust because we’ve seen this all before
Culture fades with tears and grace, leaving us stunned hollow with shame
We have seen this all, seen this all before
Many tribes of a modern kind doing brand new work same spirit by side
Joining hearts and hands and ancestral twine, ancestral twine
Many tribes of a modern kind doing brand new work same spirit by side
Joining hearts and hands and ancestral twine, ancestral twine

Slowly it fades
Slowly we fade
Slowly we fade
Slowly we fade

Spirit bird he creaks and groans, she knows she has seen this all before
She has seen this all before, she has
Spirit bird he creaks and groans, she knows she has seen this all before
She has seen this all before, she has

Slowly we fade
Slowly it fades
Slowly we fade
Slowly it fades
Slowly we fade

Soldier on, soldier on my good countrymen
Keep fighting for your culture now, keep fighting for your land
I know it’s been thousands of years and I feel your hurt and
And I know it’s wrong and you feel you’ve been chained and broken and burned
And those beautiful old people, those wise old souls
Have been ground down for far too long
By that spineless man, that greedy man, that heartless man
Deceiving man, that government hand taking blood and land
Taking blood and land and still they can
But your dreaming and your warrior spirit lives on and it is so so so
strong
In the earth, in the trees, in the rocks,
In the water, in your blood and in the air we breathe
Soldier on, soldier on my good countrymen
Keep fighting for your children now, keep fighting for your land

Slowly we fade
Slowly it fades
Slowly it fades
Slowly we fade

Give it time and we wonder why, do what we can, laugh and we cry
And we sleep in your dust because we’ve seen this all before

 

 

How Trauma Is Carried Across Generations

“Transgenerational transmissions take on life in our in dreams, in acting out, in “life lessons” given in turns of phrase and taught us by our family. Discovering transmission means coming to know and tell a larger narrative, one from the preceding generation. It requires close listening to the stories of our parents and grandparents, with special attention to the social and historical milieu in which they lived — especially its military, economic and political turmoil.”

-Psychology Today article, here.