Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Desiring to stand for justice

One option is to simply turn to those voices and say, Thanks so much for taking care of me. Despite obvious appearances, that's what those voices are actually trying to do. Notice that I'm lifting up a different model of tenacity here. Not the self-negating, hypermasculine, no pain no gain kind of stick-to-itiveness so often preached in our society. Or, that just being in the vicinity of a Finder can assist with facilitating a shift in consciousness. A small number of research participants did report experiencing this emanating from them, and some believed they transitioned because of another Finder producing it in them. Of the former, some said they occasionally felt such a transmission happen on its own. Others stated they could produce it on demand, though not all the time. Still others felt it flowing through them at all times and believed those around them could receive it as a blessing. Non-Finders who believe in this often travel long distances to be near Finders who stress the importance of it. They might even go halfway around the world, from a country such as the United States to somewhere like Thailand or India. Length of exposure to a Finder is also viewed as something that might be helpful. A surprising number of people make dramatic lifestyle decisions to spend more time around someone who is experiencing Fundamental Wellbeing. This may involve choosing to live for a while in a guru's ashram, cloistering away in a mystic's monastery, or simply moving to be closer to a Finder with a day job who lives in a Chicago suburb. Hummus and vegetable sticks, a piece of fruit or small handful of nuts. Add an extra green vegetable to your evening meal. Take a proper lunchbreak away from your desk. Opt for a meatless meal once a week and go for legumes (such as chickpeas or lentils) to add more fibre to your diet. Put the money saved from not getting a takeaway towards something you'd really like. Be mindful of your food when preparing, cooking, tasting and eating it.

Get adventurous. Never eaten couscous or made chocolate and avocado tart? Surprise yourself and your tastebuds by trying out new foods and flavour combinations. Keep it simple. That kind of tenacity often entails shoving our feelings aside, which is dehumanizing and objectifying. I'm talking about a more tender kind of tenacity that is, in so many ways, the stronger and more courageous choice. It's the choice to allow our fears and freak-outs to be present so that we can relate to them. In situations where we are working at the very edge of what we think is possible, we can show these parts something incredibly valuable: that it's okay to be afraid, it's okay to fail, it's okay if it hurts, it's okay if we are humbled by it all. It's okay because we bounce back, we're resilient. We are built for such things. So often, the feeling of failure is the sensation of growth. Seeing this is an invitation to reframe our relationship to failure. Personally, I've come to aim for failure. Failure, I've found, is actually the fastest path to self-actualization. Family and friends are probably the best evidence against the exposure hypothesis. During our research, it was unusual for a Finder's family to experience Fundamental Wellbeing. Practically speaking, it's hard to imagine you could have more time around these individuals than their families do. The same is true for friends, co-workers, and others who have significant exposure but also almost never experience Fundamental Wellbeing. Before the internet, the best hope for connecting directly to a Finder was often through his or her writings. A small percentage of participants reported shifting into Fundamental Wellbeing this way.

The works spanned all faiths and time periods, and didn't have to be from someone's core tradition. Of course, it is possible that the ideas in these articles simply triggered something in the reader's psychology. Their shift might have had nothing to do with forming some kind of connection to, or resonance with, the writer. Today, anyone can easily connect with hundreds of Finders from around the world online. Sometimes it's the simplest of dishes that provide the greatest delight, such as Insalata caprese, combining sliced fresh tomatoes (that haven't been refrigerated and lost their flavour), buffalo mozzarella, a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, black pepper and a couple of fresh basil leaves. Enjoy your special occasional treats without guilt and savour every last morsel. Choose to change your relationship with food to one that is supportive, enjoyable and social. Exercise as medicine The single most important daytime activity for better health, smarter thinking and greater happiness is to stay on your feet and keep moving. I have a confession to make. As a child I hated sport. Short-sighted, knock-kneed, asthmatic and with a poor sense of visuospatial awareness I was never the PE teacher's darling. In short, I was ignored. We both knew I was never going to play sport for the school. This doesn't mean we try to fail or quit early. It means we aim to meet and stretch our limits as far as we can. If we aim for that mark, we will always be doing our best, we will always be working on excellence, and we will reach our goal every time--because our goal was to fail. You can feel successful every time that you reach that natural failure point. You don't have to believe in yourself. You don't have to think positively.

You don't have to wait until you're no longer afraid or in pain to make a move--and you don't have to shut down the pain and the fear in order to make a move, either. These common tropes aren't part of my story, and they don't have to be part of yours. You can absolutely not believe in yourself, be afraid, be in pain, hate it all, and still take the next step anyhow. You can hear all of those screams of No! They can be emailed, found on forums and blogs, watched on YouTube, and even chatted with in real time using text, voice, video, or all three. Our data suggests that the amount of people transitioning to Fundamental Wellbeing has been increasing significantly since the mid- to late-nineties. Two obvious potential contributing factors are the growth in internet connectivity since that time, and the ever-increasing amount of information about Fundamental Wellbeing that can be found online. Is It Important To Meet A Finder? Some individuals do transition after meeting a Finder. Most had been actively working toward Fundamental Wellbeing for some time, but the shift didn't occur until this direct contact. Many felt that the language, phrases, and information given in-person were no different than what they found in the Finder's writings and recordings. In some cases, they were just one person in a large audience the Finder was speaking to. Yet, for some reason, the shift occurred during or after seeing the person. These participants clearly regarded these meetings as significant. I specialised in trying to make myself invisible, hiding behind the sports bags in the locker room to avoid the ignominy of being the last person chosen to join a team or running out of breath and turning blue on the hockey pitch. Unfortunately, my cunning plan never worked. While I admired the prowess of those who made delivering the tennis ball accurately to the other end of the court look so easy (my hits had an uncanny knack of ending up on the court next door), I was far happier as a cheerleader than a participant. We weren't taught about the benefits of exercise at medical school, which suited me fine as my focus was on trying to pass all the exams. It wasn't until my Gap Year that I came to understand my perspective towards exercise was somewhat narrow. That was when we got our first dog, and he needed his daily walk, and since I was the one at home, naturally it fell to me to provide it.

Starting with short walks around the block, Homer and I began to explore the suburb we had lived in for a couple of decades but hardly knew because I'd always been elsewhere. I discovered pockets of green, paths and small ovals between the houses and protected bushland I never knew existed. I started to enjoy our daily forays, which became longer and were taken at a brisker pace. Soon I came to realise not only that I looked forward to our walks, but that they were helping me to feel better too. Personally, I'm working on becoming good friends with pain and fear. For if pain and fear were no longer a problem, what problems would I have left? If one is friends with pain and fear, one is free. KEY FACTORS OF RESILIENCE Being able to bounce back and keep going even when it feels like we've got nothing left isn't just a matter of choice, though. Listening to that quiet inner voice that wants to set our direction in life is a great skill, a crucial one. And, the research is clear that there are conditions we can call into our lives that bolster the inner resources that foster good, continual bounce-backs. Hard times are a call to get beyond-the-box creative. See the practice Summoning Inner Resources on this article to help get you there. Of course, social and material privilege are among the biggest predictors of resilience as well, but they are far from the only ones. They were typically deeply grateful for the Finder who took time to interact with them. Of course, the research project engaged mostly with Finders. It's certainly likely that many others who make these connections don't shift into Fundamental Wellbeing. Most likely only a tiny percentage do, and it may not be different than the number who would transition otherwise. Why might a personal connection make a difference, especially if the person is just saying the same things s / he has written? An obvious answer is that the Finder can take in detailed personal information, and respond accordingly.

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