Cherokee Legend

There seem many pearls of wisdom and quotes to share from Arianna Huffington’s book “Thrive”.

Like this one:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. ” A fight is going on inside me, ” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” 

He continued, ” The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” 

—Cherokee Legend

What’s Right?

How do we know what is right? What is right to do when faced with a choice or a decision? How do we know? Maybe what is right is different for each of us? Is it possible that what is right is a moving target depending on any number of circumstances and issues? We probably need more of these questions asked and grappled with in our conversations, both private and public. In that way we can listen, disagree, agree, advocate, listen some more, contemplate, and maybe ponder in an effort to get closer to some better idea for ourselves of what is right. Right?

Here’s a question to ask oneself as another way to check what might be right: “Is this the right thing to do and for the right reasons?” Right can mean many things depending who is asking the question and his/her own interests.

Right reasons might speak to one’s principles, so we need principles we follow in order to know what is right, at least right for us at any major choice or decision point in our lives and what is at stake. Principles are rules of conduct or action an individual or group or country might profess to live by. Usually our values or principles, what we hold dear and live by, can be seen in our actions, words and deeds. A principle to live by might be to treat others as you would want to be treated. Then each choice or decision would naturally factor that principle into it. Then we’d be living a congruent (what we said and how we acted were aligned) and principled life.

Certain cultures would make decisions based on what was best for seven future generations. Based on that valued principle of looking after the quality of life for hundred of years ahead it focused decision-making and agreements.

Asking “Is it the right thing to do for the right reasons?”can be a helpful question to ask oneself when confronted with a sticky problem or situation. And maybe it helps simplify what needs doing. Start a conversation. What’s right?

Gratitude

Gratitude is important in our lives. It is the appreciation of our days, moments and people. We can pay attention to even small things such as our breath , in and out, as something to feel grateful. Noticing the things throughout one’s day, things or moments one can feel grateful, seems to open one’s heart. Feeling gratitude is said to reduce stress.

Gratitude is also the acknowledgment we did nothing to deserve the goodness that came our way; it was freely given. With a feeling of gratitude, our vibration may get higher as can our mood. Many kind actions and benefits happen to each of us in a day or week. It helps to notice. Maybe someone helped get our car out of a ditch or invited us for dinner or smiled at us.

Here’s an ageless, ageilicious, inspired quote that speaks to gratitude of what is, and having faith in it.

My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.    Imam Al-Shafi’i, an eighth-century Muslim jurist

 

Mentors

When author Meg Wolitzer ( The Wife) was asked about female mentors she’d had in her life, she said:

The world will whittle your daughter down. A mother never should. My mother never did. That is a kind of mentorship and feminism in action. 

We embrace all those mothers mentoring their daughters in such a way, helping them to grow into strong, self- loving  women.

 

The Path

There is no set path. Just follow your heart. 

This quote from an unknown source is on a greeting card. We often grapple with what to do, or what is right or what is right for us right now. You’d think knowing what your heart wanted or what we were meant to do would be obvious to us. After all, we are inside our bodies and minds, shouldn’t we know ourselves and read ourselves well and easily?

It seems a challenge to know what is our path or purpose some days, especially when the outer realities of this life seem to change on a dime, and we think we need to respond or adapt in some way. How can we listen to our heart in these changeable times? Maybe it is when it is most important to do so, as a means to know our own truths for ourselves versus being buffeted about by others wants or actions that may or may not serve our’s or the greater good.

We may be out of practice  of listening to and acting from our hearts. Being in nature, meditating, journalling or any activity that quiets us down is a way to better get in touch with one’s heart/ spirit, as that seems where our real truth and calling comes.  And often it brings a sense of inner peace and feeling of connection. What a gift!

Find that time each day, even if just a minute to breathe, and connect with yourself. “There is no set path. Just follow your heart. ” Ahhhhhhhhh

Authentic Power

Feeling inspired seems an important component of aging deliciously. One needs to be lifted now and again. Finding “mentors” from authors we respect,  quotes, maybe others in our lives sharing their lessons with us in the now all can provoke us and inspire. We might see in the world the use of words like power, but it might better be identified as abuse or bullying or mean control over others.

To be reminded of the truth of things, in our own hearts, can be like a beautiful ahhhhhh feeling. Finding an inspired truth that resonates with us can be clear reminders or signposts. It may feel like coming home. Here is a quote from Gary Zukav’s “Seat of the Soul” that may create some ahhhhhh:

When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning. Life is rich and full. We have no thoughts of bitterness. We have no memory of fear. We are joyously and intimately engaged with our world. This is the experience of authentic power. 

May we all find, practice and be our authentic selves experiencing our authentic power in this world.

Nonviolent Communication

Years ago I attended a training on nonviolent communication given by the founder himself, Marshall B. Rosenberg.

To me words and the power they hold was eye opening. How we use our words, tone, and phrasing matters and to deny that doesn’t seem a luxury any of us can continue to have. We need to understand and accept how and what we say has a ripple effect, negative or positive. We are responsible for our actions, words and deeds. Even our body language and other choices we make speak volumes to those around us. If we are  aware, and open to noticing then we can self-correct if we are being negative or violent in some capacity. Aging deliciously means no matter our age, we can always learn and recalibrate.

Imagine if our focus in our schools, workplaces and fun places included learning and practicing kinder and effective means of communicating with one another? In a matter of a few years, making such a change, we could have large effective change. Yet change is one person at a time, so that might be the best starting place, huh?

Below is a snippet from Center for Nonviolent Communication website:

When our communication supports compassionate giving and receiving, happiness replaces violence and grieving!
CNVC founder, Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is based on the principles of nonviolence– the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart.

NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs.

People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepening connection and conflict resolution.

The NVC community is active in over 65 countries around the globe.

 Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.
– Rumi

Me too!

Check it out:   Center for Nonviolent Communication