Circa2014. Self portrait before popping into Margaret Howell’s Wigmore Street, London store. The “Battersea Power Station” has since been restored to all its former glory, and the apartments @ the River Thames are simply fabulous…
“We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Totally inspired @ Basedupon.com
Wellness + Wonder, take moment of calm with this meditative digital installation, an exclusive artwork by @basedupon encapsulating one of our Handmade projects. London-based design collective Based Upon’s ongoing investigations into stillness and sanctuary are part of a series of ‘bio-responsive’, solace-giving sculptures created to engender a meditative state in the viewer, whether amateur or seasoned practitioner.
Jul 10, 2018, #IfIOnlyKnew
In her book Edge States, Joan Halifax explains that human beings are transformed when pushed to the boundaries of their understanding, comfort and capability. She attributes this in part to Kazimierz Dabrowski’s theory of positive disintegration, which is the idea that crises and stress are not just important for psychological maturation, but usually necessary. “Living systems that break down can reorganize at a higher and more robust level,” she argues. “If they learn from the breakdown experience.”
Some people seem to do this naturally, seeking out wisdom and self-understanding when confronted with challenging times. Others intentionally push themselves out of their comfort zones in order to grow. This willingness to endure discomfort and capitalize on challenge is a trademark among successful, fulfilled individuals. But what really differentiates them from the rest is not only their ability to learn from their life experiences, but the depth at which they feel them in the first place.
The psychological reason why some people are so hard on themselves isn’t necessarily a matter of low self-esteem. It’s more likely a product of the need for affect, which is the intensity at which people want to feel anything. Positive disintegration is often correlated with a higher degree of over-excitability, which is another way to say that people who develop themselves thoroughly often feel they are in a state of crisis, whereas other people would not perceive those circumstances to be as dire, or in need of a similar response.
In his book on the psychology of superstition, Dr. Stuart Vyse explains that people who are high in their need for affect “differ in the amount of desire for feeling emotions,” and that they “find the expression of emotion, even if its sadness, to be a pleasant experience.” Such people are more likely to feel anxiety over everyday occurrences, or find horror movies cathartic. Most of all, they are often pushed to relentlessly better themselves… which, one could argue, is really a gift.
Though it may feel counterintuitive, the best way to take advantage of this is to actually lean into it. The Cut reported that when it comes to responding to stress and other heightened states of emotion, things like excitement and fear can look a lot alike. Alison Wood Brooks calls this “anxiety reappraisal,” and argues that given how easily these experiences can easily translate into positively or negatively, it’s all about what meaning we assign to them.
Supporting this theory is research from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which explains why feeling “bad” is actually essential for mental health. “People who habitually accept their emotional experiences were more likely to report greater psychological health six months later,” Harvard reported on the research. “This was true regardless of gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Further, people who accepted these emotions were less likely to respond negatively to stressors.”
One of the main things that separates people who grow from challenges from people who become perpetual victims of their circumstances is their ability to approach the edge without falling off of it. In her aforementioned book, Halifax explained that “edge states” are the transformative aspects of being human that must be carefully balanced. Embracing self-criticism can only be positive in healthy doses, and if it’s used for the sake of self-development, not self-degradation.
At the same time, it calls into question the way that we usually think about being honest and critical with ourselves. Maybe it’s so difficult to silence our inner critics because at some level, we realize it is also our greatest tea
The psycho-emotional-energetics of all parts of your body have many powerful reasons for existing beyond their obvious physical functions. In the holistic picture of your life, these additional — and sometimes subtler — functions are as essential as the primary physical ones. The spine — from the bottom to the top — presents your inspirations, innovations, epiphanies and transcendent transformations.
This is the Kundalini rising, and it’s the core of your higher consciousness in action. The spine runs through all seven of your internal major chakras; connects the nervous system with all of your glands and organs; carries messages from one system of your body to another, and holds you upright to access the higher powers of the brain.
It’s literally at the base of your ability to stand up for yourself; be yourself, and discover what you’re all about in the three dimensions of space. In the fundamentals of your life, one key portion of this whole system is known as the ‘lower-triangle’ . . . the lower three chakras. These are dedicated to maintaining your physical world — your survival (first chakra); your rate of approval in the tribe/clan (second chakra), and your value to life (third chakra).
The glands and organs connecting in this triangle are physical energetics, reproduction, and digestion/nutrition. This is the only world most the people on Earth concentrate on . . . the only world the majority of humanity relates to. No wonder there’s such violence and chaos today.
Our prayer is that you master this lower triangle with one third of your time, and use the remainder of your life to transcend this self-ish realm into the self-less realm of your heart center and the higher triangle . . . doing this practice on a daily basis.
Here you’ll find the magic that goes extremely well with the essential lower logic. Then you’re able to focus on your higher purpose; your inspiration; your vision, mission and destiny — the parts of life that fulfill your life and recognize there’s no limits to time or space . . . you have forever . . . everything’s possible.
Always with Sacred Love, Blessings, Prayer & Gratitude…Sat Nam,
Guru Singh & Guruperkarma Kaur http://gurusingh.com
Stress/relaxation management, meditation breathing exercises, medicinal herbs, cleansing and lifestyle changes to guide you in achieving total physical and spiritual healing.
Learning positive ways to retrain the brain to pause, slow down or switch off begins with learning how breath. Stress = shallow breathing. It takes awareness and practice to breath deeper & differently.
Moreover, withdrawing from seeking intensity, self-destructive instant gratification impacts quality of lifestyle. From disrupted sleep patterns, to poor diet/nutrition this collective stress is enough to cause long term health problems.
The average unwell 21st century professional has adrenal fatigue, high blood pressure, sleep deprivation and mind – gut blockages. High- anxiety triggers fight or flight stress hormones to flood the body, negatively disrupting balance and harmony.
Conflicting thoughts and feelings, hormone surges etc happens in seconds – fuelled by flight or fight stress hormones.
Our parasympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” system hijacks being in the present moment. Behind the wide range of both physical and mental reactions to stress are a number of hormones that are in charge of adding fuel to the fire.
Your body is constantly changing as it mirrors and exchanges its atoms and molecules with the rest of the universe. Trillion cells in the mind/ body are constantly firing off oneanother as they keep your heart beating, food digesting, toxins eliminating to protect the body from infection and or disease, and carry out the countless other functions that keep you thriving. Neuro-scientific studies show that nothing holds more power over the body than the mind.
Physical sensations: neuropeptides travel throughout your body and hook onto receptor sites of cells and neurons. Your brain takes in the information, converts it into chemicals, and lets your whole body know if there’s a threat (fight, or flight) or something to celebrate.
Cultivating a non-judgemental approach is the ability to recognise stress in ourselves and others, and develop the tools to transform and balance it with conscious awareness…
In our quest for meaning in life the purpose of each emotion illuminate, value, love and regard what we think, and feel.
We are either approaching life with unconditional love or fear based judgements that have the potency to keep us stuck in self-sabotaging patterns…
The universe has your back.
Consciously living consciously: Bravo to being present. I stopped multi-tasking ages ago after realising to be my best, I need to slow down, connect to the moment, and keep it simple by focussing on that one-thing I am doing…I can only do one thing effectively at a time.
So, whenever I do that one thing, I do my best to give it my complete, undivided attention. When I am listening, I listen. When I sit, I sit. When I walk, I walk. Chop wood, carry water…this is the core of mindful living and the essence of evolving into a conscious being.
“Fix broken societies & you would ﬁx most of the world’s drug problems.”
Drug Policy High Price Racism
by Priya Shetty
To say that Carl Hart is not your average neuroscientist would be quite the understatement. After serving in the US Air Force, he has built a career at New York’s Columbia University investigating the behavioural and neuropharmacological effects of psychoactive drugs in human beings.
But his backstory is unlike that of many academics. Growing up in Miami, with parents constantly at odds, he used illegal drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, shoplifted regularly, and at one point, drove around with a rifle in his car boot.
Narcotics, and the jail that inevitably followed, would later destroy the lives of many of his peers. Hart, meanwhile, was never an addict and instead he excelled at sports.
It is tempting to suggest that he escaped a disastrous fate by “just saying no”, knuckling down, and working hard. But as his recent book, High Price, part-memoir, part- scientiﬁc advocacy, makes clear, real life is a lot messier than that.
The book distills much of what Hart has learned about illegal drugs from his own experiences as a teenager and the rigorous experiments he has undertaken as a scientist. His conclusion is that US drug policy, like that in the rest of the world, “is based on assumption and anecdote, but rarely on scientiﬁc evidence”.
As Hart tells it, his journey from street kid to Professor of Psychology in Columbia’s Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry was the result of a string of serendipitous moments.
At high school, he did a military entrance exam just to get out of class early.
Then when he was accepted into the Air Force, he began studying a degree in psychology at the University of Maryland because he thought psychology might help him understand women.
Slowly, academia took hold, in large part, he says, because of crucial mentors such as Charles Ksir, psychology professor and Hart’s former PhD supervisor at the University of Wyoming, and Robert Hakan, his undergraduate neuroscience professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Hart never intended to challenge the ideology around substance misuse—when he started studying the effects of drugs like cocaine, under the supervision of Hakan, he admits that he too had preconceptions about drug use, believing that drugs such as crack cocaine had torn apart poor African- American families just like his.
Two things changed his mind.
Reading about the statistics on the demography of drug use revealed the chasm between what policy makers and the media say about drugs.
The reality of drug users. In 2004, for instance, in the USA 11•1% of teenagers using illicit drugs were white, compared with only 9•3% of black teens. What’s more, says Hart, “the neurobiological effects of drugs have also been greatly misunderstood, in part, because even some scientists in this area draw sweeping, unwarranted conclusions from limited data”.
After postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco and Yale University, Hart arrived at Columbia University in 1998. The next year he began studying the behavior of crack cocaine users, and found that some addicts would refuse drugs if offered a cash alternative, busting the myth that they would do anything to use the drug.
Nor did any of the cocaine users become violent, despite heavy political messages about drug use and increases in inner-city violence. “Dr Hart has provided the scientiﬁc community with actual laboratory evidence of what happens when people smoke crack cocaine or methamphetamine. The contrast between his ﬁndings and the portrayal of these drugs in popular media has compelled him to begin a more public eﬀort to disseminate his results”, says Ksir.
Hart’s book unpicks some of the reasons for this disconnect between fact and ﬁction. As a society, he suggests, both the media and the medical profession have “changed the deﬁnition of addiction”, by medicalizing overconsumption so that more people ﬁt the deﬁnition of an “addict” and can therefore be “treated”. “Yet addiction itself is so uninteresting because you are only talking about a small number of people who are pathologically addicted. We need to ﬁx the other domains of life rather than just focus on the drug”, he says.
Rather than drugs causing social breakdown, Hart argues, these negative factors enable drug addiction. “Fix broken societies”, he says, “and you would ﬁx most of the world’s drug problems”.
Instead of doing this “politicians have essentially used drugs as a scapegoat to dodge their responsibilities to social improvement”, contends Hart.
“If you have the simplistic view that drugs are the problem, you don’t have to think anymore. You don’t have to think about racial segregation, or certain groups being unfairly targeted.”
Scientists are complicit too, says Hart, citing an example of a NIH grant review committee he was a member of from 2006 to 2010 in which some researchers took it as a given that any use of drugs such as methamphetamine is destructive. Hart points out that drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy are also often studied at such high doses that “it’s inevitable you’d see toxicity, in the same way that you’d see toxicity if you studied people on extremely high doses of alcohol or nicotine”.
This mythology ﬁnds its way into drug education too. Trying to terrify young people into thinking that any drug use is lethal is problematic, he says, if they try drugs and “realize that in most cases, they don’t become addicted or have any serious side-effects”.
Hart is not advising downplaying the potentially lethal effects of drugs, but says that “we educate people about how to use alcohol, and that’s a drug, so really, we should just be more honest about illegal drugs”.
Original post appears in The Lancet Medical Journal