The Intelligence of Emotions

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One of Nussbaum’s central points is that the complex cognitive structure of the emotions has a narrative form — that is, the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what we feel shape our emotional and ethical reality, which of course is the great psychological function of literature and the reason why art can function as a form of therapy. What emerges is an intelligent manifesto for including the storytelling arts in moral philosophy.

To read more:  The Intelligence of Emotions

52 Fun Things for 2015

Rather than the traditional resolution list of fad diets, breaking habits and promises that usually gets broken, I decided to create a list of new things to try—things that can be crossed off (or added to) as the year goes on. There’s one for each week of the year—most are free and all are easily achievable!

1. Write a handwritten note and post it to someone you haven’t been in touch with for a while.
2. Make someone a Birthday or celebration cake.
3. Volunteer for the day, a local dog shelter, home for the elderly or at a soup kitchen for the homeless.
4. Take a bus or train to a town, village or city that you’ve never visited. Just go to the station and get on the next one that comes in.
5. Learn meditation, yoga, Pilates or something new that you’ve never tried.
6. Make a scrapbook, print out photographs, emails and attach keepsakes.
7. Go to an outdoor weekend music festival. And sleep under the stars.
8. Learn to play a musical instrument.
9. Spend a whole day in bed watching movies, reading books and snuggling with a loved one.
10. Look up your family tree and find out what you can learn about your ancestors.
11. Sign up for a local community class, learn something new and meet other people who live in your area at the same time.
12. Forgive someone that has hurt you. And maybe let them know.
13. Plant seeds and grow something in a window box or the garden. If possible start a small vegetable garden.
14. Compliment a stranger, it will possibly make their day.
15. Read an old classic. Choose one that’s always caught your attention and be patient if you don’t get into it straight away.
16. Start your own or join a book club.
17. Go to a museum, the cinema or a restaurant alone. Enjoy your own company.
18. Bake cookies and share them at work, when visiting friends or give them to a neighbour that may be on their own.
19. Make your own birthday, anniversary, valentines or celebration cards.
20. Go mountain climbing, hiking, or a long forest walk.
21. Eat lunch outdoors, pack a picnic in a hamper, sit by a lake, the sea, go to a local park or lay out a blanket in the garden.
22. Roller skate. Hire or buy a pair and have fun while toning up.
23. Let someone else order for you in a restaurant. Or cook something you would never normally try.
24. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and make plans to visit.
25. For a period of time, a week, a month or all year, only shop locally. Purchase free-range, ethical and fair-trade goods, buy from independent retailers, at farmer’s markets and give handcrafted creations as presents.
26. Invent your own cocktail, purchase your favourite ingredients and try out something new. Adorn it with umbrellas, fancy stirrers and edible glitter.
27. Play a board game with friends or family. Scrabble, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit sadly get forgotten due to technology. They are timeless classics and a great way to spend quality time together.
28. Swap the car for a bike for the day. So much more can be absorbed when cycling, plus it’s great exercise.
29. Attend an open mic night. Great entertainment and can be the perfect way to meet new people too.
30. Donate to charity, whether it’s clothes you no longer wear, blankets to the local dog shelter or a sack of carrots to donkeys in India. There are charities everywhere grateful for anything. Even if it’s a $1 donation—it all helps.
31. Make homemade bread. It’s very simple and completely delicious.
32. Switch off all phones, laptops and technology devices. Find different ways to communicate with those close to us and spend quality time with yourself or with others.
33. Have a major clear out. De-clutter, if it’s not pretty, useful or it hasn’t been used in the last 6 months, be ruthless, let it go.
34. Write out a will, a little morbid to think about but it will give you great peace of mind.
35. Take all old books and magazines to a local waiting room, for others to read. Write a note in the front of a book and leave in a public place for others to take on and enjoy and then they can do the same when they’ve finished.
36. Take your camera with you for a whole day and capture everything and anything that takes your interest.
37. Attend a food or wine tasting festival. Most cities hold these events and they are usually free to attend and a great way to try new tastes.
38. Hold a mini movie festival at home. Invite your best friends, tell them to bring a movie they love and spend a whole afternoon and evening together curled up chatting, eating and drinking and sharing old favourites.
39. Organise a clean up with neighbours. Choose a particular hot spot that has turned into an eyesore and get a few people involved to help out. It won’t take long, will be enjoyable working together and you’ll be amazed at the difference a few hours teamwork can make.
40. Get a few friends together and take a ball to the park. Play soccer, rounders, cricket or basketball and ask everyone to bring something to add to a small outdoor snack/picnic afterwards.
41. Make your own soup—nothing tastes better. Especially if you add your homemade bread.
42. Learn a new language, especially if it’s of a country you plan to visit.
43. Go for a swim (if you don’t already.) Or try a brand new water-based activity, water/jet skiing, surfing, canoeing, sailing, kayaking.
44. Skip! It’s free, burns a heap of calories and can be done anywhere.
45. Take a road trip—pack a few necessities, take a map and set out on adventure with no set destination. Explore and investigate different places along the way.
46. Camp out—choose a time when the weather is good, take a barbeque set and sleeping bags and a portable radio. Relax with nature and leave all technology behind.
47. Read the community newsletter or noticeboards. Find out what’s going on locally and get involved in a new activity.
48. Try a new look—choose a new hairstyle or try wearing clothes that you like but wouldn’t normally wear.
49. Write a list of everything we appreciate. Sometimes things can go unnoticed and it’s a great way of becoming more aware and then passing on the gratitude.
50. Watch a sunset, sunrise or both. Find a spot with a good view and settle down with a friend or loved one and enjoy.
51. Write down your life plan. It doesn’t have to be specific, or even achievable. Just a guide for all the things you would like to do and then you can tick and cross off the ones that you want to work towards.
52. Take time out to let those around you know they are loved. Call up, write letters, visit and send the message out strong and clear to those that are most important to you.

Source:
52 Fun Things for 2015

10 Reasons to Forgive the Person You Hate Most

10 Reasons to Forgive the Person You Hate Most – Click to read the entire article from “Marc and Angel Hack Life”.

So what were the reasons? Let’s discuss…

1. Forgiveness allows us to take responsibility for our own happiness.
Most of what we attract into our lives is a mere reflection of what is inside of us. Our thoughts and actions create our exterior world. The Law of Attraction teaches us that like attracts like, and we will never experience a happy ending at the end of an unhappy journey. By holding onto anger and resentment (even in our subconscious mind), we are pre-paving our journey to be filled with anger and resentment. The way we feel and the emotions we hold are what we use to create all of our future experiences. (Read The Secret.)

2. Forgiveness allows us to see everyone in our lives as a teacher.
Family members, spouses, friends, bosses, etc. – everyone is brought into our lives to teach us more about ourselves. Thanking them for being a part of our journey and teaching us lessons that we now no longer need to learn is an incredible step in expanding our consciousness.

This same philosophy applies to our negative, failed relationships too. Once you truly learn the lesson behind why a negative relationship came into your life, you will then no longer attract situations and future relationships that attempt to teach you the same lesson. You get to graduate and grow so you no longer keep repeating the same unpleasant experience over and over again.

3. Forgiveness helps us stop playing the victim card.
Adjusting your perspective to a place of forgiveness and gratitude allows you to no longer play the victim card. Most of the time you are not a victim of anything other than your own vibration and level of attraction. When you continue to blame someone else, you automatically give control of your life to someone else and thus set yourself up to be a lifelong victim.

4. Forgiveness makes us aware that most people are doing the best they can.
Have compassion for where other people are in their lives. It might not be where you are, but most people are doing the best they can at their particular level of awareness and understanding. (Read The Four Agreements.)

5. Forgiveness embodies the concept of “what goes around comes around.”
We are all human and we have all done “unthinkable” things. And deep down, we all yearn for the same forgiveness. When we release others from the penalties of their actions, we create a space where our own thoughtless actions against others can be forgiven as well.

6. Forgiveness forces our own level of consciousness to expand.
The process of growth is continuous. The moment we stop learning, searching for lessons and expanding our consciousness, the ego steps in and takes over. We are always moving toward something greater, and forgiveness helps us get there faster by eliminating our ties to dead weight from our past.

7. Forgiveness teaches us to keep our expectations tempered.
We should never be expecting anything from anyone. When we do this, we give up our own power to decide. We alone are the creator of our universe, and when we are connected to our own inner source, we no longer “need” anything from anyone. It’s still nice to receive things from time to time, but we don’t need these things to move forward with our lives. (Read Forgiveness Is a Choice.)

8. Forgiveness teaches us to tone down our instincts for self-preservation.
Too often we injure one another simply because we are trying to protect ourselves (financially, emotionally, etc.), even when it’s at someone else’s expense. We have all done it. Becoming aware of this pattern allows us to stop needlessly injuring others for our own benefit. And as you know, what goes around comes around…

9. Forgiveness creates a space to let go and love.
Not everyone and every situation is meant to be a part of our lives forever. Sometimes they are only there long enough to help us open the next chapter of our story. Letting go creates space to let new people and experiences in.

In addition, we are all connected. We have never met another person that we have not loved in some small way. Sometimes we just don’t consciously know how to understand it and show it. Simply put, forgiveness in and of itself is an act of letting go of our differences and connecting with our oneness and love for each other and the world we inhabit.

10. Forgiveness is the best revenge.
A bit of sarcasm in this one, but it’s so true. You can always seek revenge positively by creating a better future for yourself. Because nothing annoys an adversary or negative force in your life more than seeing you smile after you have genuinely forgiven them and moved forward with your life.

5 Ways to Take Care of Ourselves

5 Ways to Take Care of Ourselves

I had a shitty day today.
One of those days where you mumble loathsome words at the sunshine, curl in a ball and hide from the day in an abyss of sadness and covers. I’ve learned over the years how to mask these moments momentarily and distract myself vs. taking care of myself and shifting myself entirely from the space I am in.

The main things we turn to when we are in the emotional dumps are TV (turns our brains off—escapism), eating, shopping (instahappy), booze and drugs and sex (endorphins). All of these things distract our sadness, but eventually wear off and we are left facing the same instigator of our gloom that we were avoiding in the first place. I want to share with you my self-care and five things I do when I am in a funk to shake that shit out.

A Take-no-Sh*t List for Your Well Being

A Take-no-Sh*t List for Your Well Being

Have you ever walked by a tree that is branching out sideways out of a wall—baffling gravity in its existence?

Or seen a flower that is growing through cracks in the cement and marveled at its sheer stubborn will to show up and not only exist, but resiliently thrive?

This list is not about merely existing. This list is not about primitive-survival self care. You already know how much water to drink, that you feel better when you exercise and eat nutritiously and get eight hours of sleep.

This list is about that next part — expanding your existence from a place of fire by living, speaking and breathing from within your power. It’s a “take no shit” list for your well being. You are a vigorous being of worth—plant your feet, own your brilliance and show up to this world by being in service to yourself with these nine steps.

Perfectionism

Here’s how to break through the perfectionism: make a LOT of mistakes. Fall on your butt more often. Waste more paper, printing out your shitty first drafts, and maybe send a check to the Sierra Club. Celebrate messes — these are where the goods are. Put something on the calendar that you know you’ll be terrible at, like dance lessons, or a meditation retreat, or boot camp. Find a writing partner, who will help you with your work, by reading it for you, and telling you the truth about it, with respect, to help you make it better and better; for whom you will do the same thing. Find someone who wants to steal his or her life back, too. Now; today. One wild and crazy thing: wears shorts out in public if it is hot, even if your legs are milky white or heavy. Go to a poetry slam. Go to open mike,and read the story you wrote about the hilariously god-awful family reunion, with a trusted friend, even though it could be better, and would hurt Uncle Ed’s feelings if he read it, which he isn’t going to.

Read more here:

The Definitive Manifesto for Handling Haters: Anne Lamott on Priorities and How We Keep Ourselves Small by People-Pleasing