I admit it – My will power is puny. The more I try to eat healthy foods the more I scarf down sugar laden carbs. About 3-4 days is my limit for exerting will power. Finally! Research has confirmed I’m normal (sort of).
It turns out that everyone has will power, but only a limited amount to use each day.
Research shows that just the act of resisting temptation wears out will power and we are more likely to lose the ability to discipline ourselves later. This includes not only stopping oneself from dong something unhealthy or unhelpful, but also depletes the ability to concentrate on doing something you want to do.
Rather than depend on will power, it is easier to put ourselves in situations where little or no will power is needed: Easier not to buy ice cream, than to have it at home and not eat it; Easier to put a loud alarm clock far from bed so you have to get up than to have the snooze button next to the bed that you can tap (over and over) with your eyes shut and your head on the pillow.
Reference: Switch, How to change Things When Change is Hard Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Maui’s “Mini-Tail” of Will Power
There it sat, in the middle of Maui’s path, taunting him with texture. Maui knew his human would be upset if he scratched this BIG, TEMPTING scratching post called couch.
” Don’t scratch the couch. Don’t scratch the couch. Don’t scratch the couch”
He had lost count of how many times he heard this. But every time he passed by that couch, his brain remembered how great the rough fabric felt and directed his claws to come out, longing for a manicure.
Did Maui scratch? Yup. Just like humans, the stress of resisting continual temptation wore out his will power. I can’t blame him. Maui can’t remove the couch, he can’t go outside where he would be free to scratch whatever and where ever he wanted . . .
. . . unlike me who could throw out all the junk food and not buy anymore . . . if I had the will power . . .
For this I pray
you’ll give love away
Like a beautiful rose
love blooms and grows
Inhale the fragrance airborne
But first . . . strip off the thorn
The Fate of young ladies who “demurred”
with Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg
There once was a Miss
who declined a kiss
fearing the poor lad
would make her look bad
if the news leaked
about her and this geek.
There’s no mystery
The rest is history
This fearful honey
is out of the money
They call us “home”
Our body spews
a cloud no one can see
Bacteria, viruses, fungi
intermingling you and me
Releasing microbes in the air
from head to toe where ever we go
Because they’re here to stay
Don’t waste your money
on bug spray
If you don’t believe me read: wherever-you-go-your-personal-cloud-of-microbes-follows
An excerpt to perk your interest:
“Each of us carries around millions of microorganisms – including bacteria, fungi and viruses — on the inner and outer surfaces of our bodies. Most of them aren’t dangerous. In fact, growing evidence indicates that they help us in lots of ways. Scientists call this collection of organisms our microbiome.”
‘”A lot of the recent work on the human microbiome has revealed that we’re kind of spilling our microbial companions all over our houses and our offices and the people around us,” Meadow says.”
“Meadow says the findings raise a number of possibilities, including, maybe, one day being able to identify a criminal by analyzing the microbial cloud he or she leaves behind at the scene.”
“We know that if you live with people, and even if you just work with people, your microbial communities come to resemble theirs over time,“ Knight says. “And in the past we used to think that was due to touch. It may be just that you’re releasing microbes into the air and some of those microbes are colonizing the people you’re with.”
Throw kindness around like confetti
Sprinkle it slow, sprinkle it steady
Let it fall from the air
stick in the hair
get caught on the lips
sit on by hips
Throw kindness around without care
Show there’s more than enough to spare
Once a month I facilitate a free, non-denominational HeART of Spirituality workshop. Tapestry Unitarian Congregation hosts it. There’s a different theme each month.
For those of you who want to think about your own spirituality I’ll post the information and the exercises for you to do. For those who just want a peek at the heART the participants create take a look!
* * *
Healing was the focus at this HeART of Spirituality workshop.
The medium used was journaling.
Synopsis of the Introduction:
Physically, biologically anger and fear create a neurochemical cascade from the brain to the body triggering powerful stress responses. These two emotions interfere with physical healing and are incompatible with spiritual healing.
When everything is going well we try to maintain the status quo (for good reason!). To change, learn and grow we all need an impetus. The most powerful stimuli for change and growth are when we face pain or fear.
In Buddhism there’s a distinction between pain and suffering: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Suffering is based on our perception and emotional response.
Basic to Baha’i beliefs:
- We learn how to develop God’s virtues through pain and earthly trials & tribulation.
- God does not want us to suffer, He wants us to learn.
- Suffering comes from our distorted perspective of spirituality and our ego needs.
- Praying for “healing” is first and foremost for spiritual growth, not physical remedy.
My personal experience with fibromyalgia and my belief is that ultimately all healing – physical, emotional, situational, is spiritual.
Indeed, scientific research shows that what we think and believe impacts our emotional and physical well-being. The power of the placebo is a small example.
First exercise – “Stacked Writing”
Stacked writing is a great way to keep things confidential and not have to hide your journal under the mattress. You can spill your thoughts & feelings out on paper and no one (including you) will be able to read what you wrote.
Workshop Materials: I pasted colored tissue paper on large sheets of paper for the participants to write on. These sheets were later turned into mini 8-page journals.
Your Materials: A journal or just a piece of paper will do. A black marker or pen. A timer
- Write, print, scribble your thoughts and feelings all over the paper, continue writing, turning the paper in many directions (sideways, upside down) and writing on top of what you’ve written. If your mind goes blank, keep scribbling until another thought pops in.
- Write for a minimum of 20 minutes, non-stop (make sure you have an easy flowing marker or pen). Setting a timer is best so you don’t distract yourself or interrupt your writing.
- Focus on releasing the emotions of anger and fear. Fill the page with sentences, phrases, words on top of each other so that what was written becomes indecipherable.
Second exercise – “Found Poetry”
Materials: Newspapers, sheet of blank paper, (we used black construction paper but a journal or any paper will do) glue sticks, scissors.
- Focusing on the theme of “healing” cut out approximately 20 words & phrases from the newspaper. Use your intuition, what catches your eye to choose what you cut out.
- Arrange your words & phrases on a piece of paper, creating a free verse poem*.
- Paste your poem down when it “feels finished”.
*“Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. Many poems composed in free verse thus tend to follow the rhythm of natural speech.” Wikipedia
Here are the participants Healing Poems. Take a look!
Poetry, ideally, is meant to be recited out loud. Get your moneys-worth and orate!