Get Out of the War

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Get Out of the War
What are you fighting?

The Practice:
Get out of the war.

Why?

By “war” I mean here a mindset, not combat between nations with tanks and bombs. The “war” I’m referring to is an attitude of conflict and animosity toward a person, object, or condition. Parents can feel at war with a misbehaving teenager, and certainly vice versa. Neighbors quarreling over a fence. Spouses edging toward divorce. Divorced parents continuing to battle over holidays. Someone stuck in traffic, at war with other drivers. Ideologues reviling the other side. Kicking the chair after stubbing a toe against it.

The summer when I was 16, I worked as a camp counselor beside the Pacific Ocean, and there was a lot of skin diving (without scuba gear) into the forests of kelp. One time I foolishly swam into a thicket of kelp, thinking there was clear water just on the other side, but there was only more seaweed, with thick orangish leaves and long strong vines reaching up from the seabed below. I was trapped, running out of air, and began to panic. I battled the kelp, thrashing and jerking, which only wrapped it more tightly around me. After I don’t know how long, a clarity came over me and my war with the kelp ended. My diving mask was around my throat, my snorkel ripped out of my mouth, and I’d lost a fin. I slowly disentangled myself from the kelp rather than fighting it, working my way upward, finally clearing it, seeing the bright silver surface of the ocean above my head, and rising up to it and then the precious air.

We need to be able to stand up for ourselves, deal with tough things — including nearly drowning — and change what’s wrong and uphold what’s right. But when we do this while also caught in anger like a swimmer caught in kelp, that’s not good for us or others. A mind at war feels bad, full of irritation and fear. The body revves up, accumulating the gradual wear and tear of stress activation. Perceptions and beliefs get biased and defended. Reactions are turbocharged. All this prompts others to go to war with us, which then drives vicious cycles.

Getting caught in the mind of war is understandable and all too normal. The capacity and sometimes inclination to go to war are a part of human nature (amidst many other parts, including empathy, restraint, altruism, and love). Next, this part of a person is shaped further by culture, economic hardship, childhood, and life experiences. Then psychological factors get involved, such as identifying with your “case” against others, vengeance, holding onto grievances, or a general mood of reproach.

But whatever its causes, still, a mind at war is the responsibility of the person who has it.

How?

Recognize the causes. Be aware of the emotional payoffs in being at war, and the inner justifications. How did your approach to conflict get influenced by your upbringing and life experiences? Do you go to war because you don’t know another way? As you understand these causes more deeply, they’ll have less power over you.

Recognize when you’ve slid into war mode. Notice the tension and activation in the body, the righteousness and rigidity in the mind, the tangles of recurring conflicts with others. Be very aware of the experience and the impact on others, including innocent bystanders such as children. Considering all these costs, ask yourself: Do I really want to be at war here? Then make a choice. This moment of sincere choice is key. Without it, the momentum of war takes on a life of its own.

Pick a particular situation and imagine being strong and taking care of things without going to war, without throwing the hot coals that burn both others and yourself. How could you be firm and clear without slipping into righteousness or antagonism? Imagine someone who embodies this combination of strength, moral confidence, self-control, and non-reactivity to the warlikeness of others (two models for me are Martin Luther King, Jr. and Aung San Suu Kyi). Imagine how this person might act in your situation, and see if you could be more like this yourself.

Take care of your real interests as best you can. If appropriate, try to repair with the other person (“non-violent communication” is a good approach). But if the other person ignores or punishes your efforts at repair, that’s not a good sign. Then if you can, name and try to repair the lack of repair — and if this effort is blocked as well, that’s a really bad sign. You may need to shrink the relationship — at least inside your own mind, if you can’t do this outside in the world — to the scale that is trustworthy and safe for you.

Bottom line, look to the war as it happens inside you rather than getting swirled into the accusations, positions, threats, and recriminations around you. See the suffering in the other people and yourself, and see if you can have compassion for all parties. The world outside may not change. But if you end the war in your own head, you’ll feel better and act better. Which just might help the world around you to change for the better as well.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and New York Times best-selling author. His books include Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence (in 13 languages), Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (in 25 languages), Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time (in 13 languages), and Mother Nurture: A Mother’s Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships. Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and on the Advisory Board of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, his work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, CBC, FoxBusiness, Consumer Reports Health, U.S. News and World Report, and O Magazine and he has several audio programs with Sounds True. His weekly e-newsletter – Just One Thing – has over 100,000 subscribers, and also appears on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and other major websites.

For more information, please see his full profile at www.RickHanson.net.

Shine a Light on Your Fears
I believe that many of us spend our lives running wildly through an endless pitch black corridor desperately searching for a light switch.

The dark consists of all our fears. Suddenly we find a light switch and frantically turn it on. Light! Relief! Our fears are gone. We are happy. Whew!

But then the bulb dies, or the power fails, or worse — someone turns the light switch off — and oh no — we are plunged into the unhappiness of fear again. If this happens, fear returns and hopelessness can follow.

If we stand in that darkness long enough and breathe, when we resist the panic of fear, we see a light shining from somewhere. We look around and realize that light is shining out of us!

And the longer we look at it, the brighter it becomes. That’s our joy! You carry that joy with you 24/7, it’s yours. You will never be in the dark again — it’s the ultimate fear eradicator.

As a little girl, for some reason I don’t understand, I was afraid of the dark. I was particularly afraid of the ‘scary monsters’ that lived under my bed.

I let my fear become so overpowering that I gave into hopelessness and stayed in bed, too scared to move. It was always amazing to me that as soon as the light was turned on, the room was “safe” again.

Most of our fears are like that — they dissolve when light is shone onto, or into, them. When all appears dark, we aren’t always aware that we have just closed our eyes! We are not seeing the light shining from within us! Nor are we seeing true reality. We are only seeing our perceptions and judging them.

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Unfortunately, it can seem easier to let fear rule the day and research indicates that some of us may have “fear loops” operating in our brains automatically. These then drive our patterns and habits. To change them we have to wake up and become conscious of them.

Just believing hope exists can increase it! Hope gives us courage, persistence, willpower, resilience, strength and joy. Hopelessness takes them away. How you choose to think makes all the difference.

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Amanda Gore (www.amandagore.com) is an author, award-winning motivational speaker and joy facilitator! Her philosophy is that Joy is an Inside Job. Finding joy is the secret to more productive, creative, successful and happy humans — at work and home. Amanda is also the director of The Joy Project. To book Amanda for your event click here or email admin@amandagore.com. Connect with Amanda on Facebook – Amanda Gore – Speaker page and The Joy Project page

Is Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ Better As A Gothic, R&B Song? You Be The Judge (VIDEO)
No pop song is safe from the hands of Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox.

We can always count on the incredible musical collective to take a Top 40 hit and turn it into something classic, and their take on Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” is no exception. By combining gothic “movie theme” music, R&B and the vocal talents of Ashley Stroud the group turned “Dark Horse” into a horse of a different color. “Perhaps unintentionally, it sounds a bit like a “‘Bond’ theme, too,” they wrote in the video description.

Which version do you think is better? Let us know in the comments below!

How Almost Buying An Expensive Skirt Led Jade Allan To Change Careers
Jade Allan realized she needed to reset her life just in time to save herself some cash.

“The moment I knew I had to make a change, I was actually standing in line about to hand over 200 pounds for a leather skirt to wear to an office to a job that really didn’t inspire me,” said Allan, who was living in London at the time. “I was about to hand over the money and I thought, ‘This is crazy.'”

She realized that spending the money on a skirt she didn’t need for a job she didn’t like was another step in the wrong direction, so she decided to star fresh.

“I hung up the skirt, I got out of the store, and the next week I handed in my notice in the job,” she said.

Allan said she always wanted to do work that was more meaningful, and today she is doing just that through her website, which offers personalized consulting and workshops for a more inspired life.

Did you get a new job? New spouse? New city? We want to hear from you! Share your stories of life-changing breakthrough moments with HuffPost’s Third Metric at themoment@huffingtonpost.com.

The Moment I Knew My BlackBerry Addiction Was Out Of Control
Rafael Pizzaro joined HuffPost Live’s Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani to share the story of a shocking wake-up call that showed him it was time to take it easy with his smartphone.

Pizzaro was on a trip in Sacramento, where he and his colleagues were lobbying for environmental legislation. The team took a break for lunch, and during the meal Pizzaro made an odd discovery.

“One of my colleagues turned to me and asked what I was doing. My hands were under the table, my phone was on the table, and I looked under and I saw that my fingers were moving, my thumbs were moving as if I had the BlackBerry in my hand, and I said, ‘That’s crazy,'” he said.

Realizing that his phone had become such an ingrained part of his behavior drove Pizzaro to rethink how he incorporated it into his life.

“I had to change how I was looking at this tool because the ghost-typing, as I called it, was just a symptom of a bigger problem,” he said.

Did you get a new job? New spouse? New city? We want to hear from you! Share your stories of life-changing breakthrough moments with HuffPost’s Third Metric at themoment@huffingtonpost.com.

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