This summarises the attitude I prefer, and I really hope it helps anyone who reads it:
I think that challenging the boundaries of human existence/ability is super cool. Eventually I will be a super cool, super fast jellyfish (current goal is handstands). Interpersonal neuroscience is my hobby. I like stuff. Feel free to share random messages or ask me for links/further info, for the sheer sake of "wow omg that's so cool".
People Are Awesome: everyday stunts compilation -
“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure” -Henri Nouwen
“Your body needs to be held and to hold, to be touched and to touch. None of these needs is to be despised, denied, or repressed. But you have to keep searching for your body's deeper need, the need for genuine love. Every time you are able to go beyond the body's superficial desires for love, you are bringing your body home and moving toward integration and unity.” -Henri Nouwen
"History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations. And it is with great pain and terror that one begins to realize this. In great pain and terror one begins to assess the history which has placed one where one is and formed one's point of view. In great pain and terror because, thereafter, one enters into battle with that historical creation, Oneself, and attempts to re-create oneself according to principles more humane and liberating: one begins the attempt to achieve a level of personal maturity and freedom which robs history of its tyrannical power, and also changes history." - James Baldwin
"Unfortunately, when you react against something that is "sinful", you will often go to the other extreme, and you can get into as much trouble as you were in before. You can jump from the frying pan into the fire, or as I often put it, throw out the baby with the bathwater.
...Since integrity is never painless, reformation is much more difficult than revolution. Whether the... movement is going to be saving or damning will come down to whether it is a movement of revolution or of reformation--whether it can motivate the people attracted to its new ideas to do the painful work and practice the discipline required not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, to integrate the best of the new with the best of the old." - M. Scott Peck
"Affirmation is a way to avoid looking at evil. It is saying, 'Well, yes, my stepfather molested me as a child, but that was just his human failing, part of his being damaged in childhood.' Forgiveness, on the other hand, requires facing evil squarely. It is saying to your stepfather: 'What you did was wrong, despite your reasons for it. You committed a crime against me. And I know that, but I still forgive you.' That is not easy by any stretch of the imagination... It requires briefs for the prosecution, and briefs for the defense, and then appeals and counterappeals, until a judgement is finally brought in... Only after a guilty verdict can there be a pardon." - Further Along the Road Less Travelled, M. Scott Peck
"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." -Henri Nouwen
"Indeed, the quality of our life is determined precisely by the quality of our judgements."
"The world is not a battlefield, although occasionally it may feel like it. You are not a victim, even though it is so pleasurable to play into our neuroses."
apart from being completely in love with my midget friends (i.e. kids i work with), might do some form of child advocacy and counselling/psychology at some point.
1. To live an honest, happy, fulfilling life with as little contradiction, hypocrisy and denial as possible. Aiming for engagement and meaning during each moment, rather than happiness and peace which are byproducts and unreasonable to demand all the time.
2. Greater perspective and patient collaboration expressing joyful love, grit and gratitude.
Interesting TED talk. Really loved when she said that infidelity (and in my opinion many drastic or desperate acts) was a desire to redefine and rediscover our "self".
Many acts are wrong and therefore cannot be condoned, yet it is so important to acknowledge all motivations, intents, and perspectives behind actions. To have courage in asking, sharing, believing in what we believe in, changing what we believe in where prudent. To live a good, honest life. Courage to live our own life while supporting others in living their own, whether our paths converge or not, rather than trying to control other people to maintain a farce that we are not leaving our own life and sense of self in shambles. To create a clear sense of boundaries and cause/effect.
To be aware and honest with ourselves is the hardest and most important part -- honest about all our intents, actions, impacts, desires, character, and then to have the determination to shape ourselves and our lives. To take ownership of our free will. This is important for people of all ages, from birth through to death. It is the cornerstone of trust.
It's interesting to think about "wake up calls", drifting through life without them, what it takes to have and answer them, and what calls to us in the first place. And the separate topic of "callings".
an exceedingly excellent book is John Gottman's "The Heart of Parenting: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child." (possibly one of the wisest, most perceptive and practical texts i will read in my lifetime. the messages are stated simply, clearly and with many day-to-day examples that are easy to relate to. the concepts may easily be generalised to adult interactions - in fact, this is encouraged since it's difficult to teach kids what you don't preach. Gottman is my hero for making/compiling a pretty comprehensive science of everyday dynamics within families and couples.)
Daniel Hughes, who used to write a lot on the ins and outs of effective foster care. brilliant stuff and often counter-intuitive, particularly with regards to children with a (chronically) negative self-image. edit: he has recently expanded the application of his perspective to all children/people. "Brain-based parenting" probably trumps Gottman's "the Heart of Parenting" for me, by a very slight margin.
not huge on fiction, but occasionally authors like Jacqueline Carey, Patrick Rothfuss and David Weber will be recommended to me. and books like Ender's Game.
and food for thought for those who like personality tests:
i hardly watch movies if left on my own, but here are some movies i've enjoyed: phone booth, serenity, hannibal, reefer madness (the musical), up, How to Train Your Dragon, district 9, sorority boys, kick-ass. The Princess Bride (1987). i like hong kong made martial arts films/classics (e.g. once upon a time in china). zombieland, star dust. and some anime.
the rest don't make the cut to be listed, for reasons uncertain.
whether i'm a foodie depends a lot on my moodie. (sorry, lame, i know, but odds are i'd be up for cooking or discovering new foods)
"Why does one repeatedly rise in the morning, eat, drink, and go to bed again? The child, the savage, the healthy young person does not suffer as a result of this cycle of senseless automatic activities. If a man does not think too much, he rejoices at rising in the morning, and at eating and drinking. He finds satisfaction in them and does not want them to be otherwise. But if he ceases to take things for granted, he seeks eagerly and hopefully during the course of the day for moments of real life, the radiance of which makes him rejoice and obliterate the awareness of time and all thoughts on the meaning and purpose of everything." - Hermann Hesse
people watching. i wonder about their stage in life, how they may have been as children, what molded them into who they are today, how they portray themselves to the world, and the underlying motivations/goals (both 'personal' and those which seem quite universal among people). i think about my friend, families and children (the ones i work with); how they will grow up; how they are growing; the direct impact my actions (will) have; how i can improve my interactions with them; which experiences they'd benefit most from in the near future.
sometimes i think about time and how each person can't get back the stages of their life -- particularly apparent watching babies turn into toddlers turn into preschoolers... such drastic changes. brings to the forefront how valuable it is to invest our time/energies wisely. sometimes i think about how each stage of life understands and applies wisdom differently.
Ellen Galinsky’s “Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs” (book – 'Mind in the Making')
1) focus and self-control – emotional regulation; EQ; moral and personal development
2) perspective-taking – EQ; empathy; making social predictions; conflict resolution; problem-solving through sourcing new solutions, ideas and alternatives; growing imagination
3) making connections – understanding our world, our human experience and our possible impacts; pattern recognition; cause and effect; correlations; meaning-making
4) communicating – linguistic and body-language
5) critical thinking – the tool for empowerment through insight, wisdom and personal clarity
6) taking on challenges – resilience, will, confidence, stress management, depth creation
7) self-directed, engaged learning – precursor for creativity, joy, a sense of fulfilment, mastery
Considering entire disciplines have been established to study just one subcategory, it's very possible for a person to die at a ripe age before fully delving into this narrow section of possible knowledge. 'Presence' is another interesting subject/experience.
Oh, the possibilities.
I Lick My Brain In Silence:
It was kinda said like a warning not to get pregnant. And that there is no way to lie to myself about my state of pregnancy. So be careful. Be very careful.
Do not have sex. Because you WILL get klamydia, and you WILL die.
(Mean Girls reference)
(ftr, i don't think i reply that selectively. but if i don't within 3-5 days, either your message was particularly uninteresting, i was particularly lazy, or something quite new and exciting has happened. feel free to message again for an explanation.)