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A Story About a Caterpillar …….

A Story About a Caterpillar   …….

She was a caterpillar, colourful and spiky. She was only born with some of her spikes and colours.

As she interacted with other caterpillar’s she absorbed some of their colours. Those colour’s would stain her for different lengths of time.

Sometimes the other caterpillar’s around her hurt her with their own spikes. The wound’s would try to heal and they developed into spikes.

The other caterpillar’s would also help her train her spikes; cutting, filing, ripping, sharpening, etc

She was not aware that her ever changing colours and spikes were the nature of being a caterpillar – the more she tried to suppress it the more spikes grew on her.

As her awareness grew about herself she noticed more of her spikes and colours. Some of them she liked, some of them she disliked.

She realised that sometimes her spikes had hurt other caterpillar’s and her colours had stained them too.

She did not grow up around many butterflies and for a long time did not even know of their existence.

When she first found out about butterflies she did not believe that she could become one but she did want change. Some of her spikes were restrictive and painful. Some of her colours were not how she wanted to be seen.

Frantically, she set about trying to find help:

  • She tried to take on other caterpillar’s colours that she liked but this was not enough and they did not stain for long.
  • She tried to find a caterpillar to protect her so that she could remove some of her spikes without exposing too much of her vulnerabilities. This did not work because it dulled her own colours too much.
  • Some caterpillar’s tried to encourage her to remove some of the spikes, gently and slowly, and surround herself with less spiky caterpillar’s, she tried sometimes but she found this scary and kept running away. She did not want to be seen as a weak caterpillar.

Through that process she started to believe that maybe she could become a butterfly one day.

She found herself around some butterflies. She wanted to be like them and hoped they could transform her. But this could not work either because she was not them.

She wanted to become a butterfly, even though she didn’t know how. She didn’t always like the suggestions from the butterflies of how to transform because it sounded uncomfortable and scary.

Eventually, she realised that no one could transform her except herself. She became more open to the lessons from the butterflies. She accepted that the process was going to take time and that it was going to be difficult.

She started to build herself a cocoon, a safe place in which she could take off her spikes and allow the underlying wounds to heal. A place in which she could look at her colours and see which ones she wanted to enhance and which ones she wanted to fade.

She’s still there, in her cocoon….sometimes the process is painful and she’s tempted to give up and go back to being a spiky, colourful caterpillar.

But she stays in there, because she knows that deep down inside every caterpillar is the potential to become a butterfly.

One day she will get there.

(Image used from http://www.curiositiesbydickens.com/stylish-critter-weird/)

Think meditation is too fluffy? Have some science…

Think meditation is too fluffy? Have some science…

A lecture by Profession Mark Williams about recent experiments into how our minds work and how meditation can help.

Including;

  • Don’t think of a pink elephant, how suppression can only last so long
  • Why you laugh more at cartoons when you hold a pen lengthways in your mouth
  • How mindfulness can help you distinguish between real and ‘what if’ scenarios

Some really interesting and relevant experiments and he has a lovely storytelling voice.

2 Reasons Why Other’s Suffering Can Bring You Hope

2 Reasons Why Other’s Suffering Can Bring You Hope

Why does it matter if you choose to eat a bag of crisps when you are not hungry and pay no attention to eating them? Why does it matter if you work a lot? Why does it matter if you think too much and have minimal emotions?

Sometimes, those things don’t matter. But if you are questioning whether they matter then perhaps they do.

It can feel like there are big gaping holes in your life. Even if, on the face of it, you appear to have it all. Frantically, you keep looking for new things to fill those holes; promotion, new job, new country, new partner, new anything!

Except, none of those things really change those holes for long.

In a sense, those holes might just be another aspect of being human. Look around you, without judgement, and you may see that people from all walks of life; backgrounds, ages, nationalities, careers, carry a suffering and / or emptiness of some kind within them.

At first glance that doesn’t sound very comforting right? But it does bring some hope and here are two reasons why:

1) It means you are not alone

No one wants to be judged and yet every one has the potential to judge. Especially when you feel vulnerable. How many times have you found yourself thinking along the following lines?

They are more messed up than me. I shouldn’t feel the way I do because they had it worse. That person had an easy life. I would swap with them. They don’t know how easy they have it. That person’s had it really really tough. I should be able to deal with my problems.

Which only serves to make you feel more disconnected from the world and more overwhelmed by your problems. If you can focus on the similarities between people and yourself instead of the differences then you can connect with them on a deeper level.

2) It means there’s been a LOT of people who wrestled with these same questions for a long time all over the world = masses of research and experiences to learn from.

You can look at the research and experience of other people’s wrestling and use it to see what best makes sense to you. Select what your belief set will be appropriate for your life.

Here’s just 3 resources to get you going:

  • Neuroscientists are trying to figure it out from a scientific point of view, see this post about brain fat camp, it may talk mainly about ptsd but a hyperactive amygdala isn’t necessarily always caused by childhood maltreatment.
  • Psychologists were talking about the theory of positive disintegration, by Kazimierz Dabrowski before I was even born.
  • Buddhists give offerings to the Hungry Ghosts who cannot be satisfied no matter how much they consume.

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