How Mindfulness Empowers Us

There is a story, usually attributed to the Native American tradition, which illuminates different ways of paying attention.

An elder, talking to a child, says, I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is fearful, vengeful, envious, resentful and deceitful. The other wolf is compassionate, loving, generous, truthful and peaceful.

The child asks which wolf will win the fight.

The elder responds, the one I feed.

That doesn’t mean we try to deny, or hurt, or kill the angry wolf. If we did that, we’d end up in a long battle, all the while somehow making that wolf more powerful through our hostility and fear. Hating that wolf sucks the strength right out of us. Instead we calmly pay attention to the angry wolf and let go of believing they have the answers. If we can do that, they end up lying down next to us, no longer an enemy.

We help strengthen the kind and loving wolf, giving it nourishment and support so that we can follow it. That peaceful wolf can become our steady companion and show us the way through all different kinds of life experiences.

Restful or chaotic, enjoyable or disappointing experiences may come and go, but we can have a guide with us, through it all.

This is what mindfulness can help you do.

Mindfulness allows us to see our thoughts and feelings as they are beginning. It’s very powerful to know what we’re feeling, as we’re feeling it, know what we’re thinking, as we’re thinking it. With mindfulness, we can choose what will strengthen and bring into action, and we can choose what we will gently let go of. We don’t have to be at the mercy of old habits, or old ways of thinking, or old ways of being.

We are empowered, it just takes practice.

Source: Happify

As Narrated by Sharon Salzberg

The Stars Look Very Different Today

Rest In Peace, David Bowie, a beautiful inspiration to so many

“As fragile and inauthentic as our identities are, Bowie let us (and still lets us) believe that we can reinvent ourselves. In fact, we can reinvent ourselves because our identities are so fragile and inauthentic. Just as Bowie seemingly reinvented himself without limits, he allowed us to believe that our own capacity for challenges was limitless. Of course, there are limits–profound limits, mortal limits–in reshaping who we are. But somehow, in listening to his songs–even now–one hears an extraordinary hope that we are not alone and this place can be escaped, just for a day.”

-Simon Critchley’s, “Bowie” 2014

Spotlight: Dre Green, Only One

Listen up! Chicago, this babe is in your backyard…

This week, Dre Green released her debut EP, Only One. Dreamy vocals blended with poppy, r&b beats, reverberating whispers, eerie growls…she even raps a little in “Guarded.” There’s so much going on in the album and it’s all just so great.

1408459505dre_green_2
Photo by Scott Kaplan

Her mesmerizing voice paired with kick-ass production work from fellow Chicagoans Jeremiah Meece (Lo-motion, The-Drum), The GTW and Supreme Cuts… it’s everything right now.

The track “Neymar Night” is one of my favorites, sexy and smooth, with the perfect input of voice quips, “Really? OK.” …and that G-major trail of at the end, totally seals the deal.

Stream and download the album on Bandcamp.

You can catch Dre Green performing a DJ Set this coming Monday, Aug. 25 at The Burlington Bar, 10pm.