- a catalogue of recent findings -
meet ross edgley - the man who is in the process of making history as we speak by swimming the entirety of mainland great britain, a swim that will clock in at around 2,000 miles over ~100 days of swimming.
while there is much to be learned from this superhuman endeavor, i find myself particularly fascinated by his brief recounting of an unexpected personal strategy: smiling.
somehow while swimming 6 hours per day through extremes of weather + exhaustion, and despite enduring serious jellyfish stings (among countless other challenges), edgley manages to keep a smile on his face because of the many benefits that doing so proposes.
i found some interesting articles to support his claim that smiling makes a difference + have decided to share three of my favorites with you here:
There's Magic in Your Smile
How a Simple Smile Benefits...
The Psychological Study of Smiling
i've been experimenting with this idea ever since i first noticed it + encourage you to do the same.
to learn more about ross edgley's great british swim, visit the red bull website here.
this link should allow you to download a pdf that was recently sent to me by a close friend.
the name of the piece is presence as meta-competency. it was written by a truly remarkable man who only very recently passed after confronting cancer with more grace than anyone i've ever witnessed.
do yourself a favor at some point + chase down every podcast that ever featured doug silsbee. you won't be disappointed.
also consider exploring his exceptionally well-received books, which can be found on amazon here.
you may find the pdf i've shared with you here somewhat dry, but the information it presents is of an extremely high value.
every word of it corresponds to + confirms vital aspects of our own work within the context of WHOLESYSTEM HUMAN, although my own intention is always to condense such concepts into a simplified format that is more readily accessed by the average individual.
at any rate, the article is succinct + well worth the time it takes to read it.
page 12, in particular, was a heavy hitter for me.
here, the author discusses how the unification of attention + emotional intensity can lead to "eventual permanent competencies," producing an amplification of learning capability as well as an eventual automation of lessons learned.
in simpler terms: when we connect our capacity for focus with our capacity to feel positive emotions, we instigate a process of accelerated learning + integration in which not only the mind but in fact the entire system of our being is beneficially altered by the experience.
this adequately describes a foundational pillar of the WHOLESYSTEM HUMAN methodology, and still-to-this-day makes me almost-giddy with wonder + anticipation.
here is one of my favorite quotes from the entire article:
engaging the entire nervous system in learning leads to embodied, physiologically-supported change far beyond what cognition and good intentions will ever produce.
i recommend reading that quote over + over again until what it is saying really sinks in for you. if you're not sure what it means, EMAIL ME.
i also really enjoyed the idea of "fieldwork" mentioned a couple of times on page 12. this resonates powerfully with the WHOLESYSTEM HUMAN concept of experimentation.
anyway, i'd be so excited to hear about which parts of this article strike a chord for you, so please feel free to email me with any thoughts or questions that may come up as you explore this material for yourself.
this song by abby gundersen may seem at first a little sad, but it remains a frequent favorite nonetheless.
i've had it playing in my ears while planning this release of the K-A-I-Z-E-N Chronicles + often turn to it as a doorway to that place of inner silence.
i wonder if you can find your way to it as well when you listen to this song:
can you sense the tone of moments passing? can you intuit the promise of those moments as they fold forward, ever forward, even as they inevitably recede - like waves at the edge of a shoreline seamlessly announcing spaces more + greater than we know?
notice how the composition itself builds + recedes + rebuilds. can you recognize the lesson it contains?
+ then the poem at the very end, from the public garden by robert lowell:
and now the moon, earth's friend, that cared so much
for us, and cared so little, comes again -
always a stranger! as we walk,
it lies like chalk
over the waters. everything's aground.
remember summer? bubbles filled
the fountain, and we splashed. we drowned
in eden, while jehovah's grass-green lyre
was rustling all about us in the leaves
that gurgled by us, turning upside down...
the fountain's failing waters flash around
the garden. nothing catches fire.
you can live in waves of discovery; and from your discovery, you take new actions, you make new choices.
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K-A-I-Z-E-N CHRONICLES : an inspiration experiment