Walls Do Not Make Us Safe

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

The walls are up in our society. All sorts of walls: brick, stone, identity, geographical, ideological, and economic. There there are physical walls of race, sex and physical abilities. Roles and social affiliations are another form of wall. So are rules. We can’t live with them and we cannot live without them. Why We Have Walls Walls are not intrinsically a problem. However, after thousands of years of creating walls to protect ourselves we are now drowning in them. Rules, roles, customs, conventions, expressed expectations, unexpressed expectations. There are a lot of ways to create walls. We humans have been very creative about it. And of course we all have our personal walls including our habits and personalities. Many of our walls came into being when we needed them when our species was younger and more defenseless. They became a part of our reality out of necessity. Now with 7 billion people on the planet they are being questioned in a more serious way than ever before. Walls are meant to protect us when we need protecting. They are not meant to just keep others out. There is a distinction. Walls are a closed and fixed structure; boundaries are more open and flexible. The Limitations Of Walls Sometime walls are contrived and sometimes they are not. Sometimes they help and sometimes they do not. There is a reason why, however, at this particular point in time we are in need of a rethink about walls more so than others: 7 billion people all with their own walls is unwieldy. we have always needed to cooperate. However, the complexity of our current human systems and the demands on them require a more skillful interdependency. our problems are bigger. There are too many of us for the resources on the planet. Our walls are making it harder to … Read More

The Wound Of Materialism

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development2 Comments

Materialism destroys our environment as this picture shows. It also destroys so much more. It destroys our humanity. Every society defines its purposes and priorities. There was a time when the material side of life was extremely lacking and improving the human standard of living was a necessary and important goal. So the Western world, starting in Europe, created an economic system to rectify an existing problem. So far all is well. Unfortunately, at some point, the goals of society went beyond rectifying serious material deficits and needs. Culture became about wealth accumulation and fame. This change may have been one of the biggest mistakes we ever made. All social systems have a stewardship responsibility in society. Stewardship involves considering the past, present and future. Stewardship honors the broad need for quality of life and sustainability. Stewardship promotes the health of all living creatures and their institutions. It is transpersonal. When wealth accumulation became the agenda, stewardship went out the window. It pitted one person against another because it was no longer OK to seek to have your real needs met, if you were not part of a wealth accumulation system, you essentially did not exist. Those who could advance the wealth agenda had their needs met over those who were less able to do so (or less interested). So if it mattered to you that we do not harm the environment unnecessarily then you were not only unimportant but also considered dangerous to the wealth accumulation agenda. If you think getting a good night’s sleep matters then you are not available to work ridiculous hours to further the wealth accumulation agenda. If you think that compassion matters then you may be interfering with profits. I have heard very intelligent people express a fear of being irrelevant, lost and unable … Read More

The Emerging Value Of Health

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, The Value of Health0 Comments

  Health is emerging as the transcendent value that can solve the problems of our troubled world. The value of health is different from health itself. The value of health is a guiding light that illuminates our choices and helps make choices easier. Health can be subtle.  A healthy society does maintenance.  It maintains everything, relationships, institutions, infrastructure, people, animals, plants, rivers. In short everything.  I was in a dentist office not too long go and the dentist was complaining that many young people do not want to brush their teeth because that takes their time from other things.  Unfortunately, the value of health and maintenance is a non-starter for many people in our highly competitive and consuming world. The Benefit Of The Value Of Health The value of health gives us some exceptional benefits: It creates resilience.  Resilience is more than being able to withstand some adversity.  Resilience is also about laying and maintaining personal and community foundations that are sustaining and sustainable. Health is not reckless.  It is the antithesis of recklessness. The value of health recognizes the interdependency of all life and recognizes that when we harm the web of life we harm ourselves.  So maintaining health in all things helps everyone. Health is not adversarial.  It sees the value in all things and allows everything to contribute in its own way and minimizes the misuse of any aspect of our world. Health creates a foundation that enables each person to evolve into their best self.  It minimizes interpersonal, societal and environmental damage that creates ill will and damage to the hopes and well-being of people, animals and nature. The value of health is holistic and sees limits as productive, not as an enemy. It respects yesterday and the learning and progress it has brought, acknowledges the damage, … Read More

Reclaiming The Serious

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress6 Comments

Do you tend to be more serious than other people? Does it ever make you feel like you are out on a limb all by yourself? I know that I am much more serious than most other people around me and that I tend to feel alone with it. Are HSPs More Serious Than Other People? In some ways it seems to me that HSPs are more serious than non-HSPs. Our sensitivity causes us to notice nuances and disconnection. We notice when pain is created in us and the people around us. We notice the little failures of attention that can add up to big time failures and alienation. Our nervous systems cause us to be aware whether we want to be or not. Our awareness can make us uncomfortable and others as well. Awareness is not always welcome. HSP Awareness And The Culture Of Positivity HSP awareness and our need to honor our authentic perception can make social relationships difficult. It is particularly difficult in a cultural structure of positivity – the thinking style of progress and forward movement. Positivity only accepts the “yes” answer. It only wants to hear how something can be done. It doesn’t tolerate slowness and obstacles. Positivity is narrowly focused on a specific result. HSPs who notice flaws in an objective or how it is being pursued are unwelcome in “positive” environments. There is nothing wrong with thinking positively. The problem with positivity is that it is often divorced from reality. As a cultural model, positivity totally disregards the “collateral damage” caused by its philosophy: human health issues, environmental degradation, social issues and costs. HSPs do not ignore the consequences of positivity. We cannot. We can feel it; there is no escape. The Origins Of The Positivity Idea Positivism is a philosophy that applies math and science … Read More

What Happened To The Sacred?

Maria HillPersonal Development6 Comments

The word “sacred” is one that we hardly ever use outside of religious settings or events. For a number of reasons it has become a word that we shun. It is, however, and important idea about an important subject that transcends cultural definitions about it meaning. Because it has been so misused, it deserves a look to see if we can reclaim it in a productive way. What Does Sacred Mean? According to Wikipedia, The word “sacred” descends from the Latin sacrum, which referred to the gods or anything in their power, and to sacerdos and sanctum, set apart. It was generally conceived spatially, as referring to the area around a temple.[citation needed] The English word “holy” dates back to at least the 11th century with the Old English word hālig, an adjective derived from hāl meaning “whole” and used to mean “uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, complete”. The religious meaning of sacred is the commonly used reference for the word. It is interesting that the English word derives from an adjective that means healthy and whole. The Ancient Sacred Aboriginal culture is one of the oldest if not the oldest living culture in the world. The aborigines migrated south from somewhere in Asia to Australia over c. 60000 years ago. They created one of the richest sacred traditions in the world known as “Dreamtime” . In their culture sacred referred to the land and the ancestors, both of which were considered the basis of well being of the people of the culture. So for them, sacred was a life giving and life supporting idea. It was directly related to daily life. They help nature to be sacred since it supported their lives very directly. The Sacred And Modern Life Later cultures institutionalized the sacred under religious institutions and so the Roman (latin) definition of sacred as directly related to the gods … Read More

The New Skill: Ecological Thinking

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

We humans have been running on left brained, linear thinking for a long time. It has accomplished a lot but its limitations are evident also. What Is Linear Thinking? Linear thinking is thinking that is based on the idea of sequential events and therefore a line. Sequential events lead to a story, reasoning and narratives. Linear thinking is very cause and effect. It’s objective is to create a kind of solidity. Because it connects everything in a line, it is very surface in what it treats as valid. Linear thinking pervades our culture: are you in line are you out of line are you above the live are you on the line line up Linear thinking is a way of measuring ourselves and each other. Linear thinking is at home with our inner critics. Why Linear Thinking Fails Linear thinking omits a lot of information from what it considers relevant. Natural cycles are ignored, denigrated and denied in the linear world. The linear world believes that through our efforts we can control the ups and down of life. Many years and untold effort have been dedicated to the goal of permanent positivity. Natural cycles do not recognize our yearning for a life with no pain or downside. Linear thinking creates structures and systems that require the use of force to maintain. The structures themselves become what people depend on. It is a lot like putting a roller coaster ride in the middle of the ocean and expecting it to be safe. Natural cycles operate in a natural process of give and take which creates a circular process of renewal. Linear thinking does not consider renewal as necessary. The need for renewal “takes away” from the goals of the linear system. Cyclical Thinking Where linear thinking is more structural, cyclical thinking … Read More