Trust – Foundation of Mindfulness # 4

“In practising mindfulness, you are practising taking responsibility for being yourself and learning to listen to and trust your own being.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

In a world full of endless choices and challenges, self-doubt is the non-stop humming in the background. The overwhelming feeling from the incoming mixed messages in our head is confusing and debilitating, and exhausting. Feeling stuck or lost happens when our brain cannot make sense of the outside information or process the internal feeling associated with the new context.

Our capacity to feel confident and make decisions based on our authentic self is to shield our brain from the bombardment of mixed messages from the outside world and the numbing of our useless tweets in our head.

It is possible to learn how to trust yourself and start making decisions, yet; you have to accept that emotional vulnerability is part of the formula. Growth and transformation are not possible without the willingness to be exposed to discomfort and anxiety.

You can cultivate trust by shifting your attention from external and pointing it towards yourself. Paying attention to your emotions, experiences, and thoughts with a nonjudgmental attitude builds confidence in yourself and your potential. Gradually, you realize that all the incapacitating walls you have built over the years to defend yourself against challenges are not that daunting. As you learn to trust your inner resources, you grow confidence in your strength, and the threats weaken in whatever might come up.

Ways to increase self-trust

  • Be aware of your thoughts and feelings as much as you are focused on what you are doing – Whenever doubt creeps in, retreat, contemplate and identify the source of the emotions. Do not reject or judge your feelings; being uncertain means that you don’t have enough knowledge. This insight gives you the clarity to charge ahead and learn.
  • Be conscious of signals from your physical body, cravings, pain, or pleasure. As your body continues to perform its function, such as breathing or blood circulation, the concept of trust moves from perception to reality. An abstract idea manifests in the form of a physical system. This realization gives you no reason to doubt your capacity.
  • Make a list of all the qualities you like about yourself. Once you become aware of all your capabilities and virtues, you have created an intimate relationship with your trustworthy self. Rationally, when you are competent, reliable, and sincere, there is no reason not to trust yourself.
  • Recognize those poor choices you have made in the past that do not define your nor set in stone your path and destiny.
  •  Respect your feelings as much as you respect others.
  • Express your views and give input when you do have an opinion.

Like anything, you can establish an intellectual trust with yourself by setting the intention, paying attention and practice. For more information, please refer to mindfulness meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

 

 

How to feel lasting joy?

I have been contemplating the word joy or happiness in the past few years if I may use them interchangeably. What’s best for me, what gives me pleasure, and most importantly, how do I measure my well-being? Typically, our pursuits, interests, experiences, and how we choose to live form part of our well-being value list. Hopping from the linguistic meaning of the word to the spectrum of emotions defined by psychology and finally to the philosophical value of joy, I was on a mission to find my answers.

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Cyril Rolando

The first lesson was that life could go well or not and influence our state of mind; however, to feel joy is about orienting the heart towards peace. Taking a dip into the real meaning of pleasure was to remove all the superficial layers of how people portray their personality as a smiling emoji. At the same time, one could observe their tensions and frustrations.

I learned that it is OK to explore, and you are not obligated to smile all the time and pretend to be cheery when you are fearful, frustrated or when your incredible inner hulk is about to pop up. All the emotional rollercoaster ride had nothing to do with feeling genuine joy.

Deep down, we all can feel happiness! If you have no desire to be part of the pretentious Cheshire cat group on a merry go round, then start the inner-reflection. Hush all the noise of what encapsulates joy characterized by the latest trends in cultural concepts, social belief, or editorial images and re-connect to your heart.

Throughout civilization, whether through Eastern or Western philosophies and scientific research, the indication that the heart is the most important organ in the human body is prevalent. From Aristotle or Abu-Nasr al-Farabi, Ninth century Arabic philosopher, to Prof. Paul Pearsall, a clinical neuropsychologist and clinical professor of the University of Hawaii, they all pointed to the power of the heart to store memory, a center of reason and having the ability to think. Prof. Pearsall’s research on heart transplant patients indicated the possibility that a donor’s personality traits transfer to the recipient. The parallels ranged from the same taste in food and music to sexual and job preferences. Moreover, the electrical frequencies of our hearts are much stronger than our brains. Importantly, our heart transmits many instructions to the brain on what to do.

Our heart and brain communicate in four ways: 1- Neurologically, via nerve impulses, 2- Energetically, via magnetic fields, 3- Biochemically, via hormones and neuro transmitting chemicals, 4- Biophysically, via blood flow. The energetic interaction of the heart, most specifically the heart’s magnetic field, envelops every cell of the body and extends out in all directions, 6 to 10 feet, into space. Hence, the coherence between the heart and the brain is vital to feel joy. This state of flow is to quiet your mind and to open your heart.

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Only for you – Catrin Welz-Stein

During the chaos, confusion, or heartbreak, align your self-healing power with the concept of peace. The harmony and the lack of hostility take the individual to a time in the future. If we have the capacity to lower our blood pressure, improve our hormonal balance to recover from heart attacks, then we are able to self-regulate independent of the external conditions. A clear intention to feel joy elevates the electrical charge and serves as a magnet. Knowing that happiness is one of the heart’s elevated feelings, learning about self-regulation and practice leads to lasting fulfillment.
By improving brain function through the heart, we reach mental clarity and discern a joy greater and more profound than a smile.

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Cyril Rolando

The second lesson was to stop judging and getting over the fear of being judged. Being compared, evaluated, or to make a judgment are exhausting sentiments. Recognize that the anxiety of disappointment, fear of failure, or shame is just a perception. By opening your heart to find harmony and immersing yourself and others into the created space, the judgments become irrelevant and unworthy.

Mastering to use your heart’s wisdom allows you to reach the inner-peace and a fulfilling relationship with yourself, which can immensely impact and be the magnet for the pursuit of happiness and life you want to lead.

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Cyril Rolando

Featured image by Cyril Rolando

Interview with Visual Artist, Faith XLVII

Faith XLVII is an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa who is currently based in Los Angeles.
Faith XLVII is an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa who is currently based in Los Angeles.

Street art is one of the powerful forms of self-expression that Faith XLVII, an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa, uses to touch souls, raise hope, and expose hurt and oppression. Each time a metamorphosized perspective comes to light through her creations, from raising questions about issues that affect our daily lives to reflect on our society. Smart and resourceful muralists, Faith XLVII, explores human experiences, interconnectedness, and the affinity to nature in a creative approach. She captures metaphors, fragility with an intent to provoke universal love.

A disciple of enlightenment, philosophy, and activism, Faith XLVII shares her visual stories through different media such as printmaking, projection mapping, video installation, drawings on streets, and galleries.

Read my interview with Faith XLVII:

Jupilings: What motivates you to create-

FAITH XLVII: Just being alive is motivation enough. The constant flux and challenges of life and perception.

.Courtesy of Faith XLVII
Courtesy of Faith XLVII

Jupilings: Pragmatism and flexibility are an effective response to global challenges still your art is a protest against them- 

FAITH XLVII: Firstly, I don’t think you’re correct in saying that my work is a protest against Pragmatism and Flexibility. I walk the line between reality and the unseen. I believe the two are interrelated.  So awakening to the mystical and the fantastic can also open one to real-world possibilities.  Working on our inner understanding, helps us to be able to understand and make sense of the outer realities.  Global challenges are very overwhelming for the individual to take on, but when you understand that they are a product of our collective mindsets, then that brings the conclusion that working on the individual helps with the consciousness of the whole.  I don’t draw lines between spiritual/personal/ political perspectives. You cannot separate one from the other.

Courtesy of faith47 - lay your weapons down, 1 NYC 2015
Courtesy of faith47 – lay your weapons down, 1 NYC 2015

Jupilings: What does spirituality mean to you-

FAITH XLVII: The constant practice and perseverance in living a conscious, self-aware life.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - 315 BC - 307 BC Detroit 2016
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – 315 BC – 307 BC Detroit 2016

Jupilings: What is your perspective in life- 

FAITH XLVII: My perspective is still a work in progress.  I do agree with the Wiccan Rede:

‘Do as thy will and harm none.’

I also feel that nature contains all the solutions to the problems we are facing personally, politically and ecologically, and that we should meditate on this.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto4 - "The health (welfare, good, salvation, felicity) of the people should be the supreme law".
Courtesy of Faith XLVII Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto4 – “The health (welfare, good, salvation, felicity) of the people should be the supreme law”.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?

FAITH XLVII: Woman empowerment, like Black empowerment, or any kind of civil rights movement, is the attempt to balance the scales after decades of oppression due to monotheistic white male power structures.  Essentially these movements attempt to move us towards a more EQUAL society where all demographics can have a say in how we are progressing as a species.  We must insist on the dignity of all human beings! I also add animals and the planet to that statement.

Courtesy of FaithXLVII - 580 BC - 265 BC Athens
Courtesy of FaithXLVII – 580 BC – 265 BC Athens

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:

FAITH XLVII: I realise my own insignificance in the scheme of things. Fragility is something we are told to be ashamed of and fight through. But I find some strength therein. We are all impermanent, and our lives fleeting. By accepting the very notion of your own short existence, we can gain perspective. Working from that space allows for a certain amount of freedom and realism.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - Astronomia Nova Sweden
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – Astronomia Nova Sweden

Jupilings: Best piece of advice you have been given-

FAITH XLVII: “If the world appears to be filled with suffering, it is, nevertheless, radiating pure wisdom.”  – Rudolf Steiner.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - ENCHANTED WORLD
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – ENCHANTED WORLD

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor: 

FAITH XLVII: Princess Mononoke and/or Spirited Away

Jupilings: What is your life motto?

FAITH XLVII: Focus on the Breath

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - THE UNBOUND
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – THE UNBOUND