The bamboo pole is mental discipline such as speaking an affirmation of truth, repeating a mantra (a word we focus on and say in our minds over and over again), or simply giving single-pointed and undistracted attention to a task in hand. It's quite possible that unless we've reflected on our agreements, we don't know they exist. And even if we do, we may not spend much time looking at the differences between ones we think we have with, say, our partners, and the ones we actually exhibit. If we gain awareness of our most deep-seated agreements and halt their worst manifestations, our world will change. Your primary task then is to understand your existing agreements and renovate their expressions. This psychological self-defense, like other dynamic systems, operates according to the principle of homeostasis, a tendency to return to the average state of expectable functioning, or regress to the mean. 16 The mean for the Clot is when their hostile reactions to the world are justified by the perceived hostility of others. Once a mean is established, no matter how stifling or destructive, it's difficult to break. The point of this article is to assess what fuels your Clottery. A wonderful quote from Alcoholics Anonymous addresses this sense that, though our anger feels justified, we've wrongly ignored how we trigger aggression in the world: Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. I often made the mistake of starting in the middle of engaging an issue, well-intentioned but dumb as a sack of diapers. can convince us to skip the pesky steps of listening, learning, and processing. Since I burn pretty hot, I get why outrage or sorrow can shoot us out of the starting blocks without warming up. We see something wrong and want to help make it right. This instinct is noble, literally how we were created to thrive. We are wired to care about what other people want and need. As socially influenced individuals, sharing the values and concerns of our neighbors creates social harmony. Embedded in our psyches is the sense that, when our neighbors are suffering, the whole community is at risk. We instinctively know what we should all be experiencing: justice, equality, safety, agency, belonging, and we are highly tuned to these goals for each other.

It is why injustice cuts most of us so deeply. Like generations of scientists before them, they turned to soil for its infinite reservoir of microbes. They collected soil samples from a number of different locations around the United States and isolated the bacteria within them in hopes of finding material from which they could create useful biofuels. The first decade of the 2000s was full of uncertainty about global oil and gas markets, and biologists, chemists, and chemical engineers were actively trying to find alternative fuel sources, including biofuel from organic matter and microbes such as bacteria. The traditional barriers between science were also starting to disappear, with new interdisciplinary methods being adopted and implemented across academic institutions. To culture the bacteria, Dantas and his colleagues tested various plant-based compounds for their potential as bacterial food sources, which in turn could be converted into biofuels. In their control experiments they included antibiotics at concentrations that were far beyond toxic. In fact, the levels of antibiotics were many times higher than the maximum doses we give to people with major bacterial infections. Dantas was certain that any bacteria in these control experiments would be eradicated. But something different occurred. Dantas and his peers were shocked to find that the antibiotics didn't kill the bacteria: instead, some of the bacteria actually gobbled them up. Those who have limited capacities or supplies in the first place, of course, are at higher risk of encountering this problem than others. From this and other work, it is possible to conclude at least three things about self- regulation or control: It is important for well- being, some people are better at it than others, and even those who are good at self- regulation are still vulnerable to lapses. Sometimes I think it is possible to discern when that happens, such as when one becomes physically fatigued while driving and attention suddenly diminishes or when one becomes emotionally drained and then stresses out in one way or another. This research also has important implications for everyday life. For instance, the fact that we all have a limited supply of self- control regardless of our natural abilities means that learning how to manage it more effectively makes good sense for everyone, not just those who have problems in this area. Some factors that affect self- regulation are easy to see and are well within one's reach, such as good lifestyle habits including healthy diets, regular exercise, adequate rest, and so on. Now modern psychology adds to this knowledge by presenting us with some possibilities concerning self- regulation that are important for increasing well- being as well as authentic self- esteem.

One of the most exciting advances concerns key motivational differences between what are called approach goals and avoidance goals. The point of the story is that the active mind must be kept fully occupied all the time; otherwise, it will immediately begin to weave a web of trouble and havoc. Once the mind is sufficiently disciplined through proper practice, it surrenders and will be still and quiet; waiting patiently and ready to complete any task given to it. A disciplined mind is a truly amazing instrument--efficient, capable and willing to serve. The story illustrates the essential need for regular and frequent simple daily practice. Sanskrit can turn up anywhere. You can find it in a articleshop, on TV or you can find it when ordering some tea. A few years ago, my husband and I were in Kansas City, and we went into a cafe for tea. A young woman behind the counter took our order. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt. 17 This quote homes in on how we convince ourselves it's me against the world. When we cannot see our part in a problem, naturally we feel under attack. Brad and Joe run a small publishing company. They were good friends before they became business partners, and things went well for the first few years. Then Brad's wife became pregnant, and he has struggled to manage the stress. Put the money into that account, Brad told Joe in a voicemail. The order sounded like a bark through Joe's cell phone.

It was 1:00 p. In a recent study at Princeton, researchers found when mothers looked at pictures of their babies, the same region in their brains lit up as when they imagined harm being done to others. Their own children and victims of violence--two very different subjects, yet united by a similar neurological reaction. This suggests that compassion isn't just a fickle emotion but an innate response embedded in our brains. In short: we are designed to mother each other through pain. In similar research out of Emory University, participants were given the chance to help someone while their brain activity was recorded. Helping others triggered portions of the brain that also turn on when people receive rewards or experience pleasure. This is remarkable: helping others brings the same exact pleasure as personal gratification. Not only do our brains reward us for compassionate behavior, the rest of our body does too. For example, when we feel threatened, our automatic nervous system (ANS) kicks in, and our heart and breathing rates usually increase, preparing us for the fight or flight response. What is the ANS profile of compassion? It was bizarre. These bacteria were not only surviving--but thriving--on these antibiotics. Dantas couldn't believe what he was seeing. How did these bacteria engage with their environment, and how did that environment influence their behavior? As Dantas was sorting this out, the scientific community's interest in the human microbiome was skyrocketing. It encouraged Dantas to ask new questions: Could the overall relationship between bacteria and the environment be playing out in the human gut as well? Dantas was hooked on bacterial behavior and, more important, on microbial genomics. By 2009, as Dantas started his own lab at Washington University in St. Louis, he focused his interests on the microbiome.

He attended a conference where he met Rob Knight, then a professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who was known for his sophisticated computational studies of microbes and their genomes. Approach goals involve identifying what one desires, looks forward to, and wishes to strive toward because it is in some way attractive. The process of setting and reaching such goals is well understood. Typically, it involves steadily reducing the distance between where one happens to be in relation to the goal at any given time and then taking one more reasonable step in the appropriate direction whenever possible. Reaching a goal this way has been repeatedly shown to offer several advantages (Harkin et al. , 2016), such as only requiring us to focus on the next rung of the ladder, not the entire climb. In other words, setting approach goals allows one to focus his or her neurological, emotional, and behavioral energies on just getting the next step done. Working toward a goal in this fashion is also beneficial because it allows people to see what works and what does not, which is useful in making helpful course corrections. In addition, experiencing even small degrees of progress is beneficial because they provide positive reinforcement, which creates more motivation to keep moving in the same direction until the goal is reached. This process is the scientific truth behind such common- sense sayings as A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and Inch by inch, it's a cinch. I noticed some Sanskrit words tattooed up her arm. The devanagari lettering was beautifully done. We commented upon the tattoo, which was one of the great sayings of Indian wisdom, Thou Art That ? ? ? ? ? ? ?