Author: Anahita in Love

On the Waves of Thoughts

More than 14 million books Published over a period of 125 years (1855 – 2019) In 3 languages (English, German, Spanish) Add machine learning and algorithms that tirelessly seek and identify textual markers of “cognitive distortions” — thinking patterns associated with anxiety and depression — for researchers to analyze. And? They analyzed. And? The interdisciplinary team of researchers found that the language records show a surge of cognitive distortions since the 1980s. Suggesting? In fact, entire societies may be getting more depressed — and this may correlate with new technologies and “social” media. Aha. Before you say, “I knew it; I just had a feeling” — just consider if that may indicate a cognitive distortion… Find information on the cognitive distortion schemata used in the study here, and below a brief overview: 12 Cognitive Distortions 1. Catastrophizing Exaggerating the importance of negative events Examples: “will go wrong” and “will never end” 2. Dichotomous Reasoning Thinking that an inherently continuous situation can only fall into two categories Examples: “everything” and “nothing” 3. Disqualifying the Positive Unreasonably …

In the Margins – Poem #3

| In the Margins – Poem #3 – From the pages of Mary Windermere’s Book of Healing Plants (unpublished). -M.J. Heinrich | Ginger is healing… The feeling of heat Heart aligned coherently To respect those we meet. There is danger in rage: From exclusion and lies, The gatekeeper and cage; Incoherent petty hate, And the “Just wait…” Weight. Wait — weight? Till beauty and strength fade? Till that original voice is erased? Yet there is danger in the rage. Who guides you, to free you- From those who clutch and fake you? Now this is the hour of the Sage. | Feature photo by Klaudia Ekert |

Kneipp*

Water always finds a way Have you ever wondered at how certain books seem to choose you, sliding into your life just when there is a specific longing and space for them, binding with threads of your destiny from the moment you choose them, too?  That’s how the young Sebastian Kneipp must have felt that evening when he returned from the library in Munich. It was at the end of the 1840s and he was trying to get through his university studies while suffering from a lung disease he couldn’t shake off. From a poor family, he had to rely on knowledge flowing to him from various, perhaps unexpected sources. Knowledge discovered. Knowledge earned by intellectual curiosity. And so one day in the library (was he trying to suppress his coughs in the studied silence of the reading room? Did he wander off into the stacks where nobody was, where he could cough into a handkerchief and not bother anybody?) he found a book by one Dr. Johann Siegmund Hahn — written a hundred years …

Advance

As beginners in a yoga practice, we may find ourselves with instructors and practitioners who show us their advanced asana (physical poses), with little or no explanation about the gradual process of achieving the asana. It is impressive when we perceive someone as spontaneously capable of a pose that seems so daunting. Perhaps an instructor goes into Mayurasana (the peacock pose). Or a student practicing near us shows how they can do the Astavakrasana (the eight angle pose). Meanwhile, we’re still trying to stand straight and balance in Vrkasana (the tree pose). The key in those moments as a beginner is to remember that these are only the finished poses. The real objective is inner alignment for enlightenment — through movement and personal development.  So as we concentrate on straightening our posture, feeling rooted in the earth, reaching towards the sky, and experiencing balance in Vrkasana – and if we are able to do this (even slightly) better than in the practice session before — therein lies the value. The achievement is not the advanced asana; it is to …

Architectural Quality and Culture: Practically Perfect

Is a utopia the opposite of a dystopia? Dystopia refers to “an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic.” (New Oxford American Dictionary). Utopia calls to mind an ideal place – with all the desirable qualities for a wholesome human society.  Sir Thomas More introduced the term in his 1516 novel Utopia, about a fictional island society. And while that society was located in the south Atlantic Ocean, the word utopia translates from the Greek into English as “no-place”.  So actually, a “utopia” is, in its very code, a promise of perfection with an underlying belief that such a place cannot exist in the real world. Dystopia often calls to mind George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. But since that novel was published in 1949, dystopian science fiction stories and films have inundated the mainstream. Think of the stories that can be described as “utopian” – how many can you call to mind? Of course, an emphasis on dystopian patterns must have shaped the way that generations of people in western societies have consciously and unconsciously perceived …

Social Light

| Photo by Vlad Chețan | There is an idea that responsibility is the inseparable result of power, known most recently as the Peter Parker principle: “With great power comes great responsibility”. If we consider “freedom” in this equation, it also holds: “With great freedom comes great responsibility.”  And yet, it seems that as many achieve greater freedoms relative to most others in this world, they are paradoxically trapped in a state of mind which shirks responsibility and chases endlessly after ego-gratification. Instead of being social lights, illuminating the best in others, they become self-absorbed socialites, which is to the soul as artificial sweeteners are to the body. So your assignment, dear reader, is to define what freedom means for you, then list the freedoms that you recognize in your life and consider how you can be a social light now – and what is furthermore possible, as your freedom expands. And remember, when you do contribute in this way to the world, it’s good to do so as anonymously as possible. Allow people to wonder where …

The Map and the Territory

| Photo by Darren Tiumalu | We are in an era of extremes and with the increasing frequency and intensity of technological advances, natural disasters, and pandemics — and the global impact of conflicts — it feels as if we are all being turned into endurance athletes, with all the exigencies, whether or not we want to be. Meanwhile few have the requisite training, skillset or mindset.  Much of the status quo is either violently crumbling or quietly melting away — revealing altered environmental and mental landscapes. These rapid changes can tap into aggressive reactions in many who have grown used to zero-sum competition. This is reflected in and adds to the challenges. | Photo by Pixabay | Not only is the map not the territory that is mapped, but we are often holding onto and paying attention to old maps and paradigms while navigating new territory. Sometimes they still correlate but when they do not, it can be more challenging than not having a map at all. And not only are the old maps …