Underbelly: 10 Things - Throughway

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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#114 in a series of wild and precious reminders that we need to go through it.

  1. TWIL (This Week I Learned)
This week I contemplated going through.
The children’s story “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” popped into my mind this week as a wonderfully lighthearted reminder that we do, indeed, need to go through it.
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
We can’t go around it…
We have to go through it :)
I also ran into a sober, fairly clickbaity reminder of this in an article called “Mindfulness meditation reduces prosocial reparative behaviors by buffering people against feelings of guilt” The author has a point, but I think it was said better by Michael Rosen (illustrated by Helen Oxenbury) in the children’s story.
2. Quote
“We’re going on a bear hunt. (x2)
We’re going to catch a big one. (x2)
I’m not scared. (x2)
Oh, look at those tall reeds!
They’re so tall!
We can’t go over it. (x2)
We can’t go under it. (x2)
We’ll have to go through it!
Swish, swish, swish, swish.” — Michael Rosen (Helen Oxenbury) We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
“Several studies have found that mindfulness meditation draws people’s focus inward and reduces negative emotions. But some negative emotions provide useful social feedback. For example, feelings of guilt help to push individuals to atone for their transgressions against others. The new study provides evidence that mindfulness can lead to undesirable outcomes by dampening feelings of guilt.” — Eric W. Dolan, Mindfulness meditation reduces prosocial reparative behaviors by buffering people against feelings of guilt
3. Prompt
Life is, in more ways than I am super comfortable with sometimes, a lot like that bear hunt.
In the article I keep mentioning :) the study author, Andrew C. Hafenbrack, an assistant professor at the University of Washington, says,
“I was interested in doing this research because, after I started studying meditation and meditating myself, I noticed that I was using it as almost a default way of reacting to stressors. This was great when I was overly ruminating or overreacting to some minor problem, and is a powerful sleep aid. Sometimes, however, this meant that I would meditate or focus on my breath in situations that there was actually a significant problem and it would have been better if I had faced it directly and immediately.”
We are, I think, constantly looking for ways to get around “going through”
We hide, we numb ourselves, we deflect, we “self care”, we sugar coat. Honestly, you name it and I have done it :)
I know I am not alone.
What is your favorite way to avoid negative emotions?
4. Quest
According to study author, Andrew C. Hafenbrack, an assistant professor at the University of Washington:
“One way to meditate with less of a risk of it making you treat others worse is to engage in loving kindness meditation, which we found led to higher levels of prosocial reparative behavior than focused breathing meditation,” Hafenbrack said. “Whereas focused breathing mindfulness meditation makes people focus on themselves (their own physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions) and in so doing makes people calm (by clearing out negative emotions), loving kindness meditation increases focus on other people and increases positive emotions such as love.”
Yup. Again. Something I recently learned is that this word “lovingkindness” is the King James Version translation (and some feel that best English translation) for the concept of Khsed, or God’s Love for us. So whether we say, “metta”, “lovingkindness”, or “khsed”
Let’s do this:
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
What a lovingkindness meditation can do is begin to remind you that you need lovingkindness, and so does your neighbour — including that neighbour who looks different, votes different, thinks different.
In earlier newsletters, I wrote out how to do a lovingkindness meditation but I honestly think that the way it is written at the Greater Good is the best I have seen.
6. Video
Kids storytime: We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Kids storytime: We're Going on a Bear Hunt
7. Podcast
A Conspiracy of Silence | Hidden Brain
8. Poem
9. Hero - Hidden Brain podcast adds an “unsung hero” to the end of each episode. This one caught my attention:
Walter Delgado's Story | Hidden Brain Media
10. Connect — Underbelly project consists of a series of Wild + Precious offerings including blog posts, a podcast, courses and this newsletter.
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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