Underbelly: 10 Things - Wilderness

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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#88 in a series of wild and precious things to help you out of the wilderness.

  1. TWIL (This Week I Learned)
This week I learned about the wilderness. The idea, I suppose, of the wilderness of “non-conformity” as if it’s a thing to strive for and not a temporary situation we sometimes find ourselves in as we work through something, as we struggle to either change ourselves, change our environment, or find a new environment.
The vignettes that shaped me this week included learning about a couple instances of people behaving badly and finding out, as happens sometimes, that instead of learning a lesson from the consequences of their behaviour, they were rewarded. It happens sometimes, folks.
And then I did (and will continue to do) a few silly videos on Instagram in order to be included in a group <= Yes! I am writing that as if it were an initiation into a secret club. I am not making this up — I am relying on what I know about social media and our attention spans in relation to such to propel me to continue :) I am making a series of five “Reels” that should copy the style of this “secret group” (actually not a secret group but a lovely young therapist from Brooklyn who is dedicated to helping other, more awkward therapists/coaches excel at Instagram) The challenge for me is not only the silliness of it but also realizing how I want to show up publicly — what is my message, actually?
And it has propelled me into the wilderness of sorts. Being in the wilderness ought to be a temporary and necessary struggle we find ourselves in sometimes, where we feel alone, and like we don’t belong. We make our way out by adapting: we change ourselves, we change our environment, or we leave and find a new environment.
2. Quote
“Our work on adaptive intelligence is based on the notion that intelligence is and always has been primarily about adaptation to the environment, broadly defined.  To persist in a notion of intelligence that has proven worse than useless in solving, much less even addressing, societal problems is negligent. It is an ostrich-like act of scientists sticking their heads in the sand. We currently have three projects on measuring adaptive intelligence.  These projects involve presenting students with real-world problems and asking them to define the problems, figure out ways of addressing these problems, and proposing possible solutions.”
3. Prompt
We don’t stay in the Wilderness. We struggle, learn a bit about ourselves, and return to community. We adapt to community, the community adapts to us a bit.
I may be wrong — I may be projecting a bit and if so, please excuse me. But it feels a bit like the current zeitgeist is a bit wild, a bit wilderness-y.
I agree with Robert Sternberg that intelligence “has been primarily about adaptation to the environment, broadly defined.”
So — If you find yourself in a wilderness, this prompt is for you:
  1. Who do you believe you authentically are – your core virtues and values (Check this resource out if you want to learn more about your core virtues, values, and character)
  2. How do you need to behave in order to become self-actualized and prized as a contributing family and community member
4. Quest
So — and this is why wilderness time, though temporary, dangerous, and uncomfortable, is important. Returning to a still dysfunctional community where you show up (if you so choose) self-actualized, prized, and contributing…is challenging.
Obviously, if we all did our work, we would suddenly find ourselves in a functional community, and I think it’s no secret that this is my dream. But it does start with us.
So — How will you show up this week? Implement one small change to allow yourself to show up in a dysfunctional community self-actualized, prized, and contributing.
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
If anyone is interested in getting together for (fun, lighthearted, but deep) evenings where we practice wholehearted conversation, let me know. I got the idea to use The Book of Questions to host small occasions to converse as I used to do with my kids when they were younger. Message me if this sounds at all interesting and I will further explain and keep you informed :)
6. Video
Watch How Caffeine Has Fueled History | Currents | WIRED
7. Podcast
8. Poem:
9. Hero - I am learning more about Esther Perl…seems quite heroic :)
10. Share/Connect/Action :)
  1. Give me a thumb’s up if you enjoyed any of this.
  2. Share this with a friend.
  3. Subscribe if you haven’t.
  4. Click through on #7 above and subscribe to my podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.
  5. Have a great week and see you next Monday!
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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Nelson, British Columbia