Struck With (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 209)

What I hear from trauma survivors, what I’m always struck with, is how upsetting it is when other people don’t help them or don’t acknowledge the reality of their situation or respond very poorly to the suffering, needs, and distress of all of those involved. I’m very struck by that.

And I’m very struck by how many Holocaust survivors got through because there was one person that focused on their survival or because they focused on another’s.

So, I believe that how we behave towards one another individually and in society can make a very big difference in the effects of environmental events (trauma, tragedy, disaster) on our molecular biology (expression of PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc.). It becomes very interesting when you think about it that way, but I believe it’s true.

Rachel Yehuda
Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Transcript excerpt from On Being recorded 2015

Work Life Imbalance, Balance and Bullshit (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 208)

It started off as a good idea where people would say “you must have work life balance.” Work life balance is certainly better than work life imbalance, but I think that the concept is basically mindless, and the reason for that is that we have these categories; work. . , life. . , and we have brains, and brawn, and so on, all of the different distinctions that we (feel we must) make. . .we make them mindfully and then start to use them mindlessly, forgetting that when we are at work, we are people, we have the same needs we had when we were on vacation, that when we’re talking to people, the people we’re talking to also have the same needs and so on. The idea, I think needs to be, to replace work life balance which treats these categories as independent, with work life integration. And you should get to the point where you’re treating yourself, whether you’re at at work or at play, in basically the same way.

Ellen Jane Langer          2014

Ellen Jane Langer is a professor of psychology at Harvard University, having in 1981 become the first woman ever to be tenured in psychology at Harvard. Langer studies the illusion of control, decision-making, aging, and mindfulness theory.

Leadership and Fostering the Wellbeing of a Pack (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 207)

This is beyond excellent. He defines what it means to be a genuine leader, discusses the hormones of motivation, harmony, and addiction which effect us all, and explains how our jobs in our current day society are killing most of us and our children. You need to watch this.

The Town of Roseto (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 152)

In the early 1960s, a physician named Stewart Wolf heard about a town of Italian immigrants and their descendants in northeast Pennsylvania where heart disease was practically unknown. Wolf decided to take a closer look at the town, Roseto. He found that almost no one under the age of fifty-five showed symptoms of heart disease. Men over sixty-five suffered about half the number of heart problems expected of average Americans. The overall death rate in Roseto was about one-third below the national averages.

After concluding research that carefully excluded factors such as exercise, diet, and regional variables like pollution levels, Wolf and sociologist John Bruhn concluded that the major factor keeping folks in Roseto healthier longer was the nature of the community itself. They noted that most households held three generations, that older folks commanded great respect, and that the community disdained any display of wealth, showing a “fear of ostentation derived from an ancient belief among Italian villagers relating to maloccio (the evil eye). Children,” Wolf wrote, “were taught that any display of wealth or superiority over a neighbor would bring bad luck.”

Noting that Roseto’s egalitarian social bonds were already breaking down in the mid-1960s, Wolf and Bruhn predicted that within a generation, the town’s mortality rates would start to shift upward. In follow-up studies they conducted 25 years later, they reported, “The most striking social change was a widespread rejection of a long standing taboo against ostentation,” and that “sharing, once typical of Roseto, had given way to competition.” Rates of both heart disease and stroke had doubled in a generation.

Among foragers, where property is shared , poverty tends to be a non-issue. In his classic book Stone Age Economics, anthropologist Marshall Sahlins explains that “the world’s most primative people have few possessions, but they are not poor. Poverty is not a certain small amount of goods, nor is it just a relation between means and ends; above all it is a relation between people. Poverty is a social status. As such it is the invention of civilization.” Socrates made the same point 2,400 years ago: “He is richest who is content with least, for contentment is the wealth of nature.”

Sex at Dawn

Ryan and Jethá          2010