Consciousness Isn’t a Mystery. It’s Matter. – The New York Times

“If you gotta ask, you ain’t never going to know.” — Louis Armstrong, on what jazz is… The Stone explains what consciousness is:   Consciousness, rather than being our biggest mystery, is “the most familiar thing there is, whether it’s experience of emotion, pain, understanding what someone is saying, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting or feeling. It …

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Why You Don’t Know Your Own Mind – The New York Times

Why You Don’t Know Your Own Mind – The New York Times It’s not our skills of introspection that brought humanity to this point in our evolutionary journey, it’s our skills of empathy and insight into what others are thinking. We’re actually naturally about as bad at understanding our own minds as we are at mind …

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In Defense of Villainesses | Tor.com

Next up in untangling the complex web of unfavorable cultural views of women… In Defense of Villainesses | Tor.com “She runs a business. She makes a thousand decisions every day and she never feels the need to justify any of them with a shrug or an ‘I don’t know, I just thought maybe we could…?’ …

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True Talk with Cyndi Lauper

Source: Cyndi Lauper is Having Fun Singing Country – AARP There are two kinds of people in the world: those who sit at the table and those who sit at the bar. We table sitters value comfort, privacy, predictability. Bar sitters happily sacrifice those things for the chance encounters, the unpredictability, the fun. Can you …

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On Finding Your Purpose: An Extraordinary Letter by Hunter S. Thompson (via Tranquil Monkey)

My friend came across this letter from Hunter S. Thompson on Tranquil Monkey and sent it along to a group of us gals who talk about our goals and purpose in life.

Yes, goals groups are a thing, and they’re great. Get together with some friends every few weeks and talk about your goals. Seriously.

Anyway, here we have a not-yet famous Hunter S. Thompson writing a letter on the meaning of life to a friend. Man, I can’t remember the last time a friend sent me a letter, and I’m pretty sure it didn’t contain the meaning of life, or any Shakespeare quotes.

Whew, it’s good stuff. As these things often happen, my friend sent this just as I was debating something along the same lines, whether to float with the tide, or swim for a goal.

When you’re freelancing and building your own business, it’s inevitable that something will come your way wanting to take you out of the water. And swimming is hard, so you contemplate it. It’d be so much easier to just take a regular job, you think. Give up the dream for a paycheck and benefits like most everyone else does.

But I think what Hunter S. Thompson is trying to tell his friend, more or less, that when presented with two choices (or eight), you either know if one is right for you, or if neither feels right, and you’re feeling stuck enough to ask for advice, you’ve gotta find a third (or ninth) way. You gotta stay true to you and keep going for the life you want.

Something like that, right?

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Notes from a Shaman: Moving Negative Energy and Why the World Is in Upheaval

My friend sent me this article from Goop.com — yeah, the Gwyneth Paltrow site is still around, and yeah, she’s still using that name — because she knows I love all things shaman.

Shaman Durek
Shaman Durek

Notes from a Shaman: Moving Negative Energy and Why the World is in Upheaval

“When you react to negativity, you send a signal imprint to both yourself and the universe that this experience of negative energy has value to you. Obviously, it does, why wouldn’t you react? If we spend more time reacting to the joyful, beautiful, and pleasurable things in life, it shows the value of those things and we create more of them.”

Read the entire Q&A, it’s fantastic. Nice work, Goop!

What do you think? Let’s chat about this stuff in the Pathless free private community, a place for inspiration, resources, conversations, and tools to help us all figure out how to live a more meaningful life. Join here!

Pema Chödrön: Life Is Glorious, and Wretched.

I absolutely adore this quote by Pema Chödrön, especially the part about grief. It’s so true, when we’re in pain, we’re able to do things we wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

I’m pretty sure either Beavis or Butthead said something similar, something like “You have to have stuff that sucks to have stuff that’s cool.” Pema is just as bad-ass, and a lot more eloquent:

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest…

Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both.

Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction.

On the other hand, wretchedness—life’s painful aspect—softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose—you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple.

Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”

— Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödrön