One is All. All is One.


You can call me J.
I'm a dreamer and a storyteller.
Life fascinates me.

I'm unusual, and my life is more than a little strange, but despite all my old shadows I have a good heart. We all do.
I try to live and love as completely as I can.

I'm not the most updated page here, and I'm never the most popular, but I'll do what I can to inspire those who stop by.

I hope you find something to remember here.

♥ नमस्ते ♥


And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.
- John Steinbeck, East of Eden (via purplebuddhaproject)
1 hour ago on October 20th, 2014 | J | 1,211 notes
Tagged as: #favorite 

dirtyflowerchild:

It is not our minds, not our brains or our words that we use to speak to one another. It is our hearts that are constantly connected, sending vibrations out to all other hearts. They speak very loudly if you can listen with your heart as well.

5 hours ago on October 20th, 2014 | J | 28 notes
There’s something within you that knows what to do. There is a power greater than you that knows how to take care of you without your help. All you’ve got to do is to surrender to it. Surrender your thoughts, your mind, your ego, to the current that knows the way. It will take care of you. It will take better care of you than you can ever imagine.
- Robert Adams (via in-a-wonderland-they-lie)
9 hours ago on October 20th, 2014 | J | 999 notes
queer-surfer:

Oh my god guys, I am actually doing this. I can’t believe it. Please, please, please signal boost the shit outta this. I have been homeless on the streets and couch-surfing for the past 4 years, since I was 18yrs old and my parents choose religion over their child. This is my fucking ticket to freedom, something I have been dreaming of since the first time I attempted to run away from the abuse.
I have poured every last ounce of hope I’ve got left in my reserves for this. I haven’t looked forward to something more than a month in the future in years. I never envisioned myself living past 25, but my god in this moment I hope I can live past 50. I just… fuck. I’m so excited. :3

queer-surfer:

Oh my god guys, I am actually doing this. I can’t believe it. Please, please, please signal boost the shit outta this. I have been homeless on the streets and couch-surfing for the past 4 years, since I was 18yrs old and my parents choose religion over their child. This is my fucking ticket to freedom, something I have been dreaming of since the first time I attempted to run away from the abuse.

I have poured every last ounce of hope I’ve got left in my reserves for this. I haven’t looked forward to something more than a month in the future in years. I never envisioned myself living past 25, but my god in this moment I hope I can live past 50. I just… fuck. I’m so excited. :3

14 hours ago on October 19th, 2014 | J | 11,250 notes
Tagged as: #signal boost 
Looking at the stars and wishing that we could be there, due to the false belief that we can find our truth out there is pointless. If we cannot find our truth here and now where we are, we will never find it anywhere. But when we do, we would then see, that we are the stars.
15 hours ago on October 19th, 2014 | J | 1 note
In general, I think we need to move away from the premise that being a good person is a fixed immutable characteristic and shift towards seeing being good as a practice. And it is a practice that we carry out by engaging with our imperfections. We need to shift towards thinking that being a good person is like being a clean person. Being a clean person is something you maintain and work on every day.We don’t assume ‘I am a clean person therefore I don’t need to brush my teeth.’ When someone suggests to us that we have something stuck in our teeth we don’t say to them ‘What do you mean I have something stuck in my teeth—but I’m a clean person?!’
-

Jay Smooth in his TED speech “how I learned to stop worrying and love discussing race” (via tropicanastasia)

Jay Smooth almost always a reblog

(via unrational)

Dude nailed it. We all need to work at being good. Even if we think we are.

(via jasmined)

17 hours ago on October 19th, 2014 | J | 12,220 notes

lotusglitter:

"When we see everything in the world as perfect, it makes it impossible for us to experience loss, and loss is the only real motivator for change. If we don’t recognize that there’s a real and imminent threat of loss, or if we haven’t had a devastating experience of loss, we aren’t going to make the effort to change anything.
When we don’t see anything as bad, or problematic, we have no will to improve things, for ourselves or for others. When everything is “perfect,” the status quo is perfectly acceptable…”

19 hours ago on October 19th, 2014 | J | 1 note
The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
- Confucius (via purplebuddhaproject)
19 hours ago on October 19th, 2014 | J | 504 notes

Crop circles are organized harmonic forms that manifest around the world, the result of an energy interacting with the physical world – in this case plants. This energy is comprised of light, sound and magnetism. To date, crop circles have been reported in 29 countries, and have appeared in mediums such as wheat, barley, canola, trees, ice, rice paddies, even linseed.

Contrary to popular perception, crop circles are not a modern phenomenon. They are mentioned in academic texts of the late 17th Century, and over 200 cases have been reported prior to 1970…

19 hours ago on October 19th, 2014 | J | 0 notes
itscolossal:

A Multi-Camera 360° Panoramic Timelapse of the Stars by Vincent Brady [VIDEO]

itscolossal:

A Multi-Camera 360° Panoramic Timelapse of the Stars by Vincent Brady [VIDEO]

21 hours ago on October 19th, 2014 | J | 160,850 notes
[F]or just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. It’s here, and you’d better decide to enjoy it or you’re going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever.
- Lev Grossman, The Magicians (via feellng)
1 day ago on October 19th, 2014 | J | 1,094 notes
Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you’d like to act.
- ― Bob Dylan (via psych-quotes)
1 day ago on October 19th, 2014 | J | 3,551 notes
We must feel the feeling; as if the prayer has already been answered.
- Tibetan Proverb (via stardust-seedling)
1 day ago on October 19th, 2014 | J | 16 notes
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?
- Gautama Buddha (via cosmicmeditations)
1 day ago on October 18th, 2014 | J | 711 notes

Self-identity is entwined with the people you empathize with at a neural level.

A new study has confirmed that humankind’s capacity for love and friendship sets us apart from all other species. Researchers at University of Virginia have found that humans are hardwired to empathize with those close to them at a neural level.

Interestingly, the ability to put yourselves in another person’s shoes depends drastically on whether the person is a stranger or someone you know. The study titled “Familiarity Promotes the Blurring of Self and Other in the Neural Representation of Threat” appears in the August issue of the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

According to researchers, the human brain puts strangers in one bin and the people we know in another compartment. People in your social network literally become entwined with your sense of self at a neural level. “With familiarity, other people become part of ourselves,” said James Coan, a psychology professor in University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Sciences who used functional magnetic resonance imaging brain (fMRI) scans to find that people closely correlate people to whom they are attached to themselves.

Humans have evolved to have our self-identity become woven into a neural tapestry with our loved ones. James Coan said, “Our self comes to include the people we feel close to. This likely is because humans need to have friends and allies who they can side with and see as being the same as themselves. And as people spend more time together, they become more similar.”

To test this hypothesis, Coan and his colleagues conducted a study with 22 young adult participants who underwent fMRI scans of their brains during experiments to monitor brain activity while under threat of receiving mild electrical shocks to themselves versus a shock to a friend or a stranger.

The researchers found that regions of the brain responsible for threat response – the anterior insula, putamen and supramarginal gyrus – became active under threat of shock to the self and to the threat to a friend. However, when the threat of shock was to a stranger, these brain areas showed minimal activity. When the threat of shock was to a friend, the brain activity of the participant was basically identical to the activity displayed under threat to the self.

“The correlation between self and friend was remarkably similar,” Coan said. “The finding shows the brain’s remarkable capacity to model self to others; that people close to us become a part of ourselves, and that is not just metaphor or poetry, it’s very real. Literally we are under threat when a friend is under threat. But not so when a stranger is under threat.”

“It’s essentially a breakdown of self and other; our self comes to include the people we become close to,” Coan said. “If a friend is under threat, it becomes the same as if we ourselves are under threat. We can understand the pain or difficulty they may be going through in the same way we understand our own pain.”

Why do some people hurt the ones they love?

Have you ever had someone that you consider to be a close friend, ally or loved one turn on you and become cold or cruel? Usually the outbursts of anger and blind rage are short and episodic but they give a window into the underbelly of someone’s psyche. One’s implusive response is to detach and unravel this person from your neural tapestry. This is a natural response of self-protection at a neural level but isn’t always the best response.

A solution for breaking this pattern of behavior is to take a two-pronged approach of both bolstering self-love and taking the high road of remaining empathetic towards loved ones who are hateful by recognizing that mean-spirtedness is a manifestation of self-hate. For more on this please check out my Psychology Today blog “The Guts Enough Not to Fight Back.” As a caveat, this is in no way implying that you should stay in a seriously harmful or abusive relationship.

Patterns of behavior are often learned and repeated within families and passed on through generations. A promising aspect of this new study is that it offers clues on ways to break the cycle.

By not fighting back – but instead practicing loving-kindness – you can keep loved ones in your life and over time you will remain an integral part of one another’s neural tapestry. This will fortify both people’s sense of being worthy of love and belonging and make everyone feel safe and sound over the long run. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said famously, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Conclusion: Come in From the Cold

We need friends and family more than anything else. One of the most fascinating aspects of this study is the insight that someone being non-empathetic to a loved one is a reflection of lacking self-love. The realization that self-hate is neurobiologically at the root of a loved one being cruel makes it easy to feel sorry for them and empathize, instead of perpetuating a cycle of anger and disconnection.

One of my favorite Joni Mitchell lines is from a song called “Come in From the Cold.” In the song she says, “We get hurt and we just panic. And we strike out. Out of fear.” We all know the classic three-step cycle of: 1) Hurt 2) Panic 3) Lashing out because of fear.

When someone you love is mean to you, the knee-jerk reaction to the threat is to strike back in self-defense. Unfortunately, doing so perpetuates the vicious cycle of mistrust, anger, and loneliness. When the empathetic response is unplugged at a neural level on both sides disconnection occurs. This is tragic because human connection matters more than anything in our lives. Luckily, through loving-kindness meditation and compassion training you can break this cycle. Empathy can be learned and fortified with mindfulness training.

If you hate yourself on some level – and friends and loved ones are embedded into your sense of self at a neural level – it would make sense that your empathetic response would short-circuit and falter if you were filled with self-loathing.

But how do you build self-love? That’s a big question, I know. One way to start is to focus on the importance of fortifying your sense of being worthy of love and belonging. And to make lifestyle choices everyday that break the cycle of self-loathing by taking care of yourself through regular physical activity, eating foods that nourish your body, filling your mind with ideas that educate/enlighten, and practicing mindfulness and loving-kindness.

“A threat to ourselves is a threat to our resources,” he said. “Threats can take things away from us. But when we develop friendships, people we can trust and rely on who in essence become we, then our resources are expanded, we gain. Your goal becomes my goal. It’s a part of our survivability.” Coan concludes, “People need friends, like one hand needs another to clap.”

1 day ago on October 18th, 2014 | J | 1 note