I had a fundraiser event this past weekend that I attended. I went into my closet and retrieved a black blazer for more outfit. I hadn’t worn this in a while and when I reached into the pocket, I found old movie tickets to a 2015 viewing of Tomorrowland with George Clooney. There was a strong underlying message of choice.
In the film, one of the main characters, a feisty, curious and optimistic young teen reminds her father, in a moment of his own pessimism, a lesson he had taught her. The lesson speaks to the Cherokee legend of the Two Wolves, which goes like this:
One evening, an elderly Cherokee Brave told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside of people.
He said “My son, the battle is between the two wolves inside us all. One wolf is anger, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, fear and superiority.”
“The other wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, creativity, serenity, kindness, humility, empathy, generosity, benevolence, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about what the old man just told him for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf wins, Grandfather?”
The old Cherokee simply replied “the one that you feed.”
The movie Tomorrowland, while playing on futuristic and exciting adventures, offers a deeper moral of the story that remains an archetypal theme for any generation: past, present or future. Choices. Our choice in how we think and feel depict our reality. In our lives, the more we feed anger, resentment and fear, the more we support just that. Wherever we give our attention, that energy expands. What can start as a small worry, can turn into a deeper fear or even mutate to an obsessive and consuming process of habitual catastrophic thinking.
The good news is that the same is true for practicing optimistic hopeful and joyful thoughts. The more we assimilate and feed the wolf of peace, kindness and love, the more those things show up in our lives through feelings, people, events and experiences.
“You’re picky about the car you drive. You’re picky about what you wear. You’re picky about what you put in your mouth. You need to be pickier about what you think and feel.” – Ester Hicks-Abraham.
So how do we keep our inner calm, our inner peace? Easier said than done, right? How is it we maintain balance during the hustle and bustle of everyday life?
I think we need to first figure out if we are prone to inner peace sabotage.
An article by Phil Watt of Wake-up world.com, notes several key points of areas we sabotage our alignment. Here are a few of my interpretations of some of his points, with a few more of my own.
Doom Conclusions: Negative thoughts that play out different scenarios that are low energy, fear based or doomful outcomes. If we create a negative outcome to a situation that hasn’t even happened, we sabotage our present peace and actually give the outcome energy to potentially manifest. I am not suggesting we don’t weight options with pros and cons, but just don’t forget the pros. Why not try to envision a positive alternate outcome that feels good in this moment?
Un-forgiveness towards others. This can feel worse than the hurt feeling we have already received and cause more negative thinking. Forgiveness is essential for self-care. It doesn’t mean forgetting, it means letting go of the low vibration forces that are holding you in victim mode.
Easily frustrated with small matters. Deep down this may indicate we are feeling hurt or discontent. Seek people, events, activities that assist you to feel contentment and joy but first do the inner work. Life is too short to be continually irritated at the small stuff.
Not present. Eckhart Tolle says too much unease, anxiety, stress and worry are all forms of fear caused by too much “future” thought. Guilt, regret, resentment, sadness, grievances, bitterness are all forms of non-forgiveness and caused by too much “past” thought. Stay present. Close your eyes. Connect to the present moment through deep breaths.
Negativity and Complaining: Complaining can be habit, attention getting and allow us to receive sympathy. But it also leaves us vibrationally feeling “yucky”. Focus instead on gratitude. Each time you catch yourself complaining counteract it with a statement or thought about something you are grateful for. Consciously bring awareness to how much you complain and set intention to rid of it from your everyday conversations.
Judging others. When we negatively judge others it’s usually through the comparison to ourselves. “I can’t believe they don’t’ act/think/do like I do”. We most likely don’t have all the information to make a holistic and fair judgment, so set the intention to be judgeless more!
Guilt Mongering. Let go of Guilt. When we hold on to ongoing and unresolved guilt over past it harbors a negative state of mind and provides a vehicle for emotional dysfunction to travel. Try to accept, embrace, understand and release. The past is the past. Let it stay there, while you focus on the now.
Chronically feeling offended. We all can feel sensitive from time to time. But if you feel habitually offended, even when you didn’t’ do anything wrong, isn’t it time to allow the responsibility to lay where it should? Let other people’s behavior be a reflection of them, not of you.
Blame is Lame. There is nothing quite as disempowering then blaming your life circumstances on others. Take control of your life. Be responsible for your actions and situations in your life. Make the choice to be empowered.
Choice is a power given to us all. In each moment we have a choice of what thought, feeling and action, we decide on.
What wolf are you going to feed to support your inner peace?
(Happy Healthy YOU is a wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga & meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast! If you would like to see an article on a specific topic, please email email@example.com).