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“Mind Blowing” Personal Development Newsletter

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“Your new daily reader”

KEVIN HOOD

Natural Philosopher • Movement Zealot
Psychedelic Defender • Health Psychologist
Holistic Practitioner


“Wow, Kevin…
This just blew my mind!”
Travis
“This is amazing Kevin…
It’s like you’ve been hiding away in some monk-like cave!”
Adrienne
“I love these emails!”
Alan
“I just want to tell you how much these emails have inspired me.  I love them and I’m super excited that you’ve created this!”
Linda
Wow, Kevin… this is me.
I’ve broken that viscous cycle. Working on the next level!
Katherine

Perfectionism is insecurity in disguise

Perfectionism

Striving to do your best…
And striving to do the best…

Are both different from perfectionism.

Perfectionism gets in the way.

It prevents you from starting…
It drives you to distraction…
It makes excuses…
It’s accompanied by harsh inner criticism…

The manipulative child-rearing methods common in our industrial societies…

Designed to create obedient and conforming citizens…
To tame the inherently savage nature of humans…

Have led many of us down this path to varying degrees.

In much of our early education, many of us learned we could never do anything right.  Or, that life is a zero sum game, and if I have enough then there might not be enough left for you.  Or, that the only way to “man up” is to tear others down.

And these teachings lead to insecurity and doubt within the individual.

But among the Diné (or Navajo Tribes), who are prized for the excellent rug weaving abilities, it is important to intentionally weave imperfections along the borders of the rug.

These “spirit lines,” known as ch’ihónit’i

Allow the rug weavers’ spirit, as it intertwines with the work, to safely exit the rug when it is completed.

Until next tmie,
Kevin

Attention is like food for haters and trolls. Never feed them. Period.

The Apology

People only try to hurt other people when they themselves are hurting on the inside…

And with the exception of a few enlightened gurus throughout our history…
We’ve all probably been on both sides of that equation…

And the old saying goes like this:

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Interestingly…
Socrates, the most controversial man in all of Athens…
Was sentenced to death by poison for asking too many questions…

So his suffering ended shortly after accepting his fate.

But I imagine that many politicians, scholars, and members of the court thought long and hard about that guy for the rest of their lives.  And whether or not they were able to make peace within themselves for their decision to rub him out, I’ll leave to the scholars of ancient Greek philosophy.

But for Socrates, standing before the court in his own defense…
He did not weep and he did not beg for mercy…
He found that his sentence was truly fair…

For he believed it was far better to be outrun by death than to be overrun by wickedness.

Until next time,
Kevin

Move away from chronic pain, not towards it

“Just wait till you get older”

For as long as I can remember I’ve heard woeful tales of bodies getting older…

You can’t do the things you used to…

Everything starts to hurt…

And there’s nothing you can do about it!

True, bodies wear out…
They become a bit less resilient…
A bit less bouncy…

But even among my age group…
I don’t seem to have a comparable experience with aging.

At the height of my teenage years into early adulthood I was a couch potato.

Actually I was a computer geek to be more specific.

I was more interested in playing video games than spending time outside.

I had asthma and allergies.

I ate whatever and was often sick.

And as I head ever closer towards 40 I feel better now than I did back then.

Even though currently, I’m rehabbing a bit of a complicated knee injury…

It’s basically a series of different sports injuries that never got the attention they needed early on, and has developed a bit of an Achilles’ heel in my knee, which can ultimately lead to pain in other parts of my body.

Like my glutes, hamstrings, and calf will get bound up with a lot of tension trying to keep my knee safe from re-injury.

And just recently my neighbor warned me just how bad it’ll be as I get older, while in the same breath mentioning how surprised they were at how doing some yoga really helped.

This is important.

Because we either lock away entire parts of our body into the unconscious realm, ignoring injuries and sensations so we can continue on our merry way as if everything is normal…

Which tends to make things worse.

Or…

We stop moving altogether…

We shrink away from sensation and become more fearful of exploration.  Forever destined to spend our days making decisions based on avoiding pain.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…

With the right kind of movement and attention, we can move away from chronic pain instead of towards it.

For example,

If I walk a couple miles through my neighborhood in my barefoot shoes…
On the flat, repetitive concrete streets…

The leg I’m rehabbing starts to get a bit unhappy and my hips start to tighten up.

But yesterday…

I did 6 ½ miles barefoot in the woods…
Through hills and valleys…
Through uneven slopes, tree roots, and sand…

And the whole time I felt great…

No nagging pains…

No mysterious tightness…

I just felt good and well spent.

And this is what 1.6 billion years of evolution has to teach us about moving well into old age.

Until next time,
Kevin

Starved for beauty, the proverbial pile becomes intolerable

The task of bringing back beauty

In the digital age of ones and zeros…
On the dopamine trail of likes and follows…

We’re often oblivious to how much, as a society, we’re truly starved for beauty.

And in a world where people are quick to “call people on their shit”
And hesitant to “call people on their beauty”¹

It proverbially begins to pile up.

And among the Tz’utujil of Guatemala…

After months of treacherous preparation…
The young budding men of the tribe journey ceremoniously into the underworld…

Where they are tasked with bringing back beauty.

And when they return…

The bounty of still green fruit packed carefully in banana leaves are steamed for 3 days and 3 nights…

The finest, hand-picked, smoke-ripened cacao tucked away in their studded boxes…

Covered with mouse-ear orchids to honor the Goddess of Life and the flowering of the young man’s heart…

Each is examined and celebrated, one-by-one, as the results of their efforts are nothing short of a miracle to village elders’ eyes.²

Until next time,
Kevin Hood

¹ Thanks to Martin Shaw for the inspiration in Courting the Wild Twin.
² Thanks to Martin Prechtel for the wisdom in Long Life, Honey in the Heart.

Are your metaphors masking your potential?

Some metaphors fit better than others

We’re bodies, you and I…

And the way we make meaning of the world around that body is through metaphor.

And so it’s no surprise that we tend to refer to the body as a reference point.  It’s an experience that we all know too well, yet, as it turns out, is often very difficult to describe.

That’s why:

Ted is a stand-up guy…
And Sally puts one foot in front of the other…

But sometimes the metaphors we’re accustomed to can mask other potential aspects of our experience.

If an argument is a battle that must be won or lost…
Then your ideas will be attacked, and you must defend…

But if an argument is a dance…
Where our ideas can meld and become one as they move in the moment…

Then we might get a better understanding of some of the metaphors we live by.

It takes two to tango, as they say…

Until next time,
Kevin

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“Mind Blowing” Personal Development Newsletter

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