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Two Wolves

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

The Native American Cherokee legend of the two wolves is not new to me but it came up again in a book I am currently reading by Sharon Salzberg called the power of Meditation.

For those of you not familiar with this powerful story I will tell you.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me ," he said to the boy. " It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil, he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,

arrogance, self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego."

He continued , " The other is good-he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside of you-and inside every other person too."

The grandson thought for a minute and then asked his Grandfather , "which one will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied " The one you feed."

Sharon Salzberg goes on to elaborate " But that's only part of the picture. "True whatever gets our attention flourishes, so if we lavish attention on the negative and inconsequential , they can overwhelm the positive . But if we do the opposite , refusing to deal or acknowledge what's difficult and painful pretending it doesn't exist , then our world is out of whack. Whatever doesn't get our attention withers -or retreats below conscious awareness , where it may still affect our lives. In a perverse way , ignoring the painful and difficult is just another way of feeding the wolf."

As we are entering a time of so much change all around us these words have felt very important to me and this week I have had to sit and look at which wolf I have been feeding during my time in lock-down. During a difficult and stressful times ( and this one is unprecedented for us all )where do my thoughts go, which behaviors do I feed to feel safe and secure and how does that manifest and play-out in my life and with those around me? This has been hard work taking this time to really observe myself and my behavior using my yoga and meditation practice to support me in this and look at those difficult aspects I don't like to see. Fear, control, anger have all reared up this week to give me lessons and growth, I invite you to do the same gently and with compassion for yourself take a little look in the mirror and ask yourself which wolf am I feeding?

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