"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark. In effect, the people who change our lives the most begin to sing to us while we are still in darkness. If we listen to their song, we will see the dawning of a new part of ourselves."
Existential Intelligence is the sensitivity and capacity to engage questions about human existence – how we got here, whether we have a purpose, and whether there is meaning in Life. Existential intelligence embraces the exploration of aesthetics, philosophy, religion and values like beauty, truth, and goodness. A strong existential intelligence allows human beings to see their place in the big picture, be it in the classroom, community, world, or universe.
First proposed by Howard Gardner, existential intelligence is one of nine theorized intelligences and is considered to be amoral – that is, it and the other eight categories of human intelligence can be used either constructively or destructively.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
And guess what? The creative acts firing up your hands and unleashing your imagination are actually having a positive effect on your physical body. Chemically. No kidding.
I’ve been listening, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, to Christiane Northrup, in a presentation called Inside-Out Wellness. Dr. Northrup is famous for her research into women’s body and mind issues. It’s no surprise that she’s writing about menopause now, because that’s the stage of Life she is experiencing herself. But what she has to say is relevant to any woman at any age, and what she has to say about nitric oxide is relevant to everyone, male or female.
Nitric oxide is produced in the body naturally, and released in abundance in our nervous system as well as all of our organs when we engage in sensual and sexual pleasures. Don’t confuse nitric oxide with nitrous oxide – that’s laughing gas, and while this new research might make you happy, it’s nothing to laugh at.
Doris Ogden, Ph.D. works with Dr. Northrup, and wrote, “ Her latest book offers astounding new information about nitric oxide, the Wow! molecule that continually resets our ability to connect body, mind, heart, and spirit. To activate this, we don’t need a pill or a patch, but we do need to care for ourselves. Dr. Northrup prescribes plenty of sleep, exercise, life-giving foods, letting go of resentment, and opening up to affirmation and love.”
And based on what she’s written, an hour you spend knitting or gardening, or painting or indulging yourself in making – in whatever form pleases you – is raising the level of nitric oxide in your body. It’s akin to the runner’s high we’ve heard so much about. The activity itself contributes to well being in a way that can be documented.
It’s a struggle to find balance in our lives. We take on too many projects, we care for the people around us, Life throws curveballs we haven’t anticipated. In the course of care taking and plain old living we often lose track of ourselves. Listening to Dr. Northrup’s inspiring encouragement to make and do the things that bring pleasure – for the sake of good health - reminded me of this Wiccan passage, which is relevant no matter what your spiritual path:
“All of our activities should be influenced by the pleasure,
not the pain, principle. We have not come into the world to suffer,
or to inflict suffering.
Every day do something that is good only for you. Selfish?
No. Self possessed.
Balance it out by doing something equally good
for the benefit of all...
This will depend on your opportunities.
Only you will know what you can do.
If you are an artist use your power to be original-
to try to heal the wounds you see around you.
Everything we do needs passion to be done well.
Passion is precious. It indicates good mental health.
Use it as an important energy source all day.”
Take care of yourself. Indulge in a bit of creative making today.