Do you ever sit and ponder the nature of human behavior and just laugh? We are really curious creatures, aren’t we? It has been said that the natural tendency of living organisms is to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It sounds logical, but is it really true?

Sure, there are the kinds of pleasures that are circumstantial, stuff we can buy, experiences we can purchase, but we seem to deny ourselves true pleasure; the pleasure of being fully engaged in and as life itself. And for many, pain is a known quantity; it may be uncomfortable but at least it is familiar. I think many of us are in learned patterns of self-sacrifice, if not outright self-punishment. 2017 seems like a good time to break free of these kinds of learned patterns, wouldn’t you agree?

I can remember when I was in college I actually believed in the supremacy of the intellect. I had set aside anything that might be defined as a “mystical” childhood experience and in its place I adopted this idea that if I studied enough, expanded my intellect and was smart enough, I would somehow have all the answers. Furthermore, I believed that I could have my own “theory of everything” and that if I supported my positions with solid logic, that I would never be “wrong.”

In hindsight I can laugh at what a ridiculous concept that was! I now know that the ego has a strong desire to be right. And most of us operate on belief systems that are full of contradictions, inconsistencies and oxymorons. But it highlights how we humans can build an entire persona around a belief, or certain set of beliefs, without ever questioning the premise of those beliefs. Where did they come from? Are they operating in a way that is useful and supportive to the kind of life we imagine we would like to experience?

The arena of American politics has undergone some interesting changes, to say the least. Yet it represents one (very Juicy) topic that we can use for self-reflection; an impetus for looking at our underlying beliefs. Post-election, how many of us ended up doing or saying things that were not in alignment with the way we perceive ourselves? And can we become (or stay) expansive enough to recognize when we are not in integrity? Many have felt deeply moved by recent world events to let go of roles as self-described by-standers; that is to be applauded for sure. And what is essential in our new role as engaged citizens is to be sure and check our underlying, possibly outdated, untenable belief systems before we act.

We hope this issue’s articles are helpful in this all-important deep dive into looking at what makes us curious humans tick.

Read this Issue

In this issue:

  • Finding Our Soul at Standing Rock
  • In Harmony with Nature
  • Open to Love
  • Seed Keepers
  • Passionate Grief
  • Get Clear on Purpose

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