5042778203_eba1884a46_zThere’s a native American legend that tells the story of an old man teaching his grandson about a battle that goes on inside everyone.  “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside all of us. One is evil. It’s anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good.  It’s joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”  The grandson thought for a minute and then asked his grandfather:  “Which wolf wins?” The old Indian replies simply “The one you feed.”

The Choice We All Have

This story illustrates the choice we all have: to feed the wolf of chaos and confusion, the wolf that devours your positive thinking, destroys your sense of self-worth, and hungrily consumes your happiness and gratitude, or to feed the wolf of inner peace, calm, positive thoughts, and abundance.

In their book, Power Up Your Brain, David Perlmutter and Alberto Villodo, write that healing your body and brain and creating a state of synergy will allow the talents of the prefrontal cortex to be fully expressed.  They say we are biologically programmed for this as they are the gifts of our humanness: bliss, generosity, peace, and compassion. These traits and this area’s highest function are blocked and silenced by the fear, violence, and trauma in the world today.  The authors posit that the prefrontal cortex has to be performing optimally to diminish the more primitive, instinctual regions of the brain and the corresponding fight or flight behaviors to allow the more evolved traits to be expressed.

They write:

Think of a lake.  When the waters of the lake are still, it reflects everything around it perfectly.  You see the pine trees on the other side or a rising moon as mirror images. But when even the slightest breeze crosses the lake, the surface reflects only itself. It, in effect, says, “Look at me.”  Similarly, when your mind is disrupted by uninvited thoughts or emotions or when it is distracted by television or a barrage of commercial advertising or social gossip or trivial banter, it removes itself from connection with the greater universe. It interrupts your deep, innate desire to perceive the grand mystery of creation – and be a part of it. Shamans believe that to interact with the vast information fields of the biosphere, you must enter a state of clear perception.  Your mind must be at peace in order to perceive the true nature of the world and not merely the reflection of your own below-the-surface drama created by your destructive emotions.

image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/benlean/

Share this article!


    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Thanks! With everything going on world wide, it is more important than ever for each of us to find some way to foster peace and tranquility within and radiate this into the world instead of the panic and hysteria which can, oftentimes, prevail.

      I have been inspired and impressed by some of the stories I have heard coming out of Japan. Sometimes, the worst of times brings out the best in people.

  1. Hi Debbie. I love the phrase,’your mind is disrupted by uninvited thoughts ‘. Gate-crashers, hell-bent on causing trouble. You know, there’s really only one solution – throw them out. Trouble is, they know your address, where the party is, and are likely to keep coming back. Love it. Take care, Stephen

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      I guess the goal is to make it not a fun place to party for the trouble causing thoughts. I think my mind must be boring for them these days and that is OK with me!

  2. nice image with the lake, peaceful mind, peaceful emotion body, lake placid, smooth perception….

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Does the story sound familiar? After my suicide attempt, you shared that with me in a letter. At the time, it was a new concept to me and an “aha moment.”

  3. Debbie,

    This is fascinating to consider: (Referring to the traits that bring happiness) “These traits are blocked and this area and silenced by the fear, violence, and trauma in the world today.”

    That makes sense because we would naturally go into a contracted, survival mode in response to fear, violence, and trauma. I agree fully that a state of clear perception will transform our lives. Meditation is the key to finding clear perception.

    Thank you for another informative article.

  4. Ande Waggener Reply

    I love this wolf story–it’s always been one of my favorites. Great excerpt from the book and interesting that it mentions shamanism, since I’ve been thinking about shamanic principles lately. It’s so true that focus on the turmoil obscures the clarity we seek. I love how you brought together science and shamanic wisdom in this post!

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      It is amazing to me how with all of our science and hard evidence of today, we are getting back to and validating what the shamans, medicine men, and spiritual leaders knew way back when. The book goes into many examples of this. It is hard in today’s world, but, I believe, it can only benefit us to learn to hear such inner wisdom and knowing and to trust it and act upon it.

  5. Debbie Hampton Reply

    I like the idea that there is a physical basis for fear based thinking and behavior, for some reason. I guess I feel like it lets me off of the hook a little for the past couple of decades.

    I like even more the idea that we can change this…even right down to the physical performance of our brains…with mindfulness, meditation, and other practices.

Write A Comment