When I carefully choose what I want to pay attention to, my heart swells.
When I let the world be in charge of what I should pay attention to, my heart sinks.
These are images I created from my photographs one night this week when the house was quiet and I stayed up late. The cowboys are from photographs I shot at the Burke Stampede Rodeo in Burke, South Dakota. The boots are mine. The railroad shot was taken in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The Chevy truck I shot in New Orleans.
Yesterday my son asked me, “If you had your own planet, what would it be like, Mom?” Sometimes I rush these kinds of discussions and don’t want to play the game. But, yesterday thinking about MY OWN PLANET entertained my brain all day. What would it be like? I needed to do something creative and playing with my photographs while thinking about my planet really sparked my imagination, thanks Ellis. The images I created are a very different direction for me. I finally went to bed at 1am still thinking about my planet. It’s magnificent. I’ll be working on more images to convey NEW VAGUS…perhaps a recruiting brochure, a psychological test, a song or a movie…I like options.
It’s called NEW VAGUS after my favorite nerve. The vagus nerve wanders like a vagabond (I love that). It’s also the captain of your inner nerve center. If you get off course, your captain can get you heading back in the right direction. There are some relatively easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve. I found this fascinating. Gargling. Cold showers. Prayer. Deep breathing. Making some of these things a regular practice can help with inflammation, migraines, anxiety, addiction and so much more. See link below for more options and information and share broadly. It might really help someone you love.
“What happens in the vagus nerve, it turns out, doesn’t stay in the vagus nerve. The longest of the cranial nerves, the vagus nerve is so named because it “wanders” like a vagabond, sending out fibers from your brain stem to your visceral organs. The vagus nerve is literally the captain of your inner nerve center—the parasympathetic nervous system, to be specific. And like a good captain, it does a great job of overseeing a vast range of crucial functions, communicating nerve impulses to every organ in your body. New research has revealed that it may also be the missing link to treating chronic inflammation, and the beginning of an exciting new field of treatment that leaves medications behind.”
Here’s the key to the photos:
Packard Plant, Detroit, Michigan
NYC on the High Line
Burke, South Dakota
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cape Cod, Sandwich, Massachusetts
NYC near Grand Central Station
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
New Orleans in a cemetery near a famous restaurant I can’t remember the name of.
I’m very curious about how our interior geography affects our moods and choices in life. I find myself at nearly 50 years old realizing that I need a lot of spaciousness to feel most comfortable in my own skin. I truly understand how growing up and forming my identity on the prairie instilled an interior geography within me. I want to understand this better.
I layered these images of flying into South Dakota and the Town Neck Beach approach in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The vastness of the ocean gives me the same feeling of ease that the prairie gives me. It doesn’t matter if I’m driving country roads in South Dakota or kayaking the Cape Cod Bay. The inner feeling is the same.
I just ordered this book: Geographical Psychology: Exploring the Interaction of Environment and Behavior by Peter J. Rentfrow, PhD.
“The research described in this volume indicates that personality, political ideology, well-being, happiness, human virtues, and personal concerns are related to several important geographic social indicators.”
I can’t wait to delve further into more understanding about this subject. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
I’ve experienced deep sorrow this week with the loss of a friend due to a long, painful illness. Through that process I’ve realized what a unique gift sorrow can be in understanding ourselves and our place in the world. I know that my friend would’ve been very open to a discussion about this topic—she had an enormous capacity to explore the psychology of the soul.
a feeling of sadness or grief caused especially by the loss of someone or something
: a cause of grief or sadness
: a feeling of great happiness
: a source or cause of great happiness : something or someone that gives joy to someone
Sorrow & Joy I believe exist in the same place in our hearts. They just feel a helluva lot different. I feel that both emotions need each other to be fully acknowledged, accepted and better understood. Thank you for this, my friend.
I’ve been watching this great series on PBS—The Brain with David Eagleman. Our brains are quite capable of creating a parallel reality. There’s an interesting example of an incarcerated man and how he was able to get through the darkness and loneliness of solitary confinement by creating another world. Sometimes we just see what we want to see.
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