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MeanderMe #2 - Stoic Goes to Hollywood


[Image taken from www.highexistence.com]


Hello again!


If this month's newsletter has a theme, it's consistency through negative, challenging, or distracting experiences.


Throughout July, I took a train across the USA from New York to LA whilst also involved with something called the Stoic Quest, based around applying Stoic wisdom to dealing with the ups and downs of modern life. In the past, I would have used a holiday as an excuse to completely abandon all of the self-care techniques I'd carefully built into my life over the preceding months. Meditation would go out of the window, along with early rising, journaling, healthy eating etc, being replaced by hedonistic indulgence. This inevitably makes returning to these habits difficult (if they don't fall by the wayside completely). The benefits accrued - eg a sense of calm, an affirmative stance on life and a positive sense of self - can be discarded or even reversed, and we can begin to feel as if there was no point in developing these kinds of habits in the first place, that we are destined to fail in the end, so why bother even trying.


In one way or another, we all do this. Giving up on what we know is right for what is easy. I was committed to avoiding doing so this time around, using Stoic practices of self-discipline and consistency to temper my more reckless impulses.


Read about what I learnt and how I plan to apply it going forward here or by going to the 'World Inside' section below.

🌍 The World Around Us: Understanding and addressing social and environmental issues


ActionAble Update: If you would like to sign up for ActionAble's brand new newsletter showcasing inspiring ideas and meaningful actions you can take to make the world a better place, or for updates on our upcoming programme helping people discover their passions and apply them to solving real-world problems, send us an email at actionable.org@gmail.com


BioLeadership Fellowship: As part of my role as a Pollinator, I'm currently looking to connect with anyone interested in learning about or applying regenerative principles in their lives. That could be trying to create a culture in your work that is more in sync with the natural, seasonal rhythms of activity and rest; exploring ways in which you can consume in a more sustainable, circular way; or simply spending more time in nature as a means to decompress and reconnect with the beauty of the natural world. Please reach out if that sounds interesting at ronanloughney@gmail.com



🧠The World Inside: Insights and strategies in Psychology, Spirituality and personal growth


On Consistency: Don't trust your moods. Trust the part of you that knows what's good for you [5 min read]


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Poem: Calm is not a Tick inside a Box


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Coaching: I am currently actively looking for coaching clients. If you or someone you know is looking for more direction, clarity on your goals or just feel stuck on something, please get in touch. I offer sessions on a pay-what-you-can basis so that whoever feels they might benefit can.



🤪Playtime: Just for fun


White Whale: The search pursues itself


Downbeat: Just as discipline and responsibility isn't something to be gotten away from, neither are 'negative' emotions. In fact, there is interesting research about how listening to sad music when we feel down can actually make us feel better. So go on, have a good mope.



🔥Monthly challenge: Every month features a challenge I am taking, designed to increase wellbeing. I'd like to create a community of challenge-takers, supporting and holding one another accountable, so please reach out!


Last month's challenge - Social Butterfly: introduce yourself to a complete stranger each day and try to get to know them [find this challenge and more in High Existence's 30 Challenges to Enlightenment].


Doing this challenge made my holiday so much better. It massively increased serendipity, leading to beautiful conversations with fascinating individuals - such as with the motel-owning archaeologist who gave us a lift to the train station in Montana. Having struck up a conversation, it turned out that, in the offseason, he studies the wall-paintings of the Blackfeet tribe, commemorating the trade of mushrooms with other indigenous groups. We ended up having a sprawling, completely unexpected chat, taking in Terrence McKenna's psilocybin-based theory of the evolution of human consciousness and his theory of physical magnetism that occurs between people and place based on iron in our blood and in the earth. Safe to say I wasn't expecting that!


This month's challenge - The 'Good' Challenge: whenever a negative event, emotion or thought arises - rather than getting lost in a rabbit hole of mental problem-solving - say to yourself 'Good', and write down three reasons why it is so.


The most powerful challenge I have come across on the Stoic Quest is this one. It really helps recast your perspective on 'negative events', helping you to see the silver lining behind every cloud and perceive a meaning and thus justification behind all experience. You receive an unexpected, expensive bill? Good. This will teach you budgeting skills. Someone insults you? Good. You will have to learn forbearance. You injure yourself and are bed-bound for several months? Good. You will finally get around to that reading you'd been putting off.


If you want to give either of these challenges a try and to have some accountability and support while you do, reach out! ronanloughney@gmail.com.




❤️Spreading the love: Other sites and newsletters you can try if you enjoyed this newsletter


The Bloom: I have been very fortunate to connect with Jasmine, the founder of the Bloom, who is passionately committed to creating a more inclusive and kinder world. For informative articles and nuggets of inspiration on intersectional issues, as well as lots of work opportunities in the impact space, check it out!


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