65: Two Wolves

two wolvesThere is a North American proverb that talks about humans having two wolves reside within them. One wolf is kindness one is its shadow, fear, anger, ego. The two wolves are fighting within us and the question is which wolf will win? The answer is the one we feed.

When we feed something in our life by either repeating it over and over or believing in it we make it grow and strengthen. Just like a muscle our thoughts, emotions and outlook on life is fed by our behaviour or attitude towards them. When we starve something it will naturally atrophy.

In yoga there are four aspects  of ignorance or incorrect ways of viewing the world  we can feed; = Avidya

Asmita or the ego. We can feed it by believing we are the greatest, we are right, we are the ones who the world needs to revolve around.

In an argument would you rather be right or happy?

Raga or demands. We can feed or fuel our desires by wanting more, wanting what we don’t have and by keeping what we should give away.

Can you practice contentment with what you have around you? Or do you constantly look for more to fill the gaps in your life?

Dvesa or avoidance. We can feed our avoidance by rejecting people, thoughts or actions that remind us of a previous experience that we didn’t like. We avoid the situations that feel uncomfortable and familiar.

Do you avoid situations that have burnt you in the past with love or relationships so as to protect you from more pain?

Abinivesa or fear. We can fuel our fears, doubts and uncertainties about ourselves by believing in them and by being afraid that people will judge us if we take action.

Do you have thoughts about yourself that say, I am not good enough?

Practice for today: Just realising that we are doing the above is a step to starving what is holding us back. Feed the wolf of kindness today and starve the wolf of fear, doubt, attachment and avoidance.

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