Why should everyone else but you change? Why not change to adapt to the reality of the world around you, instead of expecting the world to bend to your desires?
I can’t abandon
the person I used to be
so I carry her
365 Days of Haiku, Day #123 (via idreamof-pb)
(Reblogged from internal-acceptance-movement)
Photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing – which means that…it is mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power.

A friend just discovered A Softer World and so have I - it’s alternately funny, touching, and disturbing and sometimes all 3. 

I’m a big proponent of “busy is a decision.” You decide what you want to do and the things that are important to you. And you don’t find the time to do things — you make the time to do things. And if you aren’t doing them because you’re “too busy,” it’s likely not as much of a priority as what you’re actually doing.
The closest thing Marianne had to an escape from life with Mary was her poems. A key fact about them, underscored by Leavell, is this: On the one hand, she “could never have become the poet she was without the four years away from her mother at Bryn Mawr,” where she first became part of a creative community and found the freedom and confidence to forge a poetic voice of her own—in reaction, one might say, to the family language Mary had invented—and where, taking biology courses, she was drawn to the rigorous language of science. On the other hand, it was being back home under Mary’s thumb that made her feel compelled to write—compelled to escape from the world Mary had fashioned (itself an escape from the real world) into a literary landscape of her own devising. Many of Moore’s poems, Leavell reminds us, feature “camouflaged and armored animals” that are “misunderstood, self-reliant, and invariably solitary”—a manifest reflection, of course, of Marianne’s own circumstances. But the poems, as any reader of Moore well knows, are the very opposite of cries of the heart. Mary, after all, read every word—so raw confession, or anything close to it, was not an option. Hence Marianne was forced to devise what amounted to a new type of poem, stunning at the time, not only for being syllabic in form (something which was previously all but unheard of in serious English poetry) but, perhaps even more so, for its extraordinary, even clinical, degree of precision and dispassion. “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion,” Eliot would write in “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” “but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.”

Twitter — endlessly distracting, endlessly social Twitter — is also a habit, and a far easier one to fall into. To a significant extent, habits are private things, ours to form and break, and I don’t think I’m off the hook for changing my own behavior. But I never had much trouble exercising self-discipline in the name of writing before Twitter came along, and I’m not sure its creators and the culture that sustains it should be wholly let off the hook, either. Even Clive Thompson shares my qualms here, and he is a technology champion whose new book, Smarter Than You Think, argues that services like Twitter “change our minds for the better.” “The one complaint about the Internet that I wholeheartedly endorse,” he said this week in an interview in The New Yorker, “is that most of these tools have been designed to peck at us like ducks. … [T]heir business models are built on advertising, and advertising wants as many minutes of your day as possible.”

In other words, the addictive nature of Twitter is a feature, not a bug. But, with apologies for changing metaphors midstream, it feels like a bug to me. There is a class of parasites in nature that hijacks the nervous system of other creatures, causing them to behave in ways that are against those creatures’ best interests but in the interests of the parasite. A flatworm called euhaplorchis californiensis, for instance, takes over a species of fish and makes it swim to the surface and wiggle around, thereby rendering it highly visible to hungry birds passing overhead: bummer for the fish, but great for the flatworm, who dreams of an afterlife in an avian gut.

That Goddamned Blue Bird and Me: How Twitter Hijacked My Mind
By Kathryn Schulz

Compare & contrast

These things seem to be in the air sometimes - I will read an article about one aspect of something and stumble across related articles on the interwebs. 

Is the Internet Good or Bad? Yes.  “It’s time to rethink our nightmares about surveillance.”

How the secret police tracked my childhood  “Fighting the system used to be dangerous anywhere in Eastern Europe. For one protester from a small Romanian village it was disastrous - and also for his family, whose every word was recorded by the secret police. Carmen Bugan, who found the transcript of her childhood, tells their story.”

Hello frequency illusion/Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (and as always, confirmation bias). Oh - look: a list of cognitive biases!

We think too much about what goes wrong and not enough about what goes right in our lives. Of course, sometimes it makes sense to analyze bad events so that we can learn from them and avoid them in the future. However, people tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life than is helpful. Worse, this focus on negative events sets us up for anxiety and depression. One way to keep this from happening is to get better at thinking about and savoring what went well….

Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well. You may use a journal or your computer to write about the events, but it is important that you have a physical record of what you wrote. The three things need not be earthshaking in importance (“My husband picked up my favorite ice cream for dessert on the way home from work today”), but they can be important (“My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy”).

Next to each positive event, answer the question “Why did this happen?” For example, if you wrote that your husband picked up ice cream, write “because my husband is really thoughtful sometimes” or “because I remembered to call him from work and remind him to stop by the grocery store.” Or if you wrote, “My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy,” you might pick as the cause … “She did everything right during her pregnancy.”

Writing about why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but please stick with it for one week. It will get easier.

Martin Seligman via Brainpickings