Have you ever been the victim of an unsuspecting contagion, like a yawn? Is it possible that by simply reading about a yawn, you will want to yawn?
Researchers say yawning has to do with the temperature of the brain; when it gets too far off normal, yawning can help cool it down. Healthline agrees with my theory that yawning is a way of waking or resetting. “The motion helps stretch the lungs and their tissues, and it allows the body to flex its muscles and joints. It may also force blood toward your face and brain to increase alertness.”
So many contagions – like laughter and applause – can have an effect without us even being aware or in control. I think that is what “culture” is: we do what everyone does simply by being the empathetic, community-oriented, influential individuals we are by nature. And when culture is infused with habits of kindness, responsibility, support and growth, it operates on a high vibration of love and abundance. Conversely, when culture breeds selfishness, greed, division and control, the distance it creates is like a nasty virus; in fact, indigenous people have a term for it: Wetiko.
“Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess, and selfish consumption” write Alnoor Ladha and Martin Kirk in KOSMOS. The Wetiko virus is what Indigenous people claimed was the chronic infection of the European colonists. “Wetiko short-circuits the individual’s ability to see itself as an enmeshed and interdependent part of a balanced environment and raises the self-serving ego to supremacy.” The pilgrims saw the tame and orderly land of the natives as wild and savage and rationalized destruction in the name of civilization.
The conundrum: society’s “shadow” (Carl Jung’s term) is Wetiko-infected so our collective unconscious is driven by fear, yet in the process of serving humanity, we serve ourselves. How do we free ourselves of the virus of embedded selfishness and upgrade the frequency of our entanglement?
Aha! ~ Become aware.
We can’t change what we are not aware of, but when we understand the handed-down selfish tendencies – born of a belief that we are separate from all other living creatures – only then can we break the cycle.
Our individual minds and bodies are part of the collective. We appear separate but we are not. All life forms are exchanging energy, always.
Become aware of your actions – be they automatic, in sync with others, or driven by conscious awareness – and decide to be true to those that align with your highest good. You will not only feel whole and connected, you’ll be unstoppably electric!
If a simple yawn can infuse oxygen into one individual after another, imagine the ripple effect of a little courageous action!
Questioning whether or not you’re operating a little too often on auto-pilot or in sync with the crowd? Hey, we all do it to some extent because independent thinking takes effort … AND has drawbacks! Hop on here to learn what they are and how to avoid them.