Story Resource: Cherokee Wolf Tale

One evening, an old Cherokee tells his grandson an old tale. He says that inside all people, a battle goes on between two wolves.

One wolf is negativity: anger, sadness, stress, contempt, disgust, fear, embarrassment, guilt, shame, and hate.

The other wolf is positivity: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and above all, love.

The grandson thinks about this for a minute, then asks his grandfather, “Well, which wolf wins?”

The grandfather replies, “The one you feed.”

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Tool – Savouring to survive

By Owen Whitehouse

There are some methods of engaging in a positive life that are intrinsically simpler than others. Savouring experiences can be simple and not just in the moment. There are four types of savouring behaviours, which, if practised regularly, can help you experience life more fully. Like meditation, they also have a long-term benefit. In engaging in these behaviours regularly, you begin to develop much more control and mastery over your mind and perceptions.

  1. Luxuriating (pleasure) – When we think of savouring, we often think of luxuriating: easing into a warm hot tub and feeling our muscles relax, slipping into fresh bedclothes or one of my personal favourites – slipping into brand new socks!
  2. Marvelling (awe)– A mountain range that goes on for miles and invites the rising sun into all its folds, a Van Gogh-like sunset or a starry night. In mid-December, with hot chocolate, lying back, on a blanket, on the hill near my house and looking up at the Geminids meteor shower with my kids, marvelling at the universe all around us
  3. Basking (pride) – When we enjoy the warm glow of praise or reflect happily on past achievements, we are basking – don’t let anyone tell you pride is a sin. We can extend our feelings of accomplishment by basking, thinking back on our achievements with pride and warmth. This can be linked to our sense of identity
  4. Gratitude (thanksgiving)– A state of thanksgiving, we’re overwhelmed with gratitude and express it demonstratively.

There are five strategies for using savouring to boost your resilience, health and wellbeing.

  1. Anticipate the thing/event– Allow it to warm up in your mind vision it, look forward
  2. Build memories of an event– look at photos, manage and carry keepsakes around with you, talk to others about it
  3. Stay present and appreciate– The current thing/event in which you are involved, work to be utterly absorbed
  4. Reminisce about the past thing/event– Relish the memory. Talk about it and share it with others, build the story
  5. Be thankful– for the experience and express gratitude regularly. Tell people sincerely that you are grateful. Like ‘hello, how are you?’ say it like you mean it.