GIVING IN OR GIVING UP – IS THERE (BY THE WAY) ANY REAL SCIENCE BEHIND THE SUPPOSED INFLUENCE OF THE FULL MOON ON OUR MOODS AND ACTIONS?
Feeling totally “funny” (and not like in “ha-ha-ha”, today) I was asking myself this very same question a few minutes ago …
It’s going to be a full moon tomorrow.
Since we live in the Era of “Google knows it all”, I decided to ask him (curious how I am assuming Goggle is a male, huh?).
I run into a few research articles talking about it, some more serious some more crap-pseudo-science (because you tell me what evidence you want to confirm and I will help you find a link in the internet that swears what you believe is totally correct) … And so, Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput, from the Eastern Ontario Research Institute caught my most attention. It was completed on a total of 5.812 children from five continents.
Why on children, you might be wondering? Well, according to the same source the reason is children are more amenable to behavior changes than adults.
The children came from a wide range of economic and sociocultural levels, and variables such as age, sex, highest parental education, day of measurement, body mass index score, nocturnal sleep duration, level of physical activity and total sedentary time were considered. Data collection took place over 28 months, which is equivalent to the same number of lunar cycles. Statistically significant to me …
Not to bore you with data, the “at the end of the day” summary would be that children suffered only a 1% alteration of sleep during a full moon, compared to other phases of the moon; what brought Dr. Chaput to conclude the full moon does not alter our mood and actions. Oh well!!
Obviously, science is still not capable of explaining many things that are going on in our bodies and (definitely) in our minds and so, results like this or others do not prove (at least not to me) that a full moon cannot (actually) have a strong effect on us. Because if it can move back and forth the waters of entire oceans, why wouldn’t it be able to swing and rock and shake our brains?
All this to say that yeah! Ok! I did a little research just to end up concluding (if not feeling on my own skin) that the full moon does, indeed, have a crazy effect on (at least) some of us.
It’s not often that I feel like giving up on something, honestly. I like to think of me as a warrior or a fighter and I would, most likely, hate myself for acting as a quitter. If one thing I detest it is cowardice and as much as I cannot put up with it in other, even less would I appreciate it in my own behavior.
But what if giving up would be regarded as a form of Buddhist giving in?
Buddhism, for what I can recall of the (not too many) books I’ve read about, advocates for renouncing and bending your will to those things you feel like you have fought for long enough to the best of your possibilities (or better said in here: your human limitations). Forgo on the fight, let go, surrender … A whole bunch of words that don’t really suit my taste … However, it somehow makes sense if regarded from the perspective of humbling yourself and bowing low to the uncertain instead to the feeling entitled to any whim and wish our hugely spoiled western-lives have grown us accustomed to. I want it and I want it now, right?
As much as I feel exalted some times by the Dalai Lama’s teachings and how they always remain an invaluable source of inspiration, there is something to the Buddhist religion (note I did not say philosophy) I quite not abide by. I don’t feel confortable nor am I willing to go on renouncing to all, to try to ignore or quiet my feelings or to want for nothing in order to scape dissatisfaction, frustration and suffering. Maybe hey! I’m not a sufficiently enlightened or evolved human being yet (not “maybe” but “for sure”!), not denying that, only saying I don’t feel like – as for now – that is my call.
I agree to non-attachment, to seizing the day, to living one day at a time and to breathing one breath after the other. I learned long ago that Carpe Diem is not a type of exotic French cheese, but I still feel that it is a hard cookie for me and most likely for most of you people reading this now, to stick to the lines. Tantrism (and I am not talking about sex) or the little I know about it, feels closer to my (ideal) approach to life. Enjoy any pleasures life puts in front of you to the fullest, however, fight hard not to get attached to them; use them freely, enjoy them throughout, savor every single drop of any ecstasy you can manage to extricate from it, but do not ever intend to possess it.
Easier said than done! I love the idea and I totally buy into it but please, please, can someone throw some light into how to master it? Because me, as hard as I try, I keep on failing over and over again and I easily get sucked in and overwhelmed for the “wanting to keep it”, no matter how hard I try.
And then is when giving in to giving up crosses my mind – in case that makes any sense …
Following the trail to freedom is not the flat-no-rocks-no- bumps-covered with roses road that most people imagine it to be. In this regard, I feel utterly blessed I count on the ongoing and unconditional support and understanding of those wonderful souls (I call my friends) that have (at some point in my life) crossed my path to stay and that are on their own every day-basis fighting fear and brushing away all type of ghosts that won’t give up on trying to scare us away from our dreams.
Only this morning I finished reading Mark Manson’s book “The Subtle Art of not giving a fuck”, which I take the opportunity to sincerely recommend to you. Fun, inspiring, painfully right on the spot where it most hurts easy to read non-fiction that made my day for a few days, while reading it.
I could write an entire post about the book and what I learnt – and I am yet to master – together with my thoughts about it. Maybe one day I will. For now, I will only refer to Mark’s references to how commitment to those few things (we should really carefully choose) which to give a real fuck about, would ultimately bring freedom into our lives.
Failing over and over is intrinsically part of the process of growing. No pain no gain.
No matter all I said in the previous lines (sorry for all the back and forth confusing randomness of my mind) I still believe in “If you really want it, fight for it” or as Mark Manson would say, choose to “give a fuck” about it and sty firm on your feet for it. Which oh-oh!! looks like it is totally contradictory to giving in and giving up when issues with commitment (with others and with ourselves), stubbornly decline to make our day any easy.
If one thing I learnt today (thank you Mark!) is that the search for freedom linked to real commitment to those things we really want in our lives – no matter how counterintuitive it sounds – makes a lot of sense. Though I never thought of it in these terms, statistics have proved over and over than too many options to choose among make any process truly more complex and chances for disappointment are a sure bet!
All this said, I guess I will try to make some sense out of all the no-sense I wrote here and well, on a second thought (maybe I had to put this in written to reach some clearness of mind), as much as I am ready to give in to whatever life throws at me, I am not ready to give up on a few things I totally give a (real) fuck about, currently.