Living Beyond the Survival State-Georgia Cyr

Whether we notice it or not, most of us live our lives driven by instinct. These are in-born patterns of behaviour which influence our choices and actions, often without us being conscious of this. Common instinctual behaviours we carry out include: finding a mate, finding shelter (a home), defending our "territory", reproducing, providing for our families (through some sort of work), and raising our children and training them for survival. Most of us live our lives based on these instinctual forces without always being aware of what we're doing, or more importantly, why?

The instinct to do these things can be sourced from a very long time ago, originating from the first human life and the strategies they had to adopt in order to survive. If you think about it, many of our emotions and actions are driven by our instinctual need to survive:

- loneliness --> the urge to be with the "tribe", because you are more vulnerable alone

- need for approval --> to know our tribe accepts us and will support us

- jealousy --> driven by our need to protect our "territory" (our partners) because we need them to help care for our offspring

- gossiping --> collecting information about the tribe (in the past it was important to know who had power/food/skills etc, of course now it's usually much more trivial and mean-spirited)

- feeling stress at work --> we need a job to support our offspring so we worry about work and fear those that may be competition for us / replace us

- the desire to always win arguments / be right --> we perceive that conceding a point / not knowing something demonstrates weakness

- being judgemental --> evaluating in each moment if something serves us on a survival level or not

- desire for power --> as this made us a valued tribe member (nowadays power often translates to also having lots of money)

I'm sure everyone can think of an instance where one of these survival-based instincts has got them in trouble, maybe your jealousy drove you to extreme behaviour, you were overheard gossiping by the topic of your conversation, or the worry and stress from work made you physically ill. While our instincts may have been critical for survival in the past, they are no longer always the most effective way to react.

So, how can we overcome these innate behaviours?

By elevating ourselves beyond our evolutionary roles of animals, serving evolutionary functions. When I speak of spirituality in yoga practice, a large component of what I am referring to is this: rising above our DNA programming and cultivating a heightened awareness of our mind, body and spirit.

When you possess this level of awareness you can make authentic choices, choices which are not driven by instinct. We can ask ourselves "is this really my choice or is something else driving me?" and have the clarity/awareness to know. This awareness will impact our choices in study, career, relationships and all aspects of our lives, to ensure we are making authentic choices, rather than decisions based on our perceived need for approval, companionship or power, amongst other things.

- We can free ourselves from suffering (loneliness, jealousy, fear etc), by being aware of what drives these emotions - our survival state

- We can free ourselves from our constant quest for approval from our parents, partners and peers and make authentic choices for ourselves, regardless of the opinions or judgments of others

- We can understand that, while on the survival path you always want to be right, on the spiritual path you don't want to be because then you are failing to recognize that each person sees life through their own reality

- We can have the awareness to master our judgment and analyze in each moment whether it is objective / appropriate or not

- We can relinquish the desire to gossip unless we commit that we will only ever say good things as otherwise it benefits no one

It doesn't matter if you go to yoga class or not: real yoga is what happens away from the mat, in the way you live your daily life.  Becoming aware of these instinctually driven behaviours gives you the opportunity to transform your body, mind and consciousness beyond all programming, so your choices are authentic. The next time you feel anger, jealousy, hurt or frustrated, pause and ask yourself "is this authentic, or am I feeling this way because the situation in this moment does not suit my survival?". Often we make assumptions or jump into an emotion, based on our own survival state, without considering the perspectives of others.

Make authentic choices, live with awareness.


The meaning of Life-Cpt.Quinn

Two adventurers pursuing happiness.What is the meaning of life? It is a commonly asked question and many spend their entire lives searching for the answer. It has a firm place in the roots of most religions. Perhaps it is a question that we spend too much time thinking about. Is it really that hard to answer?

Most of our experiences to date will tell us that when we are happy life is better. So why not spend our entire lives trying to maximize our happiness?

Three steps to happiness

Sunset on Haida Gwaii.The first step than would be to discover the things that make us happy. The second step of course would be to pursue these things. The third step is more of a rule to ensure that happiness can be a shared experience. It is to live in a good way with others always working towards a state of harmony. Respect will prove to be the most valuable tool when trying to complete this step.

I am not going to tell you how you should live your life but I will tell you that in a world where distraction is seemingly everywhere it is easy to loose sense of what is really important.

The answer can be as simple as developing and maintaining healthy relationships with good genuine sincere people and the surrounding environment to which we all belong while living in a good way.

until next time keep on adventuring,

Captain Quinn

Intelligence is Appreciation-Cpt.Quinn

Perhaps it is human nature to take things for granted, especially when it is at our disposal.  Or perhaps it is a by-product of us not recognizing the true value of things.  Maybe it is an unintentional lack of intelligence.  If intelligence is the ability to apply or acquire knowledge, where knowledge is the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject would it not stand to say that those who have the best understanding of a subject are the most intelligent.  As we define appreciation as understanding a situation fully, we can now recognize the relationship between intelligence and appreciation.  If intelligence is knowledge and knowledge is understanding which is pure appreciation, then intelligence is directly linked to appreciation.  Therefore, when we take something for granted we are demonstrating a lack of appreciation and therefore a lack of intelligence.

-Captain Quinn

Get in Touch with Nature the Natural Way...-Cpt.Quinn

Captain Quinn getting in touch with nature while Adventurer Nate admires his attire.

Whenever someone tells me that we need money to live, I have always replied "No, we don't, we need knowledge and good work ethic." And although this may be true in the basic world, in the societies of the developed world, that our predecessors have created for us, we do in fact need money to live. But this is only so because we have become so detached from our roots. We can now look to money to provide us with the necessities of life. We trade it for food, water, clothing and shelter.

As members of these societies we are part of a system that is very efficient and seemingly simple. We get a job and in this relationship we agree to trade our time for money, possibly forgetting that our time on this planet is, well, limited. We are willing to trade five of our seven days of the week (71% of our week) and eight of our waking hours a day (50% of our conscious time) for money. This is the majority of our time and we are willing to carry on in this fashion until we are no longer young anymore with the hopes that one day we will receive more money for our devotion when we are no longer sufficiently able to give it. 

To the person who is able to carry out this agreement with a sense of purpose and a general feeling of job satisfaction, well good for you, but you are a minority. The majority of the working class either don't make enough money or have little to no job satisfaction. And this is one of the many areas in which our societies are flawed.

Adventurers, left to right: Gary, Quinn, Joel, Nate.

Because we now need money to provide us with the necessities of life we have to get a job or we will die. Well, we better get a job than, but since we are going to devote the majority of our life to our job, lets pick something that pays well, we enjoy doing and that we can feel good about. This is where society interjects "uh hummm, not so fast, dreamer, we are going to need the majority of you to work for average wages in order to support the foundation of the system." In other words, when people go to trade their money for commodities we need you to be able to get the commodities to them, take their money in exchange and then plug that money back into the system. "Oh, you mean I can't do anything I want?" "Nope, sorry, you're a dreamer, now get back to work please."-"Yes, sir!"

Well, I for one am not a strong advocate of the system, yet I do see the value in it. So I guess you can call me a "dreamer" too. Dreaming aside however, we should never put our lives on cruise control. I believe that we should aim to make the most of our time on this planet because once we leave, we don't know what the next adventure will be. I believe that in order to make the most of our time here we need to have a healthy balance in our lives or as the Chinese would say, yin and yang. Furthermore, I feel that we cannot achieve a healthy balance without a wholesome taste of nature on a regular basis.

Adventurers, left to right: Quinn, Gary, Mia, Caleb, Bella, Mokie, Natty, Nate.

So leave your jobs, satisfying and well paying or not and step out into the bountiful beauty of nature for a spiritually enlightening experience. Forget your worries and maybe even your clothes. Clear your mind and refresh your soul, if only just for a day-you get seven per week! Get back in touch with your roots. Appreciate our environment and what it does for us on a daily basis, never take money too seriously because:

"Only after the last tree has been cut down.

Only after the last river has been poisoned.

Only after the last fish has been caught.

Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."

-Cree Indian Prophecy

There is an entire world of adventure out there to explore, take the time to enjoy it. But even more so, take the time to appreciate it.

-Captain Quinn

In Search of Adventure-Hanna

The one in search of adventure, thriving on the thrill of connecting with nature is the fulfillment of living in the moment, really enjoying the present. A sense of accomplishment and connection is tapped into and it is a truly satisfying experience on so many levels. It's spiritual!

If anxiety is human, maybe adventure seeking is one active form of meditation. While occasionally stressing the joints, it eases the cluttered mind through clear focus on the act at hand; fishing, flying, skiing...etc.

-Hanna Wajda