black and white wolf tale

Many people have shared this traditional Native American legend filled with wisdom:

There was once a native Elder who came to realize that he had two wolves fighting inside of him.
The dark wolf was mean spirited, angry, fearful and selfish.
The light wolf was noble, honest, loving and kind.
A boy once asked of him “Which wolf usually wins?” He replied, “It depends on which one I feed.”

I shared this story the other day and asked the question “What can we do to stop feeding the dark wolf and nourish the white wolf?”

What came up was surprising. I had always thought of our inner emotions being the key to which wolf we are feeding. When we are angry, jealous or resentful, we feed the dark. When we are loving and grateful, we feed the light.

But its not as simple as this.

Like life, its more that black or white.

I believe that the biggest feeder of the dark wolf comes from the environment we live in nowadays. It feeds the dark insecurity within us. It ignites fear and anger. It triggers old wounds and deep insecurities. It fans the waves of violence and retribution.  Whether we are surrounded by negative angry people, or are listening to negative politicians, or are watching live footage of violence …  this is the food that feeds our dark wolf.

It is mostly unconscious, and perhaps habit … but I’m sure you know it is so.

So now, you can choose.

What can you stop doing that is feeding the dark wolf? For me it was to turn off the t.v. and make a conscious decision about what I listen to and who I choose to be around. I have become aware of which wolf I am feeding, and my life has changed for the better.




55 comments on “How to Feed your White Wolf

  1. Good point… What happens though, if you are surrounded by hate and fear? When you can’t leave the house without being faced with people who hate and are scared? That would feed the black wolf too, right? You would have to be strong to not let it get to you… I’m with you on turning off the TV, even ignoring headlines of newspapers. Unfortunately it’s necessary to keep us positive and kind. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • When our physical environment is filled with violence, then we must consider if we truly have a choice or not. Some may not have the ability to step away or have loving support. This is real. These are the people we as a global society must find a way to help. And if it’s a neighbor, do something!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Years ago I came across the most lovely little meditation called “Egg of Light Exercise”. I was reminded of it with your question … here it is! I hope it helps! Karen ❤

      Egg of Light Exercise

      Excerpted from The Power of the Mind to Heal (pp.50-52)
      (Joan Borysenko, Ph.D and Miroslav Borysenko, Ph.D)

      Begin by taking a good stretch, and then allow your eyes to close … Focus lightly on your breathing, noticing the way that your body rises slightly as you breathe in and relaxes down as you breathe out …

      As you settle gently into observing the tide of your incoming and outgoing breath, your concentration can become more and more focused …

      Now, in the space about you and slightly in front of you, imagine a great star of loving light …

      Allow the light to cascade over you like a waterfall and to run through you …

      Imagine the light entering the top of your head and running down through and between every cell, the way that a river washes through the sand on its bottom …

      Allow the river of light to carry away any fatigue, illness, or negativity and wash it out through the bottoms of your feet into the earth for transformation …

      As the river of light washes through you, imagine that it is scrubbing away any darkness around your heart, allowing the light within you to shine more and more brightly … joining with the river of light … filling you and extending around you for two or three feet in every direction like an enormous, luminous egg …

      Make a firm mental declaration that any thoughts of love and encouragement will penetrate the egg and reach your heart, while any negative thoughts will bounce off the egg and return to the sender with a blessing. Declare also that your own loving thoughts will penetrate the egg and reach their destination, while your negative thoughts will bounce off the interior of the egg and return to you with the awareness of lovingkindness and encouragement.


      Anytime during the day that you feel anxious, assaulted by someone’s energy, or fatigues, try the egg-of-light exercise. After you are used to doing it, you can place yourself in the egg almost instantaneously.

      P.S. LOVED your post Val!!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Very interesting and perceptive Val! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Diana! I have a bee in my bonnet about media exposure right now. It’s so overwhelming and the end result becomes fearful then numbing…. Rather than caring and taking positive action. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post and like you, I’ve been turning the tv off in recent times. Not just the violence and terror overseas, but even the everyday local news seemed filled with murders and ‘road rage’.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Val, I love this latest from you. May I republish it over on Learning from Dogs?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Classic. Powerful. Truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This one hits the spot Val, it’s the passive acceptance of all the negativity in the environment. Apathy feeds the dark wolf. We need to take action before we fall into a state of immobility…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And I would add distrust as something that fuels the dark side. Many seem to distrust everything and everyone, even the government. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have heard that story told with different animals. Paulo Coleho tells it in one of his books, I try reminding myself of that lesson when I am stressed…which one am I feeding?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. For me it’s tuning in daily to see where my thoughts are being led. Making conscious decisions like you have Val, makes a big difference and really helps with the battle. Thankyou. 💚🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    • It all comes down to awareness doesn’t it Karen .. And the making conscious choices. Otherwise we would be like sticks in the rapids of life 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I so agree, Val. Each morning, I turn on the TV to hear the weather and traffic report, but unfortunately, I’m bombarded with horrible events that seep into my mind. It’s not a good way to start my day. This posted reinforces my plan to keep the TV off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing Jill. The Today program used to be my automatic go to in the morning. Now I begin the day in quiet and turn on news radio in the car when I am ready to greet the outside world.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I loved this. Read it often and always appreciate the reminder. I have the phrase I say to myself, “where attention goes, energy flows.” Helps me be mindful of where my attention is going. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve heard many variations on that metaphor and it’s a powerful way to visualize our choices – to recognize that it is a choice. Wonderful post, Val.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That is a very good point about how our emotions can be controlled by our environment, and how necessary it is sometimes to be intentional it is to limit our exposure to a negative environment. As one of the comments pointed out, that is easier for some people than others, but it is still always worth the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for the reminder Val, it is so good and true.
    By different reasons I needed to shut all down many years ago to be able to find myself again after years of bad living.
    I closed down all TV and since then I only read news and only the ones, as I feel for to know. I rarely see any video’s, unless few here at WP. I like to have the choice about, what I allow my mind to be affected by.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Feeding one’s inner wolves. – Learning from Dogs

  16. I so agree with you Val.. Were it not for the negative fuel we are fed the world would be a much brighter and happier place.. ❤ Blessings to you dear Val
    xxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wise words, Val. It is a challenging time these days, but focusing on the light has been an infinitely helpful practice. Thank you for your grounding messages.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. `I believe that the biggest feeder of the dark wolf comes from the environment we live in nowadays´…
    I absolutely agree with you… I tend to think that our natural state would be a peaceful one, as Rousseau did…. And when societies are built it is because the dark wolves are predominantly the main forces somehow… I loved the post, dear Val. Thanks for sharing. Sending love. Aquileana 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  19. And when someone tries to draw me into a discussion of politics, the news, the campaign, or anything else “negative,” I am getting better and better about side-stepping the conversation.

    Today, someone I just met pointed to a woman at the beach who had a number of tattoos and then launched into the “I just don’t understand why people would do that to their bodies . . . ”

    I remained mute. Sending loving energy to them both.


  20. Rosemary

    I heard this couragement about the White wolf and Dark wolf on our local radio station all the way in Papua New Guinea and I was really encouraged and blessed because I am going through a lot in my life.Thank you take it to heart Radio.

    Liked by 1 person

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