IFG UPDATE: February 3

This week in IFG we looked at the idea of living compassionately—specifically how we show kindness to ourselves and to others and how we can continue this practice going forward.

We looked at David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College, This is Water, and his idea of our ‘natural default-setting’ as a framework for our discussion.

Below we leave you with some resources and exercises to further investigate how we conceptualize our identities as individuals, as well as consider how we can continue to practice kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others.

See you next week!

– Genesis & Chris



“‘Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.’ Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the ‘end of history illusion,’ where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we’ll be for the rest of time. Hint: that’s not the case.”


What Happens to the Brain When You Meditate (And How it Benefits You)

Whether you’re as skeptical as I used to be, or you’re well ahead of me with a meditation habit of several hours, I think it’s always interesting to find out how new habits affect our brains. I had a look into meditation to see what’s going on inside our brains when we do this, and what I found is pretty interesting.


Here is just one example of the total wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute centre of the universe; the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness because it’s so socially repulsive. But it’s pretty much the same for all of us. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: there is no experience you have had that you are not the absolute centre of. The world as you experience it is there in front of YOU or behind YOU, to the left or right of YOU, on YOUR TV or YOUR monitor. And so on. Other people’s thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real.

– David Foster Wallace | This is Water


Headspace | 5 simple ways to be kinder

  1. Create the conditions.
  2. Listen carefully.
  3. Think small.
  4. Make the choice.
  5. Don’t give up.

Ask yourself

What can I appreciate about the present moment?



  • From yoga in the Retiro to guitar classes at someone’s house, this app allows you to find and meet up with locals that share your interests!


  • Suggestions for restaurants, bars and other local spots, along with unique weekly agendas to give you something authentic to do in Madrid!


  • A weekly feed of events, pop-ups and other entertainment in your area in Madrid, tailored to your interests.

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