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Archive for November, 2014

T-Day WoW pic

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Meister Eckhart

I am thankful for you. I thank you for your support, your helpful comments, feedback and suggestions. I thank you for sharing yourselves with me and for being a positive source of influence in this world. We are all on this journey called “life” together, and I thank you for allowing me to walk beside you.

With gratitude, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving,

Martha

Thank you to my good friend, Deborah Horsefall Morley, for posting the image on her Facebook.

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Don't Should on YourselfYour Brain – Your Neural Network on Life

 “Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe. Everything we do, every thought we’ve ever had, is produced by the human brain.  It is the seat of human consciousness and the power source of all your actions.”

When I hear that we are using only 10% of our brain power, I sometimes wonder if that isn’t too high a number. How often do we limit our lives by ignoring the vast network of choices we have in front of us when we say things like:

I should put my degree in education to use and take the teaching position even though it doesn’t interest me anymore.”

I should give up my dream and be more reasonable.”

“I hate my job, but I have to stay here 12 more years to get my retirement.”

“I don’t like to cook but I have to because I’m the wife.”

I shouldn’t take a vacation. I have too much work to do.”

My conscious mind tends to repeatedly lead me down well-trodden paths which are designated by society’s rules and regulations, monitored by my own caution and fear and carried out by my unconscious commitment to conform.

By following our “shoulds” and “have tos”, we are not choosing – the outside world and our fears are choosing for us. We are not exploring alternative solutions that could open a world of adventure, joy and fulfillment. We are not being open, flexible and curious. And most of all, we are not committed to expanding our thinking to find innovative, creative alternative solutions.

We are not listening to that still small voice within that knows the hidden opportunity for endless possibilities lies right in front of us. And so, we end up “shoulding” on ourselves by giving in to our limited beliefs and behaviors and then we wonder why we end up with a less than fulfilling, joyful life.

But our conscious mind with its army of “shoulds” and “have tos” would have us decline that hidden opportunity and if we don’t listen to the “still, small voice” within, we will never reach our full potential and our lives will be less than satisfying, happy and free.

Yet, we often allow ourselves to stay stuck and trapped, and we automatically choose to follow the familiar road because we think there aren’t any or many other options. We believe our choices are limited and so we revert to following the well-trodden path society, our parents, our spouses and others choose for us. When in reality, the possibilities that lie before us are literally endless!

When you open up a human skull, you see a collection of brain cells approximating 17 billion (69 billion more are contained in the cerebellum). That collection of neurons makes trillions of connections which are absolutely unique to every one of us. Not only that, but many of them are in a constant state of flux. Here’s how science writer, Bob Berman, explains this complexity:

“The brain … is the crown jewel of our nervous system. It has 86 billion neural cells and 150 trillion synapses. These are its electrical connections, its possibilities. This figure is nearly a thousand times as great as the number of stars in the Milky Way.

The number of brain neurons is impressive. To count them at the rate of one a second would require 3,200 years. But the brain’s synapses, or electrical connections, are beyond belief. Those 150 trillion could be counted in 3 million years. And that’s still not the end of the matter. What’s relevant is how many ways each cell can connect with the others. For this we must use factorials.

Let’s say we want to know how many ways we can arrange four books on a shelf. It’s easy: You find the possibilities by multiplying 4×3×2 – called “4 factorial” and written as 4! – which is 24. But what if you have 10 books? Easy again: It’s 10! or 10×9×8×7×6×5×4×3×2, which is – ready? – 3,628,800 different ways. Imagine going from four items to 10 increases the possible arrangements from 24 to 3.6 million.

Bottom line: Possibilities are always wildly, insanely greater than the number of things around us. If each neuron, or brain cell, could connect with any other in your skull, the number of combinations would be 85 billion factorial! This winds up being a number with more zeroes than would fit in all the books on Earth. And that’s just the zeroes after the 1, the mere representation of the number, not the actual count. The brain’s connection possibilities lie beyond that same brain’s ability to comprehend it…”

So, anytime we’re operating under the direction of a “should,” or when we feel “made to” do something because we think there are no other choices, whether it’s internally generated or externally imposed, there’s a high probability we’re not honoring the complexity, the uniqueness or the incipient emerging needs of our own personal neural network.

But if we will just ignore the “shoulds” and “have tos”, and listen to that small, slight, quivery feeling inside and pay increasingly, ever-close attention to the tender stirrings within, then infinite possibilities open up to us that can lead to a whole new world, an incredible new life, and a brilliant new beginning.

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