Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why I Don't Watch the News

I don't watch the news.
Some people think I'm buring my head in the sand.
I think I'm protecting my mind from the news' negativity bias.

Negative What?

We all have it.

Has this ever happened to you?

You have 10 great interactions during the day, and one bad one, and then obsess on the bad one and forget about the good one.

Turns out our brains are wired that way.
It has to do with survival.

And it makes sense when we know what's happening.

If there are 10 friendly exchanges people in our day, that's great.
Then one bully or one traffic incident, and wham! we forget about the greta stuff that happened before. Or we don't notice the good stuff that happens after that.

That's because our brain wants to make sure we avoid that bad or dangerous situation if it ever happens - or starts to happen again. You know, the old Fight/Flight/Freeze response.

Friendly is great, but as far as your survival mechanism is concerned, if you die in traffic or a barroom brawl, then there's no opportunites possible for the good, friendly, peaceful stuff.

No News Is Good News

I'm guessing that's why the news is almost 100% bad news. I've heard the phrase, "If it bleeds, it leads." Apparently someone decided or discovered that bad news sells. Just not to me.

It's not hte first time I've marched to the beat of a different drum.

I hear about the important stuff in other ways. I choose not to saturate my mind with bad news.
I don't even watch TV shows like NCIS, which gave me nightmares. Or Revenge, or any of the shows that focus on our shadow side. And I can't wrap my head around why anyone would want to watch the Biggest Loser berate people, let alone be on the show.

If you are saying to yourself, "That girl is too sensitive.", you are not alone. I've heard that for decades. Believe me, I tried being tough. Thing is, I don't see it as a good thing to harden my skin, my heart, or my mind to the pleasant and healthy things in life.

I don't see watching the news or gory TV and movies as a way to learn to live in the real world. I see it as junk food for the mind. As far as I know, my brain doesn't get physically fat, but my mind would swell with shadows and fear and noise and chaos. It would contribute to an underlying sense of un-ease. The way I see it, there's more than enough of that kind of thing in my day-to-day life. Why would I want to watch other people go through that?

What Is Real?

I think the REAL world is one that we routinely ignore. It is the deep, rich world inside ourselves.
That's where I can touch God. But only if I un-clutter my mind and heart. Only if I sit quietly and listen to that still small voice. To my breath. Only then can I start to become aware of the incredibly subtle, always present sweetness that is life Itself living as me.

When you look into a baby's eyes, you know there's something there. You recognize it because you are still that Light. We just forgot somewhere between schooling and the laundry.

So try this: Take a moment to breathe deeply and really feel the air going in your nose and lungs. Maybe go outside and enjoy any nature you can see. Or the clouds. Who is it that knows that you are doing this? Who is it that might think it's silly?

How About You?

Do you sleep better when you skip the news and crime TV?
Do you relish the times you can sit quietly with yourself?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has sprung!

The season of new growth. A metaphor for new growth in us.

Not so far-fetched when we remember that we've just come out of Winter. And depending which part of the country you live in, that either makes no difference, is a ray of hope, or is a joke because the ground won't thaw for weeks.

For me, the weather has been quite warm, alternating between late-Spring-like warmth and cold rainy days. I am very glad to have been out of the snow country long enough that I'm quite spoiled about the weather.

Longer Days - Lighter Heart

But I still feel the resurgence of Spring. The days are longer, and that in itself brings more Light to
my mind and Heart. Being able to stand in the sunlight is downright nourishing.

Like many of you, I've been incubating during the winter, but not hibernating. I am recovering from the loss of my beloved pet, who was with me as long as my parents were. I struggled with eating too many cookies and other food that doesn't really work the best for me.

And now I am feeling a renewed intention to take better care of myself. It is amplified by the fact that I just got over a monster cold, and I am now able to dance and play again! Yippee!

I think it started with Chinese New Year, and has grown now so that by the Solstice this weekend, the sprout will have little leaves and be growing along.

Time to Grow!

Time to get active and do all those things that we usually resolve for on New Years' Day. Those kinds of resolutions just seem easier when the days are longer. And before the heat of Summer!

I know I can't give myself a swimsuit weather deadline for my healthy eating goals. I've noticed that when I set a goal like that, the first thing I do is rebel. Heck, just thinking about it, I notice the urge to go buy a cookie!

Instead, I find it works for me to just watch my habits and allow them to be. To have compassion for that part of me that wants the cookie. To let her know that there are much better ways to feel comforted, nourished, and loved.

I'll let you know how that goes.

How About You?

Do resolutions work for you?
Do you find that Spring renews your intentions for your own growth?
What are your tricks and tips for superb self-care?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I Want That!

Hey! I want that!

When you hear about someone’s success, is your "I want that" filled with joy or envy. Or worse, jealousy?

In other words, are you like the little kid in us that says "Mine! Mine! You can't have it!" or are you excited to see that something you want is possible, and so one step clser to being yours?

When you hear about someone who is smarter, stronger, see someone thinner, richer, in a better relationship, do you feel good or bad?

If you feel bad, you are not alone. 

Neuroscience has studied this phenomenon. A study shows that when test subjects were told about someone more successful and defined for greatness, the subject reported feeling bad. Not only that, but their brain scans showed that the areas of their brains associated with physical pain lit up.

When the same test subjects were brought back a few weeks later and told that that person failed, the test subjects said they felt great. And their brain scans showed areas of their brains associated with pleasure all lit up.

What does that do to my brain?

Did you ever think about what message these responses send your subconscious mind?
When you see someone “better” than you, and you think “I don’t like that person.” or “I’m jealous.” or if you just feel bad when you see them, you are sending a message to yourself that what they have is not good. So your subconscious says "Oh, that's causes me pain. I'll make sure I avoid that for you."

In Science of Mind, we say that the basic underlying flavor of our thoughts - our mood, our attitudes - affects what we have in our lives. I'm not talking about whether you get a cold, or whether circumstances outside you happen, like the death of a loved one. I'm talking about what we attract into our lives. Our basic mind-scape sets the tone for how much good - or bad - we allow in our lives.

For example, if we f we focus on what we don't have, we stay stuck in that place.
But if we practice gratitude, it opens our heat and mind to having even more in our lives.


Gratitude tells your subconscious mind that what you have or see is good. And good for you. And so it goes to work trying to get that for you.

Envy is wanting what someone else has. Nothing innately wrong with that.

Jealousy, on the other hand, is the feeling that if you can’t have it, you don’t want the other person to have it either.

So you can improve your life.

Next time you see someone “better” than you, someone who has something you don’t have, try this as an experiment. Think to yourself, “That’s for me too.” or my favorite, “I’m next!”

This sends a message to your subconscious mind that what you see or hear about is a good thing, and that it is yours too. It’s like saying a big “Yes!” to having that in your life.

If you think that sounds silly, here’s some science to back it up.

Read about the why your brain does that in this blog article.

How About You?

Do you have an example of changing your attitude and having a miraculous result?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hey! That Wasn’t Here Before!

Hey! That Wasn’t Here Before!

Ever started seeing a certain car or color or product everywhere?

Why Am I Suddenly Seeing That all over the place when I never noticed it before?

Meet Your RAS

No, not raz, as in razzing (teasing) you.
There’s a function in your brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS).

It’s why for instance, when you learn a new word, you suddenly hear it frequently. Or when you are thinking about buying a new car in a certain make and model, you suddenly see them everywhere. Or when you decide you want almost anything in your life, you start seeing it frequently.

Like Number 1 on Star Trek Next Generation, your RAS makes it so.

Your brain will start filtering what you see based on what you are holding in awareness at that time.

And… It can filter things out for good or bad.

For example, if you think, “I’ll never be rich.” your brain believes you, and your RAS starts to filter out opportunities that might help your prosperity. You will be focusing on what you don’t have, and seeing it everywhere.

If you think "Life is a struggle." it will be. Your RAS will make it so.

If you think you will never have a great relationship, your brain does the same thing. A great partner could walk up and talk to you, but you won’t see it, won’t respond in a way that lets it happen, because you believe that you’ll always be alone. In other words, if he was a snake, he would have bit you! But… If you start to think that it’s possible, it is.

What If I Use My RAS For Good Instead of Evil?

Or even if you are willing to be willing to believe that it MIGHT be possible, you just might start seeing new possibilities. You might start seeing things in a new way. You might get an inspiration for that book you wanted to write, or where to go to met new people, or… whatever your heart desires.

By saying YES! to what you want, you open your heart, your RAS, and your being to the possibility that it can be yours.

Don’t take my word for it. Try it out.
Pick something you want to see today. Something simple. Like a feather or a blue door. Think about it for a moment, and set the intention to see it. Let me know what happens.

What About You?

Have you ever noticed this happen in your life?
Do you have a story about something that seemed to happen as if by magic?