Amygdala Hijack!

January 11, 2014 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Play by Play 

Before yesterday I would not have had a label for it…  amygdala

Today – I experienced it.

This term was coined by Daniel Goleman.  He is behind EQ – Emotional Intelligence.  His work is based on the neuroscientist Joseph E. LeDoux’s focused work on the mechanisms of fear.   In a high level description, it is the activity that takes on in the brain when one experiences something that scares them.  Often this can be something that is not even rational.  Based on our own dysfunctional upbringings we have things that we are overly sensitive over.  Someone can say or do something that flips a switch inside of us and we find ourselves reacting irrationally before we have the ability to get a hold of the emotions.  Voices may raise, our physical bodies react – our heartbeat quickens, we stop breathing, our blood circulation and blood flow is actually reduced, there are chemicals released into our body.  When we experience that hijack and we feel a reaction and go into a flight or fight mode the adrenaflightfightl glands release hormones called CATECHOLAMINES – adrenaline and noradrenalin are released when our bodies experience this Amygdala Hijack.

From the thalamus, a part of the stimulus goes directly to the Amygdala while another part is sent to the thinking part of our brain. If there are experiences recorded in our memory that tells us this is a flight or fight situation, the Amygdala will take over the thinking part of our brain by releasing the hormones. The emotional brain registers activity milliseconds earlier than the rational brain so we end up reacting before the rational thinking responses can be activated.

Goleman explains that this hijack exhibits three signs:  “strong emotional reaction, sudden onset and post episode realization that the reaction was inappropriate.”

I was having a loving, nice conversation with a family member when suddenly they said something that triggered this response in me.  My reaction actually caused the same reaction in them; which took the conversation into a very ugly drama filled experience.  Afterwards, I worked to capture the things said and done by myself and them so I can review and work to find a way to respond rather than react when something like this happens again in the future.   Although I believe my thinking brain did re-enter the scene the hormones within the body made it very easy for the thinking brain to be slow to the respond to their reaction.  What a vicious circle.

circle

It is quite the coincidence that discussion in a leadership class I attend discussed this hijack yesterday.

So…. I can label it – now to be able to find the ability to always be present enough to let the thinking brain be faster than the Amygdala!!!!

 

Thursday Thunk – What is Success?

January 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Thursday Thunk 

What do you think success is? It is completely subjective, it is different for every person out there. John Maxwell, someone who has been in the business of leadership and success describes his finding. He said it is understanding your purpose in life. Knowing your purpose in life becomes a stability for ones life. It creates true focus and it becomes an anchor in life that becomes a confidence based on a knowledge of purpose.

As I have moved into finding my passions and purpose, I agree with what he says. How about you? What do you think success is?

It’s Time

December 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Play by Play 

I ran into this as I was reading comments from one of Darren Hardy’s video blogs.  I thought it was great and wanted to share it with others!

“It’s Time.”

I once asked an old man to say something wise,
and the words that unfolded – were a welcome surprise.
He started by saying, “Tell me, son – What is it you seek?”
“Success in hurry,” I blurted, “because my future looks bleak!”
“Times are tough.” I continued, with a little regret.
Because what he said next, I will never forget.

“If quick success is what you seek to find,
it’s already been found – and it’s a matter of time.
You say ‘times are tough’ – and now look at this clock.
There’s more to these hands than the tick and the tock.
You see only one hand in motion, but I can see all three.
It’s the way all things work, just take it from me.

The ‘Seconds’ hand moves fast, so it’s easy to spot;
Soon you’ll recognize it’s the seed, to plant in your plot.
Most see ‘small’ as insignificant, but I know it’s the start;
for your very life lives with the small beats of your heart.
If those never started, or continued – Then where would you be?
Nothing’s insignificant, you see – because seeds become trees.
Your seeds are the small actions that you must eagerly take;
the seconds sprout into minutes – the right time to cultivate.

Keep on moving here, because it takes time and vital care;
we all know who won the race of the Tortoise and Hare.
It wasn’t because the Tortoise was slow that he won the race,
he proved, ‘steady’ fares better than any back-breaking pace.
Minutes are the well-formed habits that add-up to become Hours,
just like seeds become buds, and then those become flowers.

This is a tough time for many – in fact, most will quit.
See, our culture has taught that good results must always come quick.
‘If you’re doing it right – you’ll see results right away.’
But, that’s not the way things work – I’m sorry to say.
Cultivation comes before the harvest – It has always been this way!

As the Seconds become Minutes, soon the Hours will begin to pass.
You’re on the track to success, just check your looking glass.
Your looking glass is in your mind’s eye – and only you can see it there,
Look there for your results, or else you’ll begin to look elsewhere.
Consistency with a purpose is what you are after,
and vision for outcomes is what you will master.
The fruit of the harvest, has arrived in your mind,
taste it, and feel it – it’s the best of it’s kind.
Hours and fruit, you’ll have all you need,
Minutes of nourishment, and Seconds of seed.

Although success can’t be hurried, it can be assured.
Don’t be like the others – who’s vision got blurred.
The key to getting started, is to start right away.
Don’t be like the rest – getting started ‘someday’.
Someday never comes, I can say without doubt.
See the tears in my eyes? My time has run out.

Success is not a secret: You have all you need!
It’s your time to get started: Now you are my seed!
You’ve asked for success, and now have the keys in mind,
it’s not about talent, luck, or even hard work – you’ll find;
Success is just a series of simple small steps, repeated in time.”

~ By Tobias Sedillos

It Is Up To ME!!

December 6, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Play by Play 

This is really great!!

The words to this song is something we should all keep in mind and remember. I love that this is something going out to the kids!

If what I am is what you need then Ill stay strong that’s who I’ll be and I will always be the best me that I can be
There’s only one me I admit have a dream I ‘ll follow it I admit it’s up to me to try

Oh, Im gonna keep my head up high keep on reaching high never gonna quit Ill keep getting stronger And nothing’s gonna bring me down never gonna stop gotta go because I know I’ll keep on getting stronger

And what I am is … thoughtful, musical, smart, eight, helpful, special

There is nothing I can’t achieve because in myself I believe in gonna keep our heads up high keep on reaching high never going to quit Just keep getting stronger and nothing is gonna bring us down never giving up gotta go because I know Ill keep getting stronger

What I am is…. Super, Proud, friendly, grouchy,

What you are is….magical, special

There is nothing I can’t achieve, cause in myself I believe. Going to hold my head up high, keep on reaching high Im never going to stop I’ll keep on getting stronger; Nothings going to bring me down; never give it up gotta go Ill keep getting stronger

Thanksgiving and Family Complications

November 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Play by Play 

I do love Thanksgiving – it is cool to see everyone giving gratitude for things in their life. I know it is important for us all to do this everyday and I do, every morning I spend 5 minutes giving gratitude for the awesomeness that is my life, but I still love the extra love in the air around this holiday. If just FEELS good.

We have found a very comfortable routine for the holidays. A routine on where we go, who comes over here and what we do on each of the holidays around my divorced parents. We are fortunate that we have only these two local family obligations. And it doesn’t feel like an obligation. At least until one particular “newer” family member – gets angry that we aren’t doing something they want us to do.

I don’t want to feel guilty. I refuse to feel guilty. My life is different today. I do things that I love, things that make me comfortable, things that make me happy. Our lives are busy, it is important that we ensure that we arent doing things out of obligation but because it makes us happy. I want to be me, I want to be around others that I am comfortable with during the special times of the holiday. I do not want to be crazy busy only to make everyone happy. Our holidays should be filled with love, with beauty and with enjoyment.

How do we tell those that we love that we don’t want to be with them? How do you make someone understand that just because you don’t want to do what they want you to do, that you care deeply about them?

My answer, show the love. Ensure you do what you need to do for you and show others that you love them. To spite their anger, show them you love them. Be strong, Be you, Be happy – and do it in love. If we act Right From The Heart, it can’t be wrong!!

The Holiday Season – Getting Overwhelmed

November 24, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Play by Play 

It is that time of year!  As the weather gets cold, Thanksgiving is around the corner and as soon as Thanksgiving hits the holidays and holiday parties are right behind that.  And, if you are like me, a daughter’s birthday is in between all of this!  In addition to the normal routines and things that need to be done we become busy with meal planning, gift buying, social calendar organizing, baking goodies and for many – this also becomes a time for numerous volunteer activities and needs from schools, work, and in our communities.  It is a normal time that we over commit and over do.  We over do our commitments, we over do social activities and we over drink and eat.  Or at least many do! 

If we always do this then it is important to find a way to deal with the emotions that arise during this busy time of year (and can also be applied to other busy, overwhelming times in your life). 

One thing is Definite

Not everything will get done.  It is fact. And.. life goes on! It always does.  I have never heard of  someone being physically hurt because something that had been planned  didn’t get done.  Keep this in mind as you start feeling overwhelmed.  Often, something that you have in your mind, on your list to do, that does not get done – will not even be missed (unless you choose to lament about it!!!) 

Prioritize

Put your things to do in a priority.  Most important to least important.  This should follow your values, it it doesn’t you will find that you will not accomplish what you really want and need to, or at minimum you will continue to beat yourself up for not getting everything on your list done. 

Perfection

Perfection can be looked at in two ways.  It either NEVER happens or – alternatively it is always perfect.  Obsessing over perfection not only drives you crazy it also drives everyone around you crazy.  Your family, those you count on helping, etc.  If you do YOUR best everything will be just the way it needs to be.  And again, depending on how you are more comfortable looking at something, it will either never be perfect, or, you can choose to look at it and know that it is perfect just the way it is. 

It IS a busy time, it is a time where we have many things to do, but remember, it does happen to us often (not only at this time of the year) and it ALWAYS works out.  Being able to choose a place of knowing this… will make you (and those around you) feel so much better and in the long run, is better for your health!

Enjoy this season, be grateful for all the wonderful things in your life and listen and watch for the wonderful, the beautiful, and the extraordinary.

When You Just Can’t Wake Up

October 28, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Play by Play 

This last week has been a great week.  I keep learning more and more and the things that I am learning seem to be fitting together like pieces of a puzzle.  Last post talked about ways to work on the limiting beliefs we have.  I met with a new friend and she talked about how the affirmation and subliminal stuff is something that she never got into.  I really respect that, her life has been amazing, she has lived in other countries, gotten awesome jobs that she might not have; all without the tools that I work with.  For some, the techniques of having a vision, and knowing it will evolve, come naturally and easy.  For others, the feelings of inadequacy and impatience often get in our way. 

There are some other things that I want to share with you on how to change our limiting beliefs and the habits we have created.  This idea moves away from creating new pathways in your brain however I am using it with these tools and techniques.  (If you haven’t read this post, you can find it here.)

This particular tool deals with our pain and pleasure.  We all operate in our lives by looking for pleasure and avoiding pain.  The problem is, we strive for the pleasure or avoidance of pain in the short term results rather than the long term. We will tend to do something that gives us short term pleasure and get pain in the long run.  For instance, I have been having difficulty getting myself out of bed early in the morning.  Why?  Because the short term pleasure (staying in a warm bed) is more important than the long term pain of all the things that don’t get done because I am choosing to go for the short time pleasure.  The following are the steps to take to work through changing a habit that you have.

  1. Ask:  what is the pain associated with this action that keeps me from taking it?
  2. Ask:  what are all the pleasures received by not following through?
  3. Ask:  what is the cost of not taking the steps; in the next 2-5 years?
  4. Ask:  what will be gained by taking the action right now?

So, using my problem of getting up:

  1. The pain associated with getting up is the getting out of a warm bed, feeling tired and finding the pain of waking keeping me hitting the snooze.
  2. The pleasure is that I get to stay in bed all warm and cuddly and I get more sleep which feels so great!
  3. The cost is that I am not getting in to work when I want to, I am often not getting the walks in that I love, I am not getting in my reading time, or my journaling time, or my meditation.  I am not getting the action steps done that I know I must do in order to have the successful business I want.
  4. If I woke up early (when I set my alarm) I would get my walks and meditation done which give me more energy for the day, I would get some of my self improvement things done (reading, journaling) which are helping propel me down the path I am determined to walk down and I would get the things done for my business which will take me closer to my dreams.

So, looking at it like this, my goodness, it is totally obvious what I really want to do, what I must do.  Even if this seems to convince you, there is another step.  The next thing to do is get very solid on why it is you want to make the change.  Write 10 reasons why you want to change the habit, or take the action.  Get very solid and clear. 

By getting clear in our minds why we want to do it and then combine it with some of the tools and techniques talked about in a previous blog, the changed habit will occur soon because you know it must.

As usual I welcome your thoughts and suggestions!

Self Limiting Beliefs

October 15, 2010 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Play by Play 

What are Self Limiting Beliefs?

 The topic for the last few weeks has been about dealing with controlling people, dealing with the controlling aspect of ones self, habits, and unconscious and conscious thinking.  My mind has been centered on the topic of self limiting beliefs. 

One way to determine what your self limiting beliefs are is to look at your life. Really analyze it, take out the microscope and look at each area of your life, the physical, financial, your relationships and career.  Are all of these areas moving in exactly the way you want them? Do you have a body that is fit and in shape and have you established habits that will keep it that way?  Are you out of debt and have the money to do the things that you want to do?  Are you set for your retirement?  Do you have money for your children’s school?  How are your relationships?  With your spouse, your kids, your family, friends?  And are you doing what you want to do in your life? Do you feel completely fulfilled?  If any of these areas are not where you want them, then you are experiencing an area where you have self limiting beliefs. 

I found that determining exactly WHAT self limiting beliefs I had was very difficult.  I heard that I needed to change them years ago, but how did I know what self limiting beliefs I had??  if I knew they were self limiting I guess I wouldn’t stll have them?  I realized recently that the reason I had such a big problem with this was because I have issues with actually hearing my own self talk.  All of this self talk was totally happening in my nonconscious or so it seemed.  If you are unable to hear your chatter, chances are you are having the same difficulty.

How do you determine what the self limiting beliefs are if you can’t hear your chatter? 

Understand YOU

The one thing about making a commitment to work on yourself and then taking action and doing small things to improve your life, leads to an improved relationship with yourself.  I am now beginning to hear or recognize that self talk; but that didn’t happen over night. 

Focus on the Nonconscious brain

Because we need to change the habits, change the years of our self limiting beliefs; it is important to start working on the unconscious brain.  If we know we are lacking in certain areas of our life, we know we have self limining beliefs but we often don’t know what they are.  This is actually ok.  The unconscious brain is busier and more powerful than our conscious brain.  So if we focus on changing the nonconscious brain we will, by default, be working on the self limiting beliefs and habits.

We are so lucky to have so many teachers out there teaching us ways to do this.  Science is even studying this area.  The key is to start working on your nonconscious brain. 

 Changing your Nonconscious Brain

 As my posts have been describing our nonconscious brains are extremely powerful.  They are where our habits are created and stored.  This is where self limiting beliefs are created and stored. I first heard of this from Jack Canfield and then again from John Assaraf.  They both describe a study done by NASA.  NASA made astronauts in training wear a set of glasses that turned the world around them upside down.  They were made to wear these glasses for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  What they found surprised them at the time.  They found that after 21-30 days that the astronauts that wore these glasses continuously, suddenly had a switch.  Apparently their brains automatically flipped their world back.  Their brains were trained to turn the world back around right side up even though they were wearing these glasses.  They also found that if anyone removed the glasses ,before this 21-30 day interval, they would have to start completely over and go through another 21-30 day interval to have this phenomena occur.

John Assaraf spent time finding out why this happened and what he found out was that our brains have a RAS (Reticular Activating System).  This is basically a way for our brains to create pathways.  These pathways become the nonconscious beliefs (empowering or self limiting) and the habits (good and bad). That we create.  By working with this system we can change the self limiting beliefs and habits that we want to.  (There is a wiki site explaining this sytem more scientifically for those that wish to follow up on this work.)

The following are some ways and some resources that can assist you in taking steps to work on your nonconscious brain.

Vision Boards

In The Secret; John Assaraf explains how vision boards worked for him; how he had cut out a picture of his dream house and 5 years later unknowningly found himself in that exact home.  Vision boards can be done on poster board, they can be put together in a notebook that you can look through on a regular basis.  I also wrote an article on how to put together a vision board (I called it a vision jpeg) that could be the background of your computer screen.  This article can be found here.

Subliminal Audio and Visual

There are different ways to create subliminal audio and visual tools.  The following are some great ideas if you dont feel like creating your own.  One of these provides you the ability to change the affirmations so that they are custom for you. 

A wonderful application that you can load on your PC and have it run through a set of subliminal applications is called MindMaster.   This application can be customized so that the subliminal messages are yours and they can include words and pictures.  I have been using this myself and have seen awesome results with changing eating habits and also persistence and determination around moving my business forward.  They offer a free trial to try it out.  Click here to get more information.

Another example of something you can put together with your own images, music and words is called Mind Movies.  Click here to find out more information on how you can build a movie that you watch daily that has been customized with pieces that will drive you personally. 

YouTube has some great examples but they wont be fully customized for you personally but are free and are very well done.  Click here for an example on YouTube

As you can see there are so many ways to use some great technology and applications that can assist you in moving the habits and self limiting beliefs to ones that will empower you and assist you in living the

What Is A Habit?

September 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Play by Play 

In my last blog I talked about changing habits.  As I read Self-Coaching by Joseph J. Luciani it became crystal clear that I have become quite the expert at some habits.  Some habits that people have are obvious; like over eating or smoking; but there are other habits that we all have that are impacting our lives.  In general, many of these are things that if we never changed, we could live a fairly reasonable life for the rest of our lives.  If we continue to talk meanly to ourselves about how we should be doing this or should be doing that, we will still live reasonable, secure lives.  However, if we want to achieve our dreams, if we want to take a step further towards improved lives; better financially, increased level of happiness and joy – then we could do this by taking a look at ourselves and some of these habits that are keeping us in our comfort zones.

How does a habit become a habit? 

It might help to explain the brain a bit.  There are two parts of your brain the conscious and nonconscious.  I first heard the term nonconscious reading a book by John Assaraf and Murray Smith called The Answer.  The term nonconscious is being used only to differentiate itself from the Freudian term unconscious.  Basically Freud believed that the unconscious brain had some external force causing it to do something and so to make sure that there was no confusion the cognitive theorists used nonconscious to ensure that it was not confused with Freud’s.  Today, the word unconscious is used for both.  Our nonconscious or unconscious brain is much more powerful and busy than our conscious.  The nonconscious brain controls 96-98% of perception and behavior.  96-98%!  No wonder I have had such a difficult time working to improve myself and some things around me.

Our physical and mental habits reside in our nonconscious brains; this is where accomplishments and achievements take root.  Habits are things that we have created by repeatedly doing something over and over. Thinking something over and over again becomes a habit of thought.  Constantly looking in a mirror and talking to your self about how “bad” you or something is becomes a habit.  This habit becomes an attitude or belief over time.  And then beliefs become self-fulfilling.  A belief is very powerful and we do a lot of protecting our beliefs. As we look in a mirror and the self talk chatter starts, as time moves forward and this happens every time we look into a mirror, eventually the talk that takes place is not actually heard any longer.  Suddenly you are believing you are less than perfect or unattractive,  Once this is a belief, our self care isn’t as good, our body language changes – our shoulders come forward, we don’t smile as much and generally create some truth out of what started out as very false self talk.

Wow!  So this is how things that we are working to break through and overcome have become so entrenched in ourselves that they are things that occur without our thinking about and seem so very difficult to get to.  Very difficult to see and to solve.  That – and we are working to solve the problem witho our conscious brain.  Our conscious brain is not good at modifying our habits – only at stating a goal or desire to do so.  Since habits live in our nonconscous that is where they need to be changed.

In order to become successful in our lives and in our attempts to reach dreams and goals we need to work on ourselves.  Personal development and personal growth are important to maximizing happiness.  The better people we become, the better the world can become.  Learning that we need to work at changing the habits and self limiting beliefs in order to move forward has been great information.  I do believe my work is cut out for me!

Thinking

September 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Play by Play 

“Change requires action, not reflection; motivation, not passivity; desire, not apathy; and a willingnes to see the truth rather than fiction. But most important, change requires that you recognize that no one and nothing is going to change you- except you.” –Joseph J. Luciani

Care of David Reece-Flickr

I am writing this on a plane… on the way to Atlanta on a business trip.  I actually love airplane flights, they give me time to read or often, time to just think.  Thinking is something that happens all the time, but on a plane, it can be directed thinking.  I just finished reading Self-Coaching by Joseph J. Luciani.  As I have been working through my part in the problems in my life I continue to work on how I can move beyond some of the self sabatoging things I do.

As I am working through how to personally grow and work towards a life where I am working in the personal development industry I know that working and growing myself will always be something I concentrate on. I have been doing this type of work for almost 20 years.  I liked Self Coaching – I liked the book because I know that for me what so many things boil down to, is my thinking and my self talk.  Much of my thinking is unconscious; however as I have focused in on my self, I seem to be getting to a place where I am starting to become much more conscious of my thinking.  I know that as I grow and think about helping others do the same I believe one key is to start hearing and knowing the throughts that are going through my head.  I am often really hard on myself and haven’t recognized it.  Now that I am recognizing it, it hurts. I have felt sadness over this and some anger – anger at circumstances that helped form this; but then there is realization that I have control.  I have full control to change myself and my thinking so that I can get to the place I am trying to reach.  Circumstances and things in my life are just that; I can choose to accept them and learn to realize that I don’t have to continue reacting the same way to them.  I choose to step out and make the necessary changes to myself that will allow me take my life where I want to go.

One thing that this book said that I resonated with is that negative self talk, thinking and self sabatage is a habit.  It is something I started doing very young and have really learned to do very well.  I am an expert at it; so expert, that it has become natural.  This book has taught me that I need to break these habits.  There are habits of guilt that arise from thinking that I should do this and that I should do that.  There are habits of not supporting myself; feeling deep down that I can not succeed at something that I really love; or that I may not be worthy of the success. 

It isn’t that I haven’t had success – I have been very successful at many things in my life; however – as I strive to achieve the goal of working my passion I seem to stop before I  try; I keep changing directions and having too many things to do and not taking enough action. 

To me, Self Coaching suggests to first recognize that the struggling of life is due to the habits that we have formed as we have tried to control life.  It suggests working on identifying the faulty thoughts that we think about things and to separate fact from fiction.   The next step is to realize that you can choose to flip a switch and change the faulty thinking and turn the self talk to truths and see and believe the positive side of things. Then, it suggests to let go. Just let the thoughts that are sabatoging our life float away, like a balloon caught in the air drifing away.  Then you need to ensure that you are working to believe the positive aspects of your life, having positive thoughts alone will not work, there needs to be a point where you BELIEVE the positive aspects of life.  As this happens and successful challenges can be met, you will gain some energy that will allow you to keep up with the new way of doing things so that over time, the old habits of faulty thinking will be changed to a new habit of thinking and seeing the reality of life.  That there is always a way to work your way out of any hole. You can do it.

Luciani pointed out that there are three truths:

  • Let Life Unfold, there are no dead ends; only obstacles.
  • Trust that your instincts and intuition will serve you
  • Know that every problem has a solution although it may not immediately appear.

“Motivation isn’t mysterious. It’s the energy you feel when you are willing to risk believing that you can change your life.” – Joseph J. Luciani

I am willing to risk this belief, anyone with me?

Next Page »