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!!!!

 

TEN MONTHS??

October 10, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Play by Play 

Yes, it has been 10 months, but — I AM BACK! 

I work for a company that was purchased, it has been called a merger, but we were bought.  The integration and my new job began officially in April of this year; however the work and interviews and the unknowns all began October/November of 2010.  It has turned my life quite upside down.  My regular exercising, my healthier (although not perfect) eating habits, my personal development study, my fairly balanced life — went crazy, upside down!  My new job in this merging company has meant travel, a new boss – who is actually a former boss (who luckily is AWESOME), a new team, and an entirely unclear and unknown, chaotic world.  I have spent time on  projects which have ran into brick walls of political spiderwebs. I have started projects only to find others are also doing the same thing.  I have been given lead on projects that confusingly get pulled.  Bottom line — totally and completely upside down.

I have missed my husband and daughter – a lot!  The toughest part has been the travel and the time required for work pulling me away from home.   Several missed events at school; missed pick ups.  All of this is so extremely difficult.   My husband has been unbelievably supportable through all of this.  He helps ground me; knowing I have them always, to come home to, to depend on; helps me make it through all the craziness.

In the last week, I have realized that my new job is giving me something new, something I haven’t necessarily had before.  I am managing other managers.  Usually I have managed mostly individual contributors.  This is new for me, and as I realized, is giving me an opportunity to really do something that I love.  I can work and strive to be an influence for people who are responsible for managing teams of people.  Our company is going through very tough times; it requires strong leadership skills, new leadership skills.  I really am getting to pursue my passion.  Helping others and teams be successful, strong, balanced teams.  I certainly am in a place that will make this not only necessary — but also hugely challenging.

Motivation Monday – Don’t Ever Quit

January 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Motivation Monday 

Don’t Quit Till You Have Nothing Left

We can all do more than what we think we can do! Can we be our own coach and drive ourselves to the point that we have nothing left? Till we reach our desires? To continue working with our kids to help them reach adulthood with a good base to make it in our world; to learn and grow?

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?

RSS Feeds – Introduction

January 4, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: RSS Feeds, Techie Tuesday 

This is my first Techie Tuesday blog!  As I start doing these, I thought I would share and teach some of the things that I do that help save me time.  This first blog is about RSS Feeds.  I use RSS feeds to get the information I need without having to surf for it, or have a ton of bookmarked places that I go check.  This helps by notifying ME when there is new information.  I do not need to take time finding the information I need.  I have several feeds due to having several interests.  I have interests in Personal Development, improving my blogging, social media activity and also I watch new technology; how it could affect my business.

What is an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.  It has also been called Rich Site Summary.  It had been started by an individual who worked for Netscape but wasn’t supported by Netscape and was continued in a working group that enhanced and improved it.  It is used to feed blog posts, news headlines, and other information in a standardized format.  The feed can include a summary or the entire feed.  You subscribe to these feeds.

How do you  read an RSS Feed?

An RSS feed is read through a “Reader”.  A reader is software and aggregates all of the feeds that you subscribe to.  The software can be web-based, desk top based or can be read on a mobile device. 

What Readers Exist?

There are hundreds of readers!  For a great list and comparisons see the great wiki site.

What are the first steps in order to start?

First step is to choose a Reader.  I use Google Reader so I will show how to use the Google Reader, but I will also show you how to use the IE (Internet Explorer) built in application as well. 

To register for Google Reader, go to www.reader.google.com

Create an Account (If you have a gmail account (or any other google based account) you can use this account.)

Fill out the information required to get started with Google reader.

Verify your account; (Google makes a phone verification to ensure that automated applications are not setting up accounts and access.  You will need to send a verification code to your cell phone or have them make a live call with the code.)

You are now ready to subscribe to feeds.

Subscribing to feeds

There are two ways to subscribe; one directly through the site and the other is by copy/pasting the URL into the reader directly.  

You find the RSS symbol at most sites, be they blogs, or news sites.  If they have the RSS symbol, like my site; you can click on the RSS feed symbol

After you click on RSS different things will occur.  If it comes up and gives you different options, Google Reader will be an option.  The other scenario is what you see when you click on my RSS you get the following:

After clicking on Subscribe to this feed you will see:

After this point you are subscribed to the feed and will be able to view this feed in the IE reader, but this is not your Google Reader.  To view in IE; simply click on the “Favorites Center” shown below:

When you click on that star — you will get a menu that allows you to read it —

 

This green arrow will then lock this in place and you will then be able to see your subscribed feeds; without adding it to Google Reader.

More on RSS feeds and especially on how to get this added to your Google Reader next Techie Tuesday!!!

Any questions?  Please feel free to contact me –

Review: Walking Through Illusion

December 29, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Book Reviews 

Walking Through Illusion –
By Betsy Otter Thompson

 

“All my decisions had brought me growth in one way or another. I learned that taking responsibility for the love, or the lack of love in my life, was the tool through which to create a different experience.”

“Where once I’d been dealing with guilt, I was finding growth; where once I’d been dealing with hate, I was finding compassion; where once I’d been feeling resentful, I was feeling autonomous.”

When I first picked up this book, my first thought was “uh oh”… I often shut down when I hear or see something I consider “religious”. This is something I am learning to be more open minded and tolerant of.  Reading this book gives me even more evidence that I should be more open and and a push to be less judgmental!  Had I missed out reading this book because of an initial judgment that it was religious I would have been the one that missed out.

As my aim is to do things Right From the Heart, her preface captured my full attention with the first sentence. Betsy Otter Thompson’s first words of the Preface are “The heart is a magical organ.” She goes on to describe how she feels our hearts work independent from our body system. This book is basically her conversation with Jesus made through her heart. She indicates that she “opens her heart, receives a feeling, and lets that feeling express.” Do not expect the book to be historically accurate as that is not the purpose. The book takes and discusses topics; twenty-three of them in total. At the end of each chapter there are a set of questions that deal with the topic just read often leading you to think through something about yourself. After these questions there are some more that lead you to evaluate yourself even more. And at the very end she ends with her own personal insight and what she learned working through the particular topic. This book takes you on an internal spiritual journey that provokes emotions, thoughts and an analysis of yourself.

The title: Walking Through Illusion; refers to the idea that all we have around us is an illusion. It is a life we are living; but we only experience things as we assign meaning to it and that’s it… by changing the meaning we assign the experience we can completely alter our lives. This makes whatever we are dealing with – only an illusion. As she (and Jesus) describe in her book, we are actors working through lessons that we chose to learn and work through prior to entering this specific life. “They were illusionary experiments to expand our hearts so that when we left these dramas, we had the needed emotion for the next performance taking our hearts even deeper.”

I loved all of the chapters, they were all thought provoking; however, I thought I would discuss at a high level a few of my favorites.

Obstacles: What obstacles stymie growth?

“Obstacles enter your life when you deprive others of what you think you deserve.”

This chapter deals with obstacles, whether that be illness or lacking – basically any dis-ease. The key is to realize that all obstacles, no matter what they are – are emotional. This gets back to the illusion again, they aren’t something “out there” they are “in here” and all obstacles offer some type of personal development. Everything offers some type of positive outcome in the end.

Opinions: Can we control our opinions?
Bottom line, this chapter says you respect other’s opinions when you respect your own. As one fault finds; this puts our focus on the thing that is negative and it hurts and it also will cause the mirror to reflect on ourselves what we are inflicting on others. If we find ourselves in judgment it is important to focus on finding who it is we ourselves are judging. This chapter also dealt with blaming; how we often blame our parents. We can’t change our past, but we can change our future thus it is important that we look and decide where we want our future to go. Even if those we are blaming change that will not change our problems, it will improve their life, not ours. We can only deal with us, our emotions and what we-ourselves are dealing with.

Advice: Whose advice is worthy?

“Trust that you are everything you need to be. Trust that life has meaning. Trust that goals have purpose, trust that ‘being’ is enough.”

Because I often get defensive when others try to give me advice (more so for those that are closer to me – like my husband!) this chapter hit home. This chapter points out that we are always mirroring our own behavior. Thus I was urged to look at my own life and understand how often I offer unsolicited advice. Understanding that if I focused on giving others support and only offering advice if asked that I would break through the illusion of having others offer their unsolicited advice. I now see a very interesting illusion in our family. Between my daughter and husband, they are both telling each other how and when and why to do things and I am left out of most of this interaction.

Hearts (of course!): What constitutes a big heart?

“An obsession with the picture to the exclusion of his heart created a mind out of sync with its purpose. A mind out of sync with its purpose created a body out of sync with its purpose. A body out of sync with its purpose had no reason for being.”

This chapter spoke to purpose and legacy, which, is at the top of my list of topics (am teaching it at CFU) so this chapter also resonated with me. It is important to look at the different legacies we want (and perhaps do not want) to leave. I took away from this chapter that it is important to appreciate life and that our bottom line purpose is to look for personal growth and development within our own lives.

Betrayal: Why is betrayal so painful?

“Betrayal is an act of doing in a way you’d hate to be done to.”

My notes from this chapter: If I am resenting others, I am resenting myself. If I resent myself others will resent me. If I resent myself resentment poisons the mind. If it poisons the mind it will poison the body. Basically outward actions reflect an inward action. Betsy’s personal notes captured much of what I felt as well. When you hear the word betrayal you picture something quite bad, but betrayal is basically doing things to others that you do not want done to you… thoughts, judgements, laughs, snickers and any other minor offense counts.

Bottom line – READ THIS BOOK!!!!

About the Author: A native Philadelphian with a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Betsy worked as an account executive for WFIL radio in Philadelphia, and from there went to radio stations WPEN and WFLN. After that, she became a commercial print model and acted in television commercials in New York and Philadelphia. For seventeen years, she worked in Los Angeles at the motion picture and television company Castle Rock Entertainment as the Assistant to the Chairman and CEO. In August ’99, she followed her boss to Warner Bros. as he took a new position there as President and COO, and became his Executive Assistant. She is now writing full time. Betsy’s writing began unexpectedly while going through an especially difficult time in her life. She believes that her books were the answer to her prayers.

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.

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