I spent several hours in a seminar on rewiring your brain on Saturday.
The speaker gave a word picture. At birth our brains are grassy, pristine, beautiful parks. Just glorious sunshine, blue skies and perky green grass ruffled by the gentle breeze.
Our first experience causes us to walk across the grass. But if it's a one time stroll, the grass pops back up and all is well. But let's say it's a repeated experience like being picked up when we cry, or a smiling face talking baby talk to us, or emptiness when our cries are ignored. We travel that scenario more than once and we create a path. By the time we are adults we have a "park" that looks like a map of mega-sized city streets.
The main streets and super highways represent the thought paths we most travel.
Everything we experience through our senses and every thought we have creates the potential for a street, avenue or highway.
The good news is that we can change our maps by the beauty of neuroplasticity. (Our brains keep regenerating and making new pathways). We can create new roads and change the way we travel and avoid the roads we no longer want to drive the car of our life on.
I can create a new series of main streets I want to travel on. Repetition makes the roads we use stronger.
For example. I've been telling myself I don't get violin. Oh, I'm still working on it. But every time I say that I don't have rhythm and I can't do the fingering, the reading of music and the timing of the notes at the same time I am telling my brain to make that a truth, a pathway for me to travel on. Therefore, my brain makes it so that I don't get it because I'm telling it that that's a truth, that I don't get it. I'm basically ordering my brain to make sure I don't get it. Really???? Augh!!!! This totally resonates with me because I do travel "I don't get this" boulevard. I want to get it, I get so frustrated, and I'm doing the time. I don't want to calculate how much energy and money I've put into this goal because that's going to depress me. All the while I'm plugging away, I'm telling my brain to avoid turning on the musical/math section of my gray matter.
My mom told me she saw a video about a guy who took a decent blow to the head and got a concussion. A few days later he was at a friend's house and they had a piano and he sat down and played for hours. Not Chopsticks, but real, complex music. And he wasn't musical before his accident. If a whack in the head can turn on his music center then I'm not going to tell my brain to keep my music center quiet. "Hey, Kelly's brain, yeah you, ramp up the math/music section of my brain. I have some music I want to play. Got it?!? Good."
My brain is moldable and is making new pathways all the time. And I can and will get this. My brain is going to click and this reading of music, timing of notes and finger placement is going to become second nature and I will be a musician and I will play the violin so well that I can play with other musicians.
How about you? What are you telling yourself you can't do? Can't or won't? Quit ordering your brain to keep you stuck.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.