Showing posts with label Brain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brain. Show all posts

Monday, July 10, 2023

"Obi-Wan, I Need Your Help."


"The curiosity and connection that create the Eureka effect rely on parts of the brain that don't feel fear."—Martha Beck.





I thought fear was all-pervasive. Yet, as I think about it, fear comes from our primitive brain stem, the part that's into survival.


Martha is right; it doesn't come from the creative side. 


That must be why we feel happy when we are into some creative endeavor or when faced with a problem whose solution has stumped us, if we let it sit a while, Eureka, "Out of the blue," comes the answer.


I know, however, that while the right side of our brains is creative, and it's so much fun to be in that space, I did not know it was fearless. The other side must creep in.


I've been hearing more and more that scientists are trying to pinpoint where consciousness lies and, so far, haven't been able to do it. They are pretty sure it doesn't reside in the brain as we have been led to believe. 


Don't we think with our brains? Doesn't it feel like it is coming from our heads? Yes, but what about those moments of transcendence where something comes to us from out of that blue space?


The first time l experienced an out-of-the-blue thought where I got the message that we can KNOW as a teenager.


This is silly, a trivial little thing, but it impacted me.


I had taken a knit dress to the cleaners, and when I picked it up, it was wrapped in brown paper like a package. I absolutely knew the belt wasn't in that package. But I didn't want to tell them, thus committing to such boldness, so I went to the car, opened the package, verified that the belt wasn't there, returned to the shop, and told them the belt was missing. They found it and gave it to me.


I have mentioned I am writing a memoir. This memoir could also fit into the Memoir/autobiography/travel/adventure/special interest categories. Every time I say I'm writing a memoir, I sound arrogant. Then I remind myself I do not know anyone better than I know myself.


Perhaps people will want to read it; perhaps they won't. Perhaps it will inspire others to write their memoir; maybe it won't. Either way, come hell or high water, I'm doing it. I mentioned I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days, but that doesn't mean it is complete; it just means I got words on the page, and now I am faced with a mess. 


Natalie Goldberg (Old Friend from Far Away), my inspiration, says you can write many memoirs in your life; every time you write one, you will be at a different place. And don't write about dreary stuff; you can write about pain, for that's a part of life, but generally, write about what takes your breath away.


Yesterday I was writing about Spankings, and I made this statement: 


"I don't know why it is embarrassing to be spanked like it is embarrassing to be bullied, molested, or unloved."


The moment I wrote the above sentence, I got the answer. 


When Joseph McClendon III talked about sleeping in a box in Lancaster, California, after somebody tried to kill him because of the color of his skin, he thought, "If someone would do that to me, there must be something wrong with me."


That's it. 


As McClendon erroneously thought there was something wrong with him, kids probably think there is something wrong with them and that they deserve punishment.


There was nothing wrong with McClendon, as there is nothing wrong with kids who get hit for some infraction. They are kids, remember?


I wonder how much punishment contributes to our culture's prevailing "I'm not good enough" syndrome. I'm not good enough to be loved. I'm not good enough to find a mate. I'm not good enough to write a good book, a play, a symphony, paint a picture or start a business. 


"I've been bad and deserve to be hit. I am a girl, a less desirable weaker sex, and I must keep my mouth shut. Boys will be boys, you know." 




That's the biggest Bullshit I have ever heard. 


I told you I was a Badass in training.


I will ask for pre-sales for the book PAINTING A LIFE from a Badass in Training by Jewell D. That way, I can hit the ground running when the book is launched. Getting sales right away is the best way to get a higher rating on Google.


"Obi-Wan, I need your help."


You can tell me you're willing to join my pre-sales campaign if you want to. Pre-sales are only charged once a book is launched.


So, nobody will be charged if it never gets off the launching pad.


Over and out, have fun, be creative, do a little dance.



Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Oh Goodie

 “It is nearly impossible to be error-free.” Spoken by a publisher who still finds errors in New York Times best sellers.

You know how it is. We can see errors someone else makes but not our own. That is not entirely egotistic. We know our material, and so our brain fills in the blanks.

Have you ever read a page where every word is misspelled, and you can still read it?

If the first and last letters are correct and the middle letters resemble the word you are writing, it is readable. Our brains are amazing.

However, our little picky brain is annoyed by that error, like a fly on the wall is irritating for it destroys the pristine palate of the wall.

Have you ever noticed that you see the slightest movement in a field of grass on that hillside over there? We are geared to see anything out of place.

I’m in the second phase of my memoir. I hesitate to call it that, for that seems egotistical, but I am fascinated by Natalie Goldberg, who says a memoir can begin at any time in your life, and it doesn’t have to begin with I was born in…” Neither does it have to be your entire life. I love it. Just pick a moment that took your breath away and go for it.

And everyone has a story to tell.

Oh yeah, but is it a good story?

I was impressed by Oprah Winfrey, who said that although she walks into a room as one, she carries 10,000 with her. Think of all those ancestors who contributed to you. Think of what you have behind you. Who came over on a boat? Who was a slave? Who was a horse thief? How about that Grandma who gave birth to twelve children and, by sweat and tears, raised them to adults? Who worked their butts off to put food on the table?

What did you get from them? I know little about those who came before me, but I owe it to them to write what little I know. We don’t know about their inner thoughts; some were working so hard they didn’t have time to ask the big questions or the inclination to ask. Some things were rigid then. Some words weren’t spoken.  But those people still had their thoughts and questions and doubts. I felt that by writing what little I know, I honor their lives. Even if those lives weren’t perfect.

Like a perfect manuscript, perfect life is impossible, but we try.

I reached my goal of 50,000 words while the pink blossoms remained on the tree from May 1 to May 31. That’s the fun part. Now comes the work, the corrections, the rewrites, the “What in the world am I doing?” stage. And what was I afraid to place on paper?

I didn’t have anything to say today, so I said this.

Hee hee,

Carry on, do good work, 

Monday, August 16, 2021


 A psychiatrist in Eugene said he had never had so many depressed patients as this year.

The other day he called his office and said, “I’m not coming back.”

You know what they say about putting on your oxygen mask first? If you run out of oxygen, you will be no help to others.

 What can I say?  What comfort can I offer to folks scared these days? I could say that all pandemics end eventually. The trouble is we don’t know when this one will or how.

 I’m wondering if somehow there was a message this pandemic was screaming at us, but our ears were closed. So instead of listening, we dropped into survival mode and started hoarding toilet paper.

 Are we waiting for someone to fix the problem then arguing over how it ought to be done?

 Are we with each other or against? We’re divided and argumentative. The veins in our necks budge from arguing over ideologies.

 I thought of this in contrast to Ester, who got into a hotel elevator and pushed the button for the top floor. Shortly after that, nine other women joined her. One woman taking over elevator control asked the others, “What floor?”

 Ester said, “I’ll have the lingerie floor, please.”

 The women started to giggle, and one woman popped up, “I’ll have the bargain basement.” Another said, “Not me; I’ll have the penthouse.” One said, “Let’s just stop at every floor and see what’s there.”

 They all got off laughing after having a grand time.

 Zig Zigler said he started the day by opening two gifts—his eyes.

 I know it’s not easy to change one’s focus from fear to optimism. However, we can move incrementally up the ladder toward feeling good.

 Is it possible that our consciousness had something to do with a virus that got out of hand?

Not possible? What if it was?  What if we believe we can lick this thing? What if our attitude would have some effect on the outcome? What if we believe that our immune systems can take us to the penthouse? (On earth, not heaven.)

 I’ve talked about the brain many times--how we have a brain stacked on a brain on a brain and how we drop into the Reptilian brain in times of fear.

 I had asked my daughter the question I asked you, “Do you think metaphysically we had anything to do with this pandemic?”

 Her answer came the following day. She said, “I think it runs on fear.”

 And she followed that with, “And I think that overcoming fear is becoming the master.”

 Wow. Something to aim for.

One of our brains helps us fight the tiger. Another brain runs our bodies without us thinking about it.   “Sent an enzyme down to the stomach.” “Send a sleep chemical. Send a wake-up chemical. The cells are crying for water—make them thirsty. Breathe. Pump the heart. Send white blood cells to clean up that injury.”

 Talk about spinning plates on poles.

 And then sitting on top of all the machinery is the cerebral cortex, the thinking brain, that can analyze, plan and build empires.

 Give that big thinking brain a problem, and it will find a solution—not always the best solution, but it will come up with something. And then brains got together and created the computer to speed up problem-solving ability.

 We have all felt emotion in our heart space, and indeed, some say the heart has a brain. In times of trouble or joy, we have felt a hit in our solar-plexus, so we know something is responding there. And who hasn’t felt as though every cell in the body was tinkling with life?

 We are warriors.

 We are going to take care of each other. We’re going to encourage the light, not the darkness. We’re going to trust that it will tell us to go here or there. Eat this. It will help our immune systems.

 We have become so chemicalized our poor tiny cells must think they are swimming in toxic waste. Our ozone is struggling to hold itself together, and the plants were happy for a breather when we decreased our driving.

 What if we stopped waiting for a synthetic pill to save us and instead looked to some natural remedies? Yes, use chemistry but be reasonable about it. Don’t put weird things in our bodies. I’ve heard that in nature, where there is a toxic plant, there is also an antidote plant. For example, where we live, we have poison oak, and we also have rhododendron plants. Rhododendron tea can soothe poison oak rash.

 Many of our medicines are synthetic versions of the real thing, and we think it’s the same. However, once a doctor—he was so fascinating. I don’t remember his name. He lived in San Diego and was in a wheelchair. His office had a wall of supplements and an aisle in front of them where he wheeled his chair back and forth, plucking from the shelves what he thought would help his client.

 This doctor told me that the calcium from eating the plant worked better than a calcium supplement. He didn’t know why, but going through a plant added something to the calcium that made it work better in our bodies.

 We’ve heard the idea that once a people believed in planning for the seventh generation. We know that many Indigenous cultures knew to walk gently on mother earth’s back. I’ve heard that the Native Americans said they would be back, like smoke, and that they did not die in vain. They were smart enough not to kill off the buffaloes—how stupid to wipe out one’s food source. And on top of it to revere the man who killed them. A man with a gun on a horse --the buffalos didn’t stand a chance. And the people in revering this man did not respect the life of another creature.

 I’m not saying the Native Americans were perfect—they were people, and some fought other tribes. However, living close to the land did teach them some things. Like not to pollute the very earth that sustains you. Do not take more than you need. Plan for the next harvest, like tying up the Camus flowers, so that next year, when the tribe traveled through that area, they would know where the bulbs, a food source, were.

We need to treasure what we have and bless it. We need to remember that the populace keeps the corporations going, not the other way around. The public keeps the medical personal in jobs. They know it, and we know it, but somehow, we are intimidated by the big guys. (Money, bluster, and degrees does not a master make.)

We run the cogs we think are running us.

We aren’t powerless. We are powerful.

 We are worth saving.