It's THANKFUL Thursday... and I had a really profound message, with all kinds of research to write about today; but if I am truly going to use this blog to help people understand their brains and how to make them
work FOR you rather than AGAINST you....
then I have to be totally honest with you and say...
This has been a really CRAPPY week and it has been hard for me, and even though I KNOW how the brain works and understand its negative loops very well, I have not been 100% able to stop them myself.
So... let me tell you, when I say I know how you feel.... I REALLY do!
Sometimes, even when you KNOW better, you can't keep hurt or anger, or sadness, or rejection from creeping in. AND... when things seem to go south, boy do they gather steam and keep on rolling. No matter what you do, or what you say, or how you feel, or how much you talk to your own head... it just doesn't seem to change things.
But.... as I'd cried for about the 20th time this week....
a lesson from a 10 year old boy dawned on me,
and it was the same lesson, just wrapped in a different package.
Valentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays as a grown up. AND... it has not been because I was showered with gifts or romanced to far away places. My joy with this holiday began in 1989, when I was doing my student teaching in Abilene, Texas with my mentor teacher - Lisa Farr.
She explained to me (how as a single mom), she let go of the idea of Valentine's Day being about "getting", and turned it into one of "giving" for her children and other people she thought would benefit from a surprise smile and a little extra LOVE.
I must say... as a 21 year old girl, full of self-absorption, I was in awe that someone who had no romantic love in her life could possibly be filled with such genuine excitement for a LOVE HOLIDAY. Almost 30 years later.... I have never forgotten the lesson she taught me, and I have tried my best over these many years to pass her message along to others. So... as my 2018 Valentine's Day approached, I pulled out my old tricks, and channeled my inner Ms. Farr, and made the LOVE HOLIDAY about giving and making it special for someone else.
You can ask any of my 3 children about their memories of
Valentine's Day.... and I am sure the first words out of their mouths will have something to do with MR. Cupid!
No matter what you're planting.... it's GROWING!
This past November, I went to a Gratitude Conference with the
Greater Good Science Center in San Fransisco.
My daughter came with me so we could have a girl's trip vacation.
While we were there, we decided to go to the majestic redwood forest of Muir Woods. I have never been quite so awe struck (as to how small we are in comparison to nature) as I was standing in the middle of those woods. I've been to the ocean many times, climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa, bathed in the mud of a volcano, and sat at the VERY top of the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, but.... something about those huge trees took me by surprise.
I was struck with a HUGE revelation yesterday as I signed up to attend a new Yoga studio, and talked with a personal trainer about my muscle loss..... building your GRATITUDE muscle.....
is exactly like building your physical muscle.
If you don't USE it, you LOSE it !!!!
I have always been a fairly fit person, and can say that I have worked out in some consistent fashion for most of my adult life. AND... if I am being honest,
in my 20's and 30's it was mostly about trying to look good. BUT... in my 40's and now in my 50's it has been about FEELing good!
These last 2 years however, I have completely fallen off the WAGON.... and I've known it was happening. Starting Grad School, starting OVER, moving to a new house and in a new town have consumed my time....... BUT......... (gut check truthful here)
I still have the same 24 hours I've always had, and I know FOR SURE,
when something is a priority- YOU MAKE TIME FOR IT!
LIVING a GRATEFUL life works exactly the same way!
Aristotle said "You are what you repeatedly do."
but..... what if you aren't aware that what you're doing is harmful?
The truth is.... Your BRAIN is working at all times,
and every thought you have (whether spoken or NOT)
is traveling through your mind and firing the neurons in your brain.
SO.... ask yourself this question.....
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT ?
I've heard little quotes like "You are what you think about" and "Thoughts become things"
a million times in the past.... BUT last year I went to an EEG workshop with
Dr. Ido Davidesco, a Ph.D. research scientist at NYU, and my life was drastically changed. I watched 1st hand, how
my THOUGHTS were
giving off a genuine, measurable, electronic signal registering on the screen in front of me...
which was transmitting messages within my BRAIN.
(photo above is me being hooked up to an EEG machine)
Here is a screenshot
of my BRAIN
(with my eyes closed)
just thinking .
So..... what does this have to do with YOU
and what does this have to do with GRATITUDE?
Let me tell you!
After nearly 10 years of people asking me when I was ever going to write
on my BLOG again..........well....today is the day! Creative Gratitude Company website and my brand NEW blog.....are up and ready to create a gratitude revolution.
Lots has happened in the last 10 years, and I can NOT say it was all great! But, I can say, I have come out on the other end a much stronger, more focused gal. I have learned to love in the midst of adversity, enjoy the tiny treasures life offers me daily, forgive when I hurt more than I imagined possible, and smile bigger and laugh louder in my 50's than my 20's ever dreamed.
I am just a few short months away from graduating with a Master's Degree in Educational Neuroscience and I couldn't be more thrilled with where life's journey is taking me.
Please join me each "Thankful Thursday"
for my weekly BLOG post with tips and tricks I have learned throughout my journey. I will be sharing with the world all the incredible things I have learned about the BRAIN and how you can learn to "re-wire" yours through the practice of GRATITUDE to live a life that makes you smile.
Life will always deal you some moments of adversity.... but learning to spot your "triggers" before the brain completes its circuit of negative habits has been the most revolutionary thing I have come across in my studies. Most relationships don't have 30 different arguments, they probably have 1 argument 30 times. I now know that is because of the circuit patterns our brains run in our head. Ones we don't even know are happening.
Best kept SECRET... make yourself a HAPPY LIST!.....
Take a moment and think of 5 things that make you happy. If you're like most people I've talked to in the last 2 years of research, you've never stopped to ask yourself that question. Make sure you think of things you can do by yourself that don't require an "other" person. Here's My LIST... Now let me tell you how to use your list to catch your "triggers" before they complete the negative circuit.
Staci is a one-of-a-kind mix of JOY and Neuroscience who is teaching people all over the world to BUILD a BETTER BRAIN by using Gratitude to create a BRIGHTER future. She has a Master's Degree in Educational NEUROSCIENCE and 25 years of teaching experience where she developed a reputation for being able to uncover potential in others like no one else could. Let her teach you how to live a HAPPIER Life by using the neuroscience of GRATITUDE to rewire your brain and build a better future!