Can we escape from our biology and become more evolved?

Neuroplasticity challenges the idea that brain...

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My blog today is written from a place of seeing the pain that some people close to me are going through…… and light to them.

Can we escape from our biology and become more evolved? – To coin a very well known phrase “YES WE CAN”

Why is it that when 2 factory workers sit side by side and are exposed to the same carcinogenic chemicals for 20 years that one manifests cancer and the other doesn’t? Maybe, just maybe, there is some kind of internal order at work that supersedes the  continual environmental exposure to harmful chemicals which are known to genetically alter tissue. Is it possible that managing our own internal environment, regardless of the external environment we can maintain or change our genes?

There is a growing body of studies & evidence that points to the effect of stress on our bodies and it points to the fact that most species live in a primitive state of survival. This limits our evolution as the chemicals of stress alter our internal state and pull the trigger of cellular breakdown thus chronic long term stress weakens our bodies. Over a period of time we begin to like and cannot shake the internal state of turmoil and we rely on the chemical state that drives us to experience confusion, unhappiness, aggression even depression etc.

So, why do we cling to relationships or jobs that that logically no longer work for us? If it is the conditions of our job that we dislike so much, why don’t we just get another one? If there is something in our personal life that causes us to suffer, why don’t we change it? why does changing ourselves and our conditions in life seem so hard?

The answer to those questions are that we choose to remain in the same circumstances because we become addicted to the emotional state they produce and the chemicals that arouse that state of being. Is change easy? For most people I would say the answer to that is no which is why some people choose to stay in situations that produce the kind of troubled states of mind that plague them for their entire lives – Ouch, that’s gotta hurt!  People choose this state of ‘ being stuck’ partly because of genetics and partly because a part of their brain has become hardwired by their repeated thoughts and reactions that limits their vision of what is possible. Everyone probably knows someone that isn’t happy unless they are unhappy !

When it comes to evolution, change is the only element that is universal, or consistent to all species on earth. To evolve is to change by adapting to the environment. Our environment as human beings is everything that makes up our lives. You know, all those complex circumstances that involve us, our loved ones, social status, where we live, what we do for a living, how we react to those around us & even the times we live in.

When we change something in our life, we have to make it different than it would be if we left it alone. To change is to become different, it means that we are no longer who we used to be. We have modified how we think, what we do, what we say, how we act and who we were being. Personal change takes an intentional act of will, and it usually means that something was making us uncomfortable enough to want to do things differently. To evolve is to overcome the conditions in our life by changing something about ourselves.

We have an innate ability to be neuroplastic – the ability to rewire and create new neural circuits to make substantial changes in the quality of our lives. Our ability to be neuroplastic is equivalent  to our ability to change our minds, to change ourselves and to change our perception of the world around us; that is, our reality. In order to accomplish this we have to change how the brain automatically and habitually works. When you effect neuroplasticity your brain has permanently changed; it neurologically tracked a new way to fire off circuits, by making new neurological patterns that work in a different pattern.

Here is a great example… what do you see when you first look at this image? Now, look at it again and what do you see?

Maybe you first saw a candlestick or maybe you saw 2 people looking at each other !

What you first see in the form of a picture will be what is the most familiar pattern in the shape you are looking at. Just above your ears, the temporal lobes (the brain’s center for decoding & recognsing objects) locks in a memory. The picture activates a few hundred million neurological circuits, which fire in a unique sequence and pattern throughout specific parts of your brain, and you are reminded of a candlestick or 2 people looking at each other – cool !

So, going back to neuroplasticity,  what if you saw the candlestick and I told you to no longer see that object and to see 2 people looking at each other instead. For you to accomplish that feat, your frontal lobe would have to force your brain to “cool off” the circuits that are related to candlesticks and reorganise it’s circuitary to imagine 2 people looking at each other instead. The ability to make the brain forgo it’s habitual internal wiring and fire in new patterns and combinations is how neuroplasticity allows us to change.

Breaking the habit of thinking, doing, feeling, perceiving or behaving is what allows you to see the world and see yourself differently. You change your mind by altering the brain’s typical firing pattern and by strengthening new chains of brain cell connections, and thus who you are has changed as well.  Umm, does this then mean that change, neuroplasticity and evolution all have similar meanings?

Put Yourself in Good Hands – Your Own !


How Men & Women Handle Stress Differently

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus when it comes to handling Stress….

Amanda Ezman’s life is a little on the stressful side these days. She’s a first-grade teacher to a classroom full of rambunctious 6-year-olds, she’s planning a July wedding, and she’s house hunting with her future husband. So it’s a common occurrence for her to come home after a harried day and feel stressed. What does she do?

“When it all piles up, I usually need to cry and get it all out,” says Ezman, of Sherrill, N.Y. “I talk and then talk some more and then some more, and then once I’ve had a chance to talk through all the things that bottle up inside me during the day, I usually feel better.”

 Andrew Flynn’s pregnant wife and 5-year-old daughter have relocated from Long Island, N.Y., to upstate N.Y., while he still works on Long Island. He commutes once a week back and forth, and in the meantime, tries to get his family settled in their new house near Syracuse. Stress is unfortunately a part of his life for the time being.

“I don’t talk about my feelings when I’m stressed,” says Flynn. “It’s easier just to let it pass and move on.”

Clearly, men and women tend to deal with stress in very different ways — but why? WebMD talks to experts who explain why stress affects the sexes so differently.

Men vs. Women and Hormones

One of the most important reasons why men and women react differently to stress is hormones. Three play a crucial role: cortisol, epinephrine, and oxytocin.

When stress strikes, hormones called cortisol and epinephrine together raise a person’s blood pressure and circulating blood sugar level, and cortisol alone lowers the effectiveness of the immune system.

“People used to think there was a difference in the amounts of cortisol released during a stressful situation in women,” says Robert Sapolsky, PhD, professor of neurobiology at Stanford University. “The thinking was women released more of this hormone, and that produced all sorts of nutty theories about why women are so emotional.”

But the fact of the matter, explains Sapolsky, is that there is no consistent difference in cortisol production at all between men and women. It really all comes down to the hormone called oxytocin.

In women, when cortisol and epinephrine rush through the bloodstream in a stressful situation, oxytocin comes into play. It is released from the brain, countering the production of cortisol and epinephrine, and promoting nurturing and relaxing emotions.

While men also secrete the hormone oxytocin when they’re stressed, it’s in much smaller amounts, leaving them on the short end of the stick when it comes to stress and hormones.

Tend and Befriend, Fight or Flight

While most people are familiar with the fight or flight theory (when confronted with stress, do you stay and fight or turn tail and run?), there’s a new theory in town tailored just for women.

An influential study published in the July 2000 issue of Psychological Reviewreported that females were more likely to deal with stress by “tending and befriending” — that is, nurturing those around them and reaching out to others. “Tending involves nurturant activities designed to protect the self and offspring that promote safety and reduce distress; befriending is the creation and maintenance of social networks that may aid in this process,” write researchers, including Shelly E. Taylor, PhD, a distinguished professor in the department of psychology at UCLA.

Why do women tend and befriend instead of fight or flight? The reason, in large part, is oxytocin combined with female reproductive hormones, explained researchers in the study.

Men, on the other hand, with smaller amounts of oxytocin, lean toward the tried and true fight or flight response when it comes to stress — either bottling it up and escaping, or fighting back.

Demand vs. Energy

“The major sex differences I see have to do with the management of demand and maintenance of energy,” says Carl Pickhardt, PhD, a psychologist and author ofThe Everything Parent’s Guide to Positive Discipline. “Because male self-esteem is often built around adequacy of performance, and female self-esteem is often built around adequacy of relationships, overdemand and insufficient self-maintenance tend to cut somewhat different ways for women and for men.”

A woman, explains Pickhardt, is often at risk of letting other people’s needs determine her limits, while her own needs are ignored.

“Self-sacrifice in relationships is how many women enter stress,” says Pickhardt, who is a spokesman for the American Psychological Association.

Men, on the other hand, are often at risk of letting challenge and competition set the pace.

“Men tend to let their rival’s efforts or their employer’s agenda set the level of their demand, losing focus on the self to preoccupation with winning or attaining an extrinsic objective,” Pickhardt tells WebMD. “Achieving a winning performance at all costs is how many men enter stress.”

What is the greatest stressor for women and for men? Not surprisingly, “Relationship loss for women, performance failure for men, are often the greatest stressors each sex experiences,” says Pickhardt.

Managing Stress

When it comes to managing stress, men and women just handle it differently. Take Amanda Ezmen and Andrew Flynn, for example. Both lead stressful lives, but both handle it in their own way.

“Managing stress is very different by sex,” Pickhardt tells WebMD. “Women often seek support to talk out the emotional experience, to process what is happening and what might be done.”

Whether its friends, family, or a support group, women like to tell their stories.

“Men often seek an escape activity to get relief from stress, to create a relaxing diversion, to get away,” says Pickhardt.

Golfing is a common example of how men escape — they’re acting out their stressful energy in a challenging way while enjoying the companionship of other men. They typically, explains Pickhardt, don’t take time out of a round of golf to discuss their feelings or stress amongst each other.

For both sexes, stress has evolved from the days on the savannah when we were running for our lives. Now, it’s mortgage payments and childcare that keep us up night after night.

“The single most important point to make is that stress has evolved from dealing with a single short-term crisis to the ability to turn stress on in a chronic way,” says Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.

Unfortunately, because the hormonal result of stress is increased blood pressure and circulating blood sugar levels, and a less-effective immune system, chronic stress can lead to serious health problems.

“Men and women need to find ways to deal with chronic stress. This is not what the body has evolved for, and it can increase a person’s risk of everything from heart disease to metabolic disorders to impaired wound healing,” Sapolsky tells WebMD

I Can Change My Mind

Complete neuron cell diagram. Neurons (also kn...

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I invite you to have a single thought, any thought. Whether your thought was related to a feeling of happiness, sadness, anger, inspiration or even sexual arousal, you changed your body. You changed you. All thoughts whether they be “I can” “I can’t”, “I love you”, “I’m not good enough” have the same measurable effects. As you sit here reading this blog, your body is undergoing a host of dynamic changes triggered by your most recent thought.

Your pancreas and adrenal glands are already secreting a few new hormones, your brain just surged with an increase in electrical current releasing thousands of neurochemicals. Your spleen and thymus gland sent out a mass email to your immune system to make a few modifications. Several different gastric juices started flowing. Your liver began processing enzymes that were not present moments before. Your heart rate fluctuated, your lungs altered their stroke volume, and blood flow to the capillaries in your hands and feet changed. All from thinking just one thought. You are that powerful!

Whether we like it or not, once a thought happens in the brain, the rest is history. All of the bodily reactions that  occur from both our intentional or unintentional thinking unfold behind the scenes of our awareness. Amazingly enough the unconscious brain holds 80% of our thoughts and feelings and only 20% sit in our conscious brain. So, is it possible that we can train our body to be unhealthy by our repeated thoughts and reactions?

I want you to pay attention, become aware and listen. Can you hear the hum of the refrigerator or maybe the sound of a passing car or a distant bird? How about your own heart beating? Just by shifting your attention to those moments you caused a power surge of electricity in millions of brain cells right inside your own head. By choosing to modify your awareness, you changed your brain.
Not only did you change how your brain was working moments ago, but how it will work in the next moment, and possibly for the rest of your life. You did that of your own free will, by changing your focus. You quite literally changed your mind.

If are awareness is so mobile, why is it hard to keep our attention on thoughts that might serve us? Right now, as you continue to concentrate on this page, you might have forgotten about the pain in your lower back, or the argument you had with your boss or even what gender you are. It is where you place your attention and on what you place your attention on that maps the very course of our state of being. For example at any given moment you could think about a bitter memory from your past that has been tattooed in the intimate folds of your grey matter and like magic it comes to life. You could also think about something that may or may not happen in the future and anxieties and worries that do not readily exist are conjured up by your mind. Our attention brings everything to life and makes real what was previously unnoticed or unreal.

The good news is that you are a work in progress – the brain cells that make up who you are are constantly in flux. Brain cells are constantly remolded and re-organised by your thoughts and experiences. If you accept the notion that your brain is still changing as you read this blog, you can easily see that your parents, teachers, neighbours, friends, family and culture have all contributed to who you are today. It is our senses through our vast experiences that write the story of who we are on our mind.

Chi Energy Amazing Footage

Are you searching for a single solution to address all of your aging symptoms?

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Solfeggio Frequencies & Fibonnaci for DNA Healing

A Sunday natter from the desk of Sara – Resonate to Forgiveness

Forgiveness (film)

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Yesterday I was blessed to be asked to be part of a test group to trial some new essences and extremely grateful for the learnings I was given during the trial. The essences were recently made by a friend and fellow Kinesiologist who is an extremely beautiful and spiritual person who’s ability to give to others comes from a place of unconditional love and respect for herself and those around her. Needless to say the essences were truly amazing and I experienced healings of which I did not understand although I knew I had to forgive myself and others – What for? – that information is to come to me as I take the forgiveness essence over the next few weeks but the one thing I do know is that I need to ask the questions and meditate on them for the answers. I am looking forward to this journey and more learning.

I have just googled some FAQ on forgiveness which are definitely worth sharing and also very interesting:

What is the difference between interpersonal forgiveness and intrapersonal forgiveness?

When we practice interpersonal forgiveness, the goal is reconciliation; both parties mut be involved.

Intrapersonal forgiveness takes place only within the individual. It does not require the interaction between two parties, and reconciliation (although it may happen) is not the goal.

If I practiced forgiveness, would I be healthier?

It’s very likely that you would. Bearing a grudge and refusing to forgive can cause chronic stress to the body as well as the mind.

Lack of forgiveness can create an avalanche of stress hormones.

  • It increases production of cortisol and epinephrine, which leads
    to changes in heart rate and blood pressure.
  • It raises levels of catecholamine and CD8, which suppresses
    the immune system thus increasing the risk of viral infection.
  • Leads to the release of histamines, which can trigger severe
    bronchoconstriction in people with asthma.

Chronic stress also…

  • Alters insulin levels.
  • Alters the acid concentration in the stomach.
  • Causes plaque buildup in the arteries.
  • Causes or intensifies aches and pains.
  • Raises anxiety levels.
  • Causes depression.
  • Interferes with intimate and social relationships.
  • Affects sleep and appetite.
  • Affects job performance.

Why is forgiveness so hard?

Forgiveness may be hard because of such factors as….

  • type and length of relationship
  • history of hurtful behavior
  • perceived intentionality of the offender
  • elapsed time
  • the risk of change
  • biological deficits (see next FAQ)

What are the biological factors in forgiveness?

Brain imaging technology has shown that an unhealthy anterior cingulate gyrus and basal ganglia can cause…

    • problems in shifting attention
    • worrying, rumination
    • holding on to hurts from past – inability to relinquish grudges
    • cognitive inflexibility
    • conflict avoidance

These problems can greatly reduce an individual’s ability to forgive.

Also, researchers have associated the temporal lobes and the deep limbic system with spiritual behavior and spiritual experiences. These parts of the brain can affect…

    • personality and mood stability
    • accurate reading of social situations
    • control over temper
    • access to spiritual experience
    • positive mood and emotional tone

These factors can make it easier for an individual to forgive.

Are there psychological factors that influence the ability to forgive?

Not surprisingly, people who are inclined to forgive tend to be more emotionally stable; they are easy- going, less moody, more agreeable, and better able to handle negative emotions and criticism.

People who are inclined to forgive have a high capacity for empathy, whereas a narcissist is least likely to be able to forgive.

Narcissism is present in everyone to varying degrees. A certain degree of self-focus and self-regard is healthy. But a truly narcissistic individual – someone with a personality disorder — lacks empathy, is hypersensitive to criticism, has a sense of entitlement, and is insensitive to the needs of others. These are the individuals who, when they experience an injury, use vengeful fantasies in order to repair their self-esteem.

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