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 !