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 !


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.

Mood Foods

I just came across this really interesting slide show about Mood Foods – what different types of foods do to your body bio-chemically & emotionally.

Adolescence: A stage between infancy and adultery

Vector image of two human figures with hands i...

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I have blogged about the Secret Sex Lives of Kids and have now turned my thoughts to how children actually do develop and the “Teens” are what could be described as an interesting time, for many reasons, not least of which is the challenge that occurs between child and parent.

From around the age of 12 to 15 it is an extremely hormonal time for children (not sure they would even like being called children) – the brain is moving into a different mode and it is the onset of the mating ritual as nature intended. Because the impulses of sexual energy are so high, they become very emotional – You Don’t Say !  The large changes in hormones also drive dramatic behavioural changes.

In small children the brain is oriented to survival and kids will cling to their mother, however, when they enter the hormonal stage things change and the primitive instincts in the brain take over. This is a time in nature when the primal kicks in and the ties between child and parent change. It is natural that they pull away from parents and bond more to others that share the same sexual energies.

As they continue to develop, their bodies release pheromones which attract the opposite sex. This is the move from daggy clothes and “Urgh he’s got cooties” to the latest fashion and “He’s hot” (I’m know that the thoughts and expressions are more sexually charged but let’s keep it as this level for the sake of modesty -lol!).  For both sexes the body develops faster then the brain’s logic capacity at this stage. Urges begin to effect them and surge throughout their bodies. Due to the chemical changes in the brain teenagers begin to act almost on instinct – they become very centered on themselves. This is the “Aren’t your family important to you anymore?” stage.

Sometimes the serotonin and noradrenaline levels in the body become unbalanced which can lead to manic or depressive behaviours and disorders. The worst of which can lead to teen suicide. Some other symptoms of this imbalance are aggravation, anger and the inability to express emotion. You can adjust the levels of serotonin and noradrenaline intuitively and changing the diet can help as well. Make sure you get the protein/carb ratio’s in the diet right and include lipids and sterols as they are necessary for the balance of different hormones in the brain. However being told anything at this age is like a red flag to a bull as teenagers have a tendency to think they know everything – this is part of the actual brain development. The frontal lobe is not yet fully developed. So, this is where they fail to realise the repercussions of their actions and tend to act without thinking.

At this point the body is developing rapidly in so many different ways it is hard for a child to remain balanced. Parents tend to seem lost as to what to do and are unable to make decisions for their children, whilst the children themselves are behaving what can only be described as irrationally. I guess it is easy to forget that at this time within the child is a combination of young adult and child that is under enormous development change within their bodies. Let’s not forget that it took us a long time to figure things out and that some of us still have not managed to figure things out – umm, pause to remember those times – may I say, it’s not a pretty !

It’s normal for children at this age to be interested in religion and be curious about many different beliefs which can include everything from cults, satanism and good old spirituality. As a note of caution it’s a really good time to watch what children are doing intuitively as they grow and develop perception and have many spiritual experiences. Because children are much more intuitive than adults they sometimes mistake whether it is intuition or spirit at work which can lead to them being misled. Those children that allow spirit into their space for ‘more power’ are allowing the spirit to take energy from them and they give their power away which is how children sometimes end up in cults.

Many children are so open to the world that they are susceptible to becoming victims. This is where all the hard work you have put in so far really needs to be enforced – it’s ok for them to stick up for themselves and to say no. One of the most impotant (freudian slip – should read important) things a parent can do with a teen is to let them know that their sexual urges are not wrong and they are entirely normal & natural but at the same time developing self responsibility about the fact that they are giving part of themselves when they indulge in a sexual relationship. This brings up the question of whether oral sex is classed as sex – lawfully the answer is Yes. This is the ‘You can only do so much to coach and guide but ultimately your child will make up their own mind’ stage.  Better to have been there as a parent for them and provided an open and honest forum for discussion than to have to pick up the pieces at a later stage.

It’s around this time that children realise that they don’t have to listen to everything their parents say, and this too, believe it or not is another stage in development. This is where the little darlings decide to go out on their own to do things !!!  Given that childen are not considered legally responsible until the age of 18 this is where it get’s interesting for parents but if ‘anything’ does happen, no matter what it might be, you as a parent should not feel like a failure – remember everything we have talked about – the hormones, the changes etc – However that does not give anyone the right to relinquish their parental responsibilities.  If you have always worked with your child to have good self worth and is therefore capable of making good decisions – what’s the problem, right?