Personal Evolution

“Parts” of Yourself: Where are they all?

Some time ago, I was part of a fascinating discussion at Dawud Miracle's blog about whether we have “parts” of ourselves or whether we are a “whole” misled by our language and habits of thought into thinking of ourselves in parts. (This guy is not just another web designer, eh?)

I had to join such a conversation, but of course I approached the question from the perspective of the brain. (I couldn't help myself — you'll understand ).

To follow the whole conversation (or is that to follow all its parts??), you'll need to go catch up on Dawud's blog, but I thought I would share my thinking on this for my brain aficionados. (That's you.)

So —

Why do we seem to have “parts”?...

Does It Matter How Your Memory Works?

I recently was part of an on-line conversation about the family movie Inside Out. (Parents and kids alike are loving it -- check out the Facebook page in the link!)

There has been some criticism from brain-people that know a lot about how memory works that some memory metaphors in the move aren't...well...quite right.

Other people feel the power of the film for teaching about emotions -- the importance of every kind of emotion, how we manage them, a vocabulary for parents and children to talk about feelings, even for those of us who might be grown-up children without a good emotional vocabulary -- far outweighs any factual slips.

I want to suggest both sides are "right".

But I also want to share that I strongly believe that how we think about our brains -- our "model" of the brain -- can influence how we live our life. (Hence, my little tag line: Understanding the Hidden Principles of Your Brain as a Rosetta Stone to Life -- I really, really mean it.)

So, here are my thoughts on whether understanding how your memory works really makes any difference to the bigger picture...

Mindfulness: A tool for brain training?

Sorry to go missing for the summer - I seemed to have taken a writing-free vacation! But I"m trying to ease myself back into communicating with the outside world . So let's get (re-)started....There has been a lot of talk about mindfulness this days and lots of expensive courses to teach you "how to do it". Why is this approach so popular and is it worth the time to learn and practice it? I'm going to suggest that yes, it is. And that's because practicing mindfulness gives your brain a chance to allow old, less useful/unproductive "thought ruts" to weaken and change. That means you're less likely to just automatically go down the same old thought and feeling-roads you may be taking that cause you distress. I've had a couple of posts on this topic in the past, but I recently received an email about a free introduction to mindfulness -- and since courses can be so darn expensive -- free looked like a good thing to share with you. It's soon, but there's still time to let the presenters know you're interesed. I'm (with their permission) just going to share the exact content of their notice. Since I'm not affiliated with these folks, please do get back to them directly if you're interested. (But do feel free to say you found out about it here!) Here we go...