Archive - July 2010

So…Memories Are Really Made Of This
“WD 40” For UpSpiral Neuropathways
Is It Thoughts Or Feelings That Have The Power?
Meet Dr. Larkin
Still Chasing The Dark Side of Your Shadow?  I’m So Sorry!

So…Memories Are Really Made Of This

Negative, shadowy memories get a lot of attention. More than they deserve, but after all, they sell books for half-baked healers and their publishers with most of the bucks going to theBrain_Right_and_Left.jpg publisher. Positive memories, which are even more powerful, don’t get nearly as much attention. Why? Less bucks and more ignorance, in the true sense of the word. A focus on positive memories will heal and restore and increase our resilience.

Did you know that each side of your brain remembers your past in different ways and at different times? The left hemisphere of your brain keeps a list of memories, usually negative ones. It stores these memories out of context and recalls them for a variety of reasons. If you are one of those people who always want to ask “why,” this part of your brain will cooperate and will come up with a memory, whether it’s a correct reason or not. The brain will always fill a gap in knowing, but not necessarily in an altogether accurate way.

If you want an excuse to be ornery, full of self-pity, stuck in “why,” or have some reason to rationalize your anger about the past, your left hemisphere will cooperate. If you want to be reflective, contemplative, contextually accurate, or autobiographical, it will be your right hemisphere that will supply you with the stuff of the maturing braBrain_Hemispheres3.jpgin, especially as it does its work of the developmental stages of the second half of life.

Your right hemisphere remembers “autobiographically.” If you retrieve a memory or memories from your right hemisphere, they will be more complete, more totally in context, and much more of a complete narrative. The right hemisphere is also importantly NOT JUDGMENTAL about its autobiographical recall of memory.

Very simply, if you recall a memory from the left hemisphere, it is easier to experience it negatively and to “act out” based upon that memory. If you remember from the right hemisphere, you are more likely to be reflective and to give the memory new and ever more maturing perspectives.

The research is beginning to show, and we suspect it to be so, that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) recalls memory from the left hemisphere without the benefit of right hemispheric moderation and modulation in a significant and healing way.

How do you recall memory from the right hemisphere in a more autobiographical sense to increase health? Very simple. Ask yourself what benefit there is, what good came from thiSocial_Media.jpgs situation, or what there is to be glad about in any and every memory. In others words, ask of every memory, what is there to be grateful for here, what is there to be glad about, what were and are the benefits? Then feel the positive feelings, like gratitude or love, that begin to match the new perspective you are generating from your right hemisphere. You will find your way to greater resilience and peace.

I am going to be writing about this all week long on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In. There are four more parts to using the right hemisphere in order to remember our memories in a way I call “Touchstones,” and it’s our way at ANI of dealing with the negative past.

“WD 40” For UpSpiral Neuropathways

The fBrain_Energy.jpgastest and the most connected neuropathways are those we use most often and the ones in our past that we have most used.

IWD_40.jpgf we are determined to remember negative memories, we will remember and “lubricate” the emotions that are connected to them. If we remember the good that came from any negative experience, we will grease the lightning fast movement of positive emotions.

While we tend to give memories and even “yesterday” a lot of mental air time, we can play any mental music in the “airtime” of our brain that we choose to play.

It’s just hard to remember to play positive emotions.

WD-40 is a rapid fix lubricant that oils just about anything in the house. Our “brand” of WD-40 is to smile broadly, to say, and to feel, if only a little, gratitudeStay_Positive.jpg, peace, joy, hope, and love. As we have moved into the fullness of summer, its changes in activities, temperatures, moods and pace, we may have had to lubricate many things in our homes from doors, to car hinges, to whatever.

The WD-40 for our emotional life is so simple and just as simple to forget. We live with a mental ambient soundtrack of love, peace, gratitude, joy and hope, if we choose to and if we practice it.

I am most l-a-z-y and most easily distracted in the summer by a hundred things and so a reminder to live emotionally where I choose needs to go into the vacation plan to increase the level of fun and happiness.

Is It Thoughts Or Feelings That Have The Power?

Blah_Blah.jpgDo thoughts create the feelings we have or do our feelings create our thoughts? Does changing your thinking change your feelings or are your thoughts the captive of your mood or feeling state?

It is both and that’s what undoes much of the “positive thinking” movement. Monitoring your thoughts and always trying to be positive helps, but you can’t do it all the time and it just isn’t the whole picture, not by a long shot. Thoughts can change feelings, but emotions and feelings can also change thoughts.

For example, negative self-talk that goes on inside your head is a combination of both feelings and thoughts.

Feelings and thoughts travel on the same neuropathways and it usually feelings that get the right of way, particularly the stronger or more persistBrain_Change.jpgent they are. If you get really, really persistent with positive thinking, it will pick up speed and power, though.

So what’s the solution? The solution is not only to change your negative thinking. It’s also the decision to change your negative feelings. But don’t change your negative feelings by force or by denial. Change your negative feelings by learning to do what we have never really learned to do. Learn to feel positive emotion and practice feeling positive feelings. Learn to feel love, peace, gratitude, joy and hope “on call.”

Some negative feelings give us important information about what not to do and other negative feelings are habits, patterns and just automatic negative feelings. Just don’t live in Emotional_Gym6.jpgnegative feeling; let them tell you to get to a positive place.

“Positivity Being” is where it’s at. At ANI, we teach you that in our Emotional Gym and we teach you how to discern between negative feelings that are a message and negative feelings that are like gnats buzzing around in your head.

Positive thinking alone will not do it. We have to learn to develop positive emotional muscle. It doesn’t come automatically. Many folks are as much slaves to negative emotions as they are to negative thoughts.

Still Chasing The Dark Side of Your Shadow?  I’m So Sorry!

Split_Personality3.jpgWhat do you suppose happens if you spend time shining the light on the dark side of you? You’re right. You grow your dark side. But how can this be? There are so many healers and facilitators of groups watching DVDs, leading people to investigate their dark side, wallow in their hurts, dig them out, raise them up and get them healed. Just what is the healing? The healing is that after you have gone through all of the exercises that essentially blame the way you are on your past, that this dark side morphs into something else to dig up and you have more dark side to process the next time. It just never ends. And there is no research to support it. There is also no theology, except one of dualism, that supports it. All of this is the product of self-proclaimed, half-baked psychological types, poorly trained who want to exert power over others and sell books and DVDs that never get you past the negative core beliefs they contend they do.

Shine the light on the positive and you get a quite different result with “positivity being.” In an UpSpiral that is supported by your real strengths, you shed the skins of the past. They simply are not issues because you are getting on with your life, and getting on with your life heals more than anything else, more quickly and more pervasively. Digging out the past at a time proclaimed by “healers” is dangerous and unhealthy and it grows the problem by focusing attenLight3.jpgtion there. In quantum physics, it is called the Zeno Effect.


It is true that in an UpSpiral, you will encounter negativity within yourself and you will also encounter negative patterns that have a history. However, you encounter them at the “right” time, when you are in a positive place. You can look at them in your way, from your strengths, and make decisions about changing both beliefs and behavior. The negative will be less, you will have much more resilience to deal with it, and you will spend minimal amounts of time and energy there. You won’t have to buy a book, buy a DVD, or spend money on workshop led by “certified” dark side shadow chasers. You have every strength you need to deal with any negative core beliefs, negative patterns, or negative memories that exist within you. The issue is not your past. You are not a victim of it, and its power exists only in the attention that you give to it.


Stop chasing your dark side and embrace the light of living in an UpSpiral of positivity. When you do, all of the research shows that you will grow beyond what you think holds you back, you will increase your resilience, you will be less bothered by the negative for less time, and you will be less reactive.Candle_Glow.jpg


So sorry you spend all that time chasing your dark side. You are filled with wonderful significant strengths that will keep you in an UpSpiral and give you the power to deal with any negativity from being “on top of it” rather than in a DownSpiral of it being on top of you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have dig out the negative before you can feel “positivity being” and be in an UpSpiral. It just isn’t true.


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