I was at the doctor the other day, undergoing a battery of standard [read: boring] tests for my memory and cognitive capacity. I’m talking about 2-full days of mind-numbingly boring tests, yet when the doctors asked how I was doing – my answer was consistently “Great!” or “That’s the most fun I’ve had all day!”. Sincerely.
In my life and around my home, I’ve talked a lot about being HAPPY, always. Being positive and agreeable and easy to be around…perhaps it’s because my ColorCode is pretty evenly split between White/Yellow/Blue…meaning I have quite an agreeable personality…doesn’t mean I’m a Yes-Man…means I’m easy to get along with, and subsequently, get along with nearly everyone pretty easily as well.
The Importance of the Frontal Lobe
Mark J. reminds us that we are “taking thought processes right back to primary school: associating colours and shapes…simple stuff…to override the complex web of disarray that has been ruling Subby and producing sub-par results.”
We learned the importance of the frontal lobe in relation to creating connections in our brains – allowing us to attach any feeling we want to any experience. In other words, we utilize our frontal lobes to categorize experiences so we can reference them in the future.
When we hear, feel, smell, touch or see something – anything, subconsciously, it triggers the memories and feelings from the original event…our auto-responses engage automatically, and they come racing back into our minds, into our hearts in an instant. Like it or not.
“I will form good habits and become their slave.”
– OG Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World
While watching the MKMMA Week 4 Supplemental Video [What the Bleep Do We Know?], I learned:
- The Frontal Lobe helps us change our minds.
- Hypothalamus creates peptides…which are very strong chemicals that bind the receptors and these peptides connect our emotions and pre-conceived responses.
- Everything has an emotional weighting to it.
Around the 15-minute marker, the following questions resonated with me:
- If I change my mind, will I change my choices?
- If I change my choices, will my life change?
As I thought about those questions, I began asking myself:
- Why have I been unable to change?
- What am I addicted to?
- What will I lose that I am chemically attached to?
- What person, place, thing, time or event that I am attached to could possibly be so important that I don’t want to lose it?
- Am I afraid because I may have to experience the chemical withdrawal from my emotional addictions?
When I was 11, I decided I was going to set the sails of my own ship…I realized I was not bound by the dysfunction, the bad habits, the rules of my family. From now on, I am the governor of my destiny because I’ve created it [I can be what I will to be].
I am looking for squares…for triangles…for circles…for rectangles.
This new found independence was the starting point in my life where I realized my ability to keep an open mind, embrace new situations, adapt, learn, evolve…
Creating a new Blueprint. Enough of the sub-par results! No longer will I simply ‘exist’. From now on, I ‘live on purpose’!!
This one time…
In August 2009, my then 6-year-old daughter and I were walking out of a store when a driver lost control of his vehicle. I got bonked pretty hard on the head when his pick-up truck accelerated through the parking lot, jumping the curb and hitting us in front of the steering column, pushing us through a plate glass window, and landed on top of us inside the store…
As a result, I was diagnosed with Moderate Traumatic Brain Trauma resulting in both long-term and short-term memory loss, which, among other challenges; specifically affected was my frontal lobe.
A blessing, I’ve decided.
I am, after all, Very Blessed and Highly Favoured.
You might be asking yourself…How can that be? How can getting run over by a truck, needing to spend 51-days recovering in the hospital, and ending up with brain damage possibly be a blessing?
Because I’ve now discovered that I have the ability to select which feelings I attach to every situation I get to experience. I control the creative thinking process…without the burden of jumping to conclusions based on previous experiences.
My world is quite literally, always sunshine and rainbows!! It is glorious, actually…as a result of the memory damage, I cannot recall many things that have happened to me over the years (specifically ‘the dark years’ between 2005-2009 where I don’t remember anything at all). Therefore, I hold no grudges, I do not do drama, I don’t call in favours, and I don’t have any pre-conceived notions or automatic responders that I need to overcome. The FREEDOM I feel is total bliss.
How the science comes into it…
Sure, because of the trauma of the accident, I could have crawled into the corner, assumed the fetal position and sucked my thumb for the rest of my life (as many might have done, and some actually suggested that I should do)…however, anyone who’s ever met me knows that I am far too headstrong and independent to let something like biology or science stop me!
To me, my Frontal Lobe wasn’t damaged, rather, it was simply ‘re-engineered’.
Why would I admit defeat and waste the best two-thirds of my life because of a 25-second event? If, as humans, we only use 10% of our brains anyways, my logic was that I have plenty of other usable brain parts that I could focus on and expand. I’m certainly smart enough to beat the system; creating new neuro-pathways into and out of my Frontal Lobe and turn what most would deem a tragedy into a triumph.
My theory is this:
- If I could learn to walk again…then I could certainly learn to control my thoughts again.
- If I could garner the courage to walk in front of a glass store front again, then I must not have forgotten how to be brave.
- If I could watch my little girl show up for Grade 1, albeit 7-weeks late and in a wheelchair, then I could refuse to get distraught by something as simple as not being able to remember all the details about my past.
- If I could work on stretching my daughter’s mindset, helping her understand that trauma does not have to be traumatic, and receive accolades from her Paediatric Psychiatrist for doing so, than I could certainly muster the courage to search for shapes, find patterns in MKE readings and pick up the phone once in a while.
Whether I wanted to or not became irrelevant because I knew I was training my brain to attach success, liberty and autonomy to completed tasks that were outside my comfort zone. I was embracing change and it felt great!
Mindset is everything.
My positivity and refusal to allow the accident to define Sara’s life was a major factor in Sara’s recovery, intact, Sara’s Psychiatrists’ official report read:
“I believe that her Mother took very appropriate steps, perhaps without knowing it, to protect Sara from the development of PTSD following the collision. This is because they made a deliberate decision to expose her to newspaper articles and details regarding the collision. They also honoured Sara’s request to visit the site of the collision upon discharge from the hospital, which Sara did in a wheelchair even while the storefront was still boarded-up from the impact with the vehicle. I believe that Jennifer’s early and repetitive exposure to the events of the collision while she was still in hospital was a form of Exposure and Response Prevention which served to prevent Sara from going on to develop full-fledged Post Traumatic Stress Disorder specifically related to the events of the collision.”
The Science of Being Happy.
Happiness is a choice. Positivity is a choice. It’s astonishing how the ripple affects of happiness effect all areas of your life, it taints the filter you see the world through and wraps your heart in softness. It is truly euphoric. And perhaps, the peptides created through happiness could be the secret to the fountain of youth?? Read about my theory in my BLOG MKE4 | [audible gasp].
So my friends, how are you going to embrace your day? Comment below…I’d love to hear what you’re challenged with…and that which you’ve triumphed over!
Thanks for joining me on this journey, your comments and engagement are valued and appreciated.