A new book "Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain" was released 11/17/20 by Lisa Feldman Barret, Ph.D. She is among the top 1% most-cited scientists in the world for her research in Psychology and Neuroscience.
This excerpt "People's Words and Actions Can Actually Shape Your Brain" was THEE perfect fodder for this blog.
Her book is certainly on my holiday wish-list. Also appropriate that her book came out the day I saw this article. I had just received a Brain MRI result on 11/16/20. My Neurologist is trying to get to the 'root cause' of some neurological issues I have been experiencing the last two years. It has been quite the experience. Experiences are good, they help shape us ... and our brains!
Flabbergasted by the high cost of the test, my hubby, Park, and I decided that we would still absolutely be going forward with the test ... we needed some Peace Of Mind. So, we gave a Piece of our Mine to get some answers. We are thankful for our health insurance (and are already well into the deducible year) so we would owe "only" 20%.
I completely resonated with Barrett's concept of Body Budgeting. We are not tireless robots: we are human beings. And although I do believe - from the very bottom of my own heart - that our bodies are pretty darn magical and that we personally do have a lot to do with our own wellness ... as well as our own "dis-ease" ... I also know - whole heartedly - that outside environments and stimuli impact our bodies - and our brains - as discussed more in Barrett's book.
She states that the healthier the relationships we are surrounded by, the better our health. And that if or when we do develop a serious illness, such as cancer or heart "dis-ease", research shows that recovery is greater in the environments with the positive relationships.
To honor the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, an icon of Metaphysical teachings who passed in August 2015, I always credit him for the term "dis-ease". I use it a lot. Ironic that just putting that 'hyphen' in the word visually breathes its own life into the word itself. When we are 'sick' in any way - physically, mentally, spiritually - we are in a state of "dis-ease."
Dr. Dyer was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2012 and passed at age 75 of a heart attack. I just truly admire all of his works. He stated in an interview posted on the KPBS-TV San Diego website after his diagnosis, that he began to look at his illness as "... just the body's way of responding to, perhaps, psychological traumas, you know, from failed relationships in the past, or whatever it is, and that the body just always knows what it's doing - and the body is perfect."
It is my belief that Dr. Dyer was able to look at the physical illness - the "dis-ease" - with so much clarity, because he truly was an Icon of Metaphysical Teachings. We are all life long-students of, well, everything ... (until any of us should became an Ascended Master, and perhaps then you will have graduated). In my opinion, Dr. Dyer Graduated.
Maybe my own soul has a few more life times around before I get it all right and graduate? I have not 'graduated' yet ... and that is OK. Dictionary.com defines OK as an adjective: all right; proceeding normally; satisfactory or under control. "Things are OK at the moment" - satisfactory, but not exceptionally or especially good.
If, as Barrett states, other's words can affect our brains so dramatically, then I must share that after my own brain MRI report was posted in my online Patient Portal, there was a one-line summary: "The results look OK." OK? We get a more detailed report from our monthly $20 pest service! I was not OK with "OK".
I diligently researched every term and word that I found buried down in the details of the actual test itself ... lots of technical and medical terms that I didn't understand. And doing this continued deep research on MRI and 'brain' topics is how I learned about Barrett's new book. Perfect!
I'm certainly in line with Dr. Wayne Dyer and how he viewed his "dis-ease". It was manifested in his body for a lesson his soul had to learn.
I believe this of my situation as well. What new information have I learned? This "dis-ease" drew me to TCM - Traditional Chinese Medicine including: Acupuncture, Qigong and herbal tonics. And the people I've met on this new path - and the experiences I have garnered - have made me a better person because of this situation ... this "dis-ease".
They found three very small Lesions (Hyperintensities) in my left hemisphere, and one incidental Dilated Perivascular Space. As stated in the Governmental National Institute of Health (NIH) publication December, 27, 2017: Neuro-imaging of Dilated Perivascular Spaces: From Benign and Pathologic Causes to Mimics:
Dilated PVSs (Perivascular Spaces) can pose a diagnostic dilemma for radiologists because of their varied appearance, sometimes mimicking more serious entities such as cystic neoplasms, including dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor and multinodular and vacuolating neuronal tumor, or cystic infections including toxoplasmosis and neurocysticercosis. In addition, various pathologic processes, including cryptococcosis and chronic lymphocytic inflammation with pontine perivascular enhancement responsive to steroids, can spread into the brain via PVSs, resulting in characteristic magnetic resonance imaging appearances.
Governmental National Institute of Health (NIH) publication December, 27, 2017
Wait ... what? All I hear is a Charlie Brown adult in one of the cartoons droning on ... wah wah wah-wah wah - wah-wah wah-wah-wah. This is why I was not OK with the word "OK". I needed some Peace of Mind in exchange for a Piece of our Mine - for my Body Budgeting - I needed to know what the terms meant. I did finally get my answers. Knowledge is Power. After submitting a near full dissertation asking for more details, my Doctor and I finally had an exchange, and I got the detailed analysis that I am entitled to receive ... now,
I AM OK.
As Dr. Dyer stated, perhaps our bodies are responding to situations and as Barrett states, our brains respond as well. Just as my leg was cracked in half in a bad car accident 15 years ago, my brain and nervous system was starting to crack from too much stress and too many hours in Corporate America. I was injured. I am recovering. Park and I are on this amAZing "A 432 Life" path now because of all of our experiences that are continually shaping us ... our bodies, as well as our brains ...
"The Human Brain has 100 Billion Neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe."
~ Michio Kaku
Until next time...