When i use the word ‘neuroscience’, i am referring to a collection of knowledge that comes from many different sources and fields, including neurobiology, psychology, learning and behavioral sciences, evolutionary sciences, systems thinking and many more.
Some people are dedicated to studying the brain in a very specialized way - whether it’s at the individual cell level, or examining brain activity through different technologies. My experience with studying the ‘brain’ has been a mix of working at an fMRI lab, and observing scans as they happen, to measuring what’s happening within a person’s experience through different measures, such as heart rate variability, electric conductance of the skin, and micro-movements of facial muscles, as well as using electrodes to measure the amplitude and frequency of brain activity in different areas.
My other (preferred) way of studying the brain is to observe patterns in people’s behaviors, language, tone, movement, and how they describe their experiences to me.
In a way, none of that really matters. What matters to me is: can I connect with what a person is experiencing in a way where I will be able to find words to convey to them that I understand.
And then.. Can I, through an integration of my own self-understanding, utter words and express gestures that help that person see themselves in a new light?
Can I find ways to exchange information with others that help them feel more connected to their own strength, resilience, power, intelligence and ability to make new choices, and achieve their desired experiences?
In my decade of doing that work - of helping people shift into a higher level of self-awareness and self-understanding… I have not yet experienced that explaining a specific brain region is what creates the shift.
What I have experienced in helping people see a situation differently or feel relief from their anxiety is when I take my understanding of how our mind-brain-body system develops over time and connect it to what I hear them express about their own experience.
This understanding is a deeply entangled mix of feelings, memories, aha moments, uttering of words, seeing a ‘light’ shine in someone’s eyes, and hearing them say to me something that expresses a new awareness, a feeling of relief, a deeper knowing of who they truly are underneath the fear and the doubt and the negative beliefs they have accumulated over time.
There is no ‘brain region’ that does that. We are too complex to reduce our experience to an area of the brain. It’s great to know about these regions - they all contribute to an overall understanding. And that is important work that I appreciate so many scientists are involved with. But it’s not the work that I dedicate myself to.
We are each like specialized cells of a giant organ.. That ‘organ’ is the collective body of intelligence of the human species and its ability to not only adapt at extremely fast rates to its environment, but its ability to share knowledge and new levels of understanding with each other. That ability to communicate new understandings is what has helped - and will help - all of us to get better and better at creating desirable experiences for ourselves, for us collectively, and for the planet.
As specialized cells within this organ of humanity, we each have unique histories that give us the opportunity to share custom-made, never- seen-before knowledge with each other.
What I hope to do in this lifetime - through my podcast and my content - is to help you understand yourself and why you behave, react and feel the way you do so that you can get better and better at behaving, reacting and feeling the way you want to.
In this podcast episode, I talk about something called ‘shifting the burden’. It’s about the topic of what we depend on ourselves for, and what we look to others to help us with. The balance of our dependence on ourselves and others - whether in adaptive or maladaptive ways - is based on our first experiences with depending on someone else.
Many of us simply don’t know how deeply emotional of a subject this is. It is one of our most primitive, primal CORE-to-the-CORE experiences of being human… a battle between wanting to be independent and self-sufficient, and yet also knowing that one of our deepest desires is to connect in authentic ways with others.
I am in a new and interesting phase of life. My doubts, desires and dependencies are evolving and transmuting. My number one priority is to connect with others in ways that are very different than in other periods of my life. I’m on a different path than many people i know - mine doesn’t involve the ‘traditional’ sense of partnership with a particular person, family or career. It’s a delicate balance of self-dependence and staying open to genuine connection with others to enjoy what human connection is capable of. And it’s all tied to a sense of mission and purpose of sharing my deepest understandings of myself and what I’ve observed - for the simple reason that we are human and we are in this together. I want more of us to enjoy the ride.
My reflection questions at the end of the episode are about your doubts, desires and dependencies - how they interplay on each other and how they’ve been formed over time - through your experiences with others.. and what they’ve doubted, desired and depended on in their own lives.
I hope you find something in this episode helpful.
With much, much LOVE,
becomes a creative force:
one who knows this
higher and stronger
one who does this