neural pathways

I am a beginner.

I am a beginner.

October 8, 2019
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in Tip
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At long last, I switch from Mail to Spark on my MacBook, cheered on by Caspian. And all of a sudden, it’s as if I am a beginner again. Spark works differently than Mail, which in turned worked – and looked – like any other email-software I’ve used at least in the last ten years or so. Not a lot of changes, regardless if I’ve upgraded or changed the software I use to check my email.

But this…
Spark.
Something else.
New functionality.
Completely different mindset compares to ”the old geezers” of email-software.
(And yes, Gmail has played around a bit with new functionality as well.)

So. I am a beginner. Having to start anew. Learn the new functions, how to navigate, archive and delete, how to sync my folders from Mail to here… or rather, the folders from my Exchange server that are visible in Mail but were nowhere to be found in Spark. Until I started to actually do the work of getting to know this new software.

Changes!
Can be challenging. Especially if I am under the illusion of not having enough time, being stressed or at least so busy that every single new thing just feels like a burden.

And yet… oh how I love it. I love changes!
Love feeling like a rookie; it’s almost as if I can feel my neural pathways getting all confused, running around haphazardly up there (in my brain), until… slowly but steadily, the new neural pathways generated by my rookie-ness start to become solidified. By then, the old ones are starting to degenerate, and soon enough I will be a rookie at Spark no more.

Luckily, by then, I will have found something new to be a rookie at!

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Automate it!

February 6, 2019
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in Tip
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Automate it, I said, and she frowned. That sounds like robots and stuff, she responded and had me off on a rant about the marvel of automating things, and how it can be robots and stuff, certainly, but also what I make automatic in my life. Like the question Does this serve me? which I’ve asked myself thousands of times since… 2012?

In fact, I’ve asked myself this question so many times, that I no longer have to ask it to answer it. It’s now something I do automatically, whenever (or at least most of the times) I experience a really strong sensation, be it anger, irritation, frustration, fear, sadness, anxiety, worry. Or for that matter extreme elation, joy, curiosity, bubbling eagerness. The script of does this serve me runs automatically, and my response has me make a more conscious decision. It gives me just enough of a pause, or a distance if you will, to be able to observe what I am experiencing and respond to the question.

If the answer is yes I keep on going. If the answer is no sometimes I keep going anyway, taking full responsibility for it, and sometimes (most of the times, I would like to think) I stop, since the pause I’ve given myself gives me a way out somehow.

Insights are amazing. They are one of, if not the best superpowers of human beings. One of the most impactful insights I’ve gotten was that I don’t have to be so hard on myself. Sounds silly almost, but I was actually about… let’s see… 35 years old when I fully got this. So for 35 years, I lived with an extremely harsh inner dialogue. But – and this is important – just because I got the insight, didn’t mean that I automatically stopped being hard on myself. You see, for 35 years, I’d very efficiently built a whole system of neural pathways on how to be hard on myself. And just because I got that insight, those pathways didn’t disintegrate. They didn’t, because neural pathways don’t. (Unless you have a neural degenerative disease of some sort. Luckily, most of us don’t.) So what I had to do, once I got that insight, was learn new ways of interacting with myself.

I was helped along by my willingness to change my inner dialogue (which definitely also affected the way I interacted with everyone else. As above, so below and all that stuff!) and my observatory powers. I started to observe myself being hard on me. At first… it could take me hours (if not days) to spot it, after the fact, that is. After a stint of that, my revelatory observations crept closer and closer to the actual situation, and before I knew it, I was picking up on my soon-to-be-harsh inner dialogue. Before it happened. When that happened, I had a choice. Harsh. Or gentle. And I could pick which route to go down. And once I started picking gentle I started to build new neural pathways, training myself into new patterns of being with me.

Now 10-11 years after that first initial insight of not having to treat myself so harshly, I’ve gotten sooo good at being gentle with me. Not soft. Not weak. Not letting myself off the hook, and never challenging me. No, not even close to that! I challenge myself so much more now that I no longer fear my internal judge! So in a sense, I’ve not just automated does this serve me, but also being gentle with myself.

Both of these are ”automated scripts” that I find truly serve me as well as those around me.

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