Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Independence Creek Preserve (The Nature Conservancy) in West Texas
Copyright (c) 2004 Wendee Holtcamp

Yesterday morning it rained and thundered, and about 15 minutes after I woke up the electricity went off. My automatic reaction was "Noooooo!!!!" I think I felt an extreme reaction because even though I live in Texas where thunderstorms occur regularly and the electricity goes out often, I just lived through 11 days without electricity, post-Ike. I had a bit more of a reaction than usual. I mean, it's not like I freaked out or anything! I was just like: No. Way. But then after about ten minutes, when I was boiling my water on the stove for my instant coffee instead of starting up my coffee maker, I realized that it was actually quiet. Peaceful. And I thought, this is actually kind of nice. It's amazing how a little awareness can change our perspective on things.

I also know how the things that really press our buttons, or the things that cause us to "fear" something, or the things that really annoy us, or sometimes the things that really attract us to someone, are often over-reactions. Debbie Ford describes it as if we have plugs all over our body (or soul?), and if we get a reaction, it means someone (or some event/issue) has "plugged in" to one of our plugs. The same thing may not get a reaction at all from someone else! We have to ask ourselves why did that particular person or that particular thing cause that reaction? It seems to me like most people like to live in denial rather than radical honesty and transparency.

I've quoted this before, but Neale Donald Walsch wrote in the forward to Debbie Ford's book Dark Side of the Light Chasers:

"I believe in a life of utter visibility. That means complete transparency. Nothing hidden, nothing denied. Not even the part of myself that I didn't want to look at, much less acknowledge. [Visibility] is the key to authenticity, and that authenticity is the doorway to your True Self..."

Amen to that! As the old saying goes, "I'm not ok, you're not ok, and that's ok"!

Anyway the statement about me being "scary" was so out of place that I thought that something in me must have triggered something in them that made them think subconsciously that I was their scary mom getting them into trouble. They obviously had some plugs that I happened to plug into. In Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, he writes that we are attracted to people who have both the positive and negative traits of our parents or caregivers, and this is so true. Hendrix also writes about that whole over-reaction, plugged-in thing in his own way, and when we have that "fear" reaction that what's happening is something in another person is triggering our reptilian brain - the least evolved part of our vertebrate brain - and we instantly are once again a young child in trouble or an animal in fear of their life, and the autonomic response is "I am going to die." This kicks in our fight or flight reflex.

The mammalian part of our brain has to over-rule this if we are to be evolved and emotionally mature creatures, rather than living from our fears. I'm paraphrasing, but he writes that when we get that sort of extreme reaction, like 10% of our reaction is actually the person and 90% is our subconscious and our reptilian brain instincts ratcheting up the fear!

On another note, when I was in Nepal, Tim and I were joking around about vices, and he said what is your vice, and I said I don't have any vices! I don't smoke or do drugs or drink heavily. I don't have any. He said he'd find my vice by the end of the 2 weeks trip. But he didn't! But when I got back home to the U.S., I realized that my vice was internet and email addiction (which I didn't have while over in Nepal). Since I hate having vices of any kind, three days ago I cut myself off from my Crackberry. It's now just a phone. Just do it! Turn off Data Services. Done!

I'll now use the email on the blackberry only when I travel. So if you're one of the people who emails me and you don't get my usual speedy Gonzalez replies 24/7 anymore, now you know why. I tell ya, it's been very freeing to not check that darn thing every 5 seconds! I was starting to feel like one of those rats pressing a lever to get a reward. I actually read something online once about how the email triggers release of some chemical in our brain....

OK here I found an article from the Daily Mail, "Blackberry addiction 'similar to drugs'." this wasn't what I read originally but it's interesting.

No comments: