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Res Ipsa Loquitur January 10, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness.
19 comments

RWS_Tarot_01_MagicianDue to our Amazing Brains, and how we process information,  much of what we “know” about someone has absolutely nothing to do with who they really are.

Instead, our perceptions are based on who WE are and OUR experiences in life.

Our brains like complete images, and dislike attempting to put together a jigsaw puzzle only to find missing pieces.

When faced with a “missing link,” our brains search available data for stereotypical information to fill in the blanks.

We use information stored in our memory banks on related subjects to fill in the remaining gaps and get on to processing the next thought.

Due to the speed at which it happens, we are not aware of the brain’s duplicity.

Gender and profession tend to be important classification tools.

Once we know an individual’s gender or occupation, our brains automatically fill in the missing gaps with inaccurate, out-dated, over worn, trite, stereotypical information.

This skill is absolutely necessary to our survival.  It is hardwired in us.  It is true for all of us.  See Attack of the Killer ANTs

But knowing someone’s gender or profession is not the same as knowing someone.

If you are a fan of Saturday Night Live, you may be familiar with “Pat.” 

Wikipedia ~ Pat (Fair Use)

Pat’s character was androgynous.

Looking at Pat, it was impossible to determine whether Pat was male or female.

Pat drove viewers crazy, as their brains looked for subtle clues that would provide the necessary gender classification.

Why?

Why is gender classification so important?  What difference did Pat’s gender really make?

Male or Female, Pat would have been the same person ~ a person with poor fashion sense who wore ugly glasses and irritated everyone he/she met.

There is a legal expression, res ipsa loquitur, which loosely defined means “the thing speaks for itself.”

So, Pat (the male) was completely the same as Pat (the female).

Right?

Same person.  Same clothes.  Same mannerisms, glasses, skills, abilities, talents, likes, dislikes.

So why did our brains clamor to know Pat’s gender? 

Quote:  “It is easier to know man in general than to know one man in particular.” ~ Duc de la Rochefoucauld

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  Attack of the Killer ANTs * Using Stereotypes to Your Advantage (My Literary Quest) * We Are Not The Labels We WearWhat’s The BEST That Could Happen? * Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism

When Ego Wins . . . You Lose January 10, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
13 comments

Too often, we fly through life on “auto-pilot.” 

Instead of mindfully focusing our thoughts on where we want to go, what we want to do, and who we want to be, we get mired in the daily dramas unfolding around us, or caught up in stale memories of the past. 

We give our energy away, and with it our happiness.  And no one is doing it to us, we are doing it to ourselves.

When we climb back into the driver’s seat, the results are nothing short of miraculous:

1.  Reclaim the remote control.  Ego is always screaming for attention, reminding us of past hurts  and niggling us with fears about the future.  Don’t go there.   Let the past recede from view.  Let the future unfold.  Be Here Now.  

2.  Don’t Worry. Be Happy.  There is always something to worry about.  Our egos, when left on auto-pilot, tend to envision and worry about the “worst that could happen.”  When we manually shift our thoughts to the “best that could happen,” worry is replaced with inner peace and happiness.

3.  Give yourself a breather.  Close your eyes and envision joy and peace spreading through your body with a glowing warmth.  Relax.  Breathe.  Repeat. 

4.  Spread happiness.  Happiness is a by-product of making others happy.  Share a laugh.  Smile at people you meet.  Call an old friend.  Offer assistance. Listen to others. We get what we give. To feel love, give love. To feel joy, give joy.

5.  Be Grateful.  Count your blessings instead of dwelling on your hurts.  Counting your blessings is an immediate antidote to dis-ease. 

6.  Anything can be a gift of gold in disguise.  When something “bad” happens, it may be a gift.  We would not notice the light in the world if there was no darkness.   

7.  Don’t view the world through a “negative” lens.   Many of us focus 90% of our thoughts on the 10% of our lives we want to change.  Instead of being awed by our amazing bodies, we dwell on the five pounds we want to lose.  Instead of enjoying all we have, we focus on what we still want.  And we make ourselves miserable in the process.

The trick to outsmarting your ego is to be aware of what is happening in your mind.  Eavesdrop on your thoughts.  Monitor how you are feeling.  If you are feeling calm, peaceful, and happy, great.  If not,  adjust your thoughts.  

If you start to focus on negatives, see that as your ego’s struggle for control.  When ego wins, you lose.

Quote:  Master your thoughts, master your life.

No Rules.  Just Write.

Related posts:  It’s Time To Wake UpYour Wheelbarrow Of Woe * Just Let Go * Ordinary Miracles * 10 Ways To Attract Positive Energy * 5 Easy Ways To Make Yourself Miserable * Grateful (Kate Shrewsday) * Finding Happiness (TSN)