Sunday, August 28, 2016
Humanity has accomplished such great strides with our technological advancements. But I think that our next great human evolutionary step will not involve technology or be external, I think it will be biological and internal, through the way that we think and perceive our world. Though generalizations about the traits of our right and left brain are overly simplified, they do serve to inform us about how we process information and the way that we think.
Both of our brain hemispheres are completely separate. They do communicate fluidly from left to right, but each processes information and thinks about things in completely different ways.
Nearly all of our modern advancements have happened through what are loosely known as our left brain skills. Here we use our analytical thought to evaluate past experiences and critically consider future possibilities. Our predominantly right brain skills certainly come into play with flashes of insight, however, it is what is thought of as the left brain, that is the work horse, when it comes to the current day human achievements like air travel and weaponry for defense.
And indeed, all of our physical body movement, perceptual and thinking skills involve both sides of our brain, but what is important here is what serves us for our understanding. So, please forgive me for using these generalizations, but they help us to more clearly understand our strengths and our deficiencies.
With that in mind, we can see our modern Western cultural way of being as the end product of what can be thought of as an essentially left-brain-focused thought filled world. And we have indeed accomplished much. But the spotlight has thus far always been on "me," rather than "we." A typical example of this might be something like, "Better profits for my corporation," at the unfortunate but "necessary" expense of a loss of biological diversity.
It seems to me, that the time has come for us to consider the more holistic, more all-encompassing, more right-brain view if we are going to survive these kinds of "side effects" from what could be called our non-inclusive left brain perspective.
So, one might ask, "How do we switch to a more holistic view?" The good news is that we don't have to re-invent the wheel. It's all already been done before. Many of the indigenous cultures that have preceded our Western one, here in North America, were well aware of the tendency toward what can be called left brain dominance. They intuitively understood the long term survival benefits of a more right brain focused way of thinking and incorporated it into their way of life.
These cultures did this through the use of pictographs instead of words, storytelling and oral traditions instead of written languages. They knew that time spent in ceremony or fasting or in vision quests opens the psyche to inspiration, imagination and flashes of insight. Art and creativity, music and dance, additionally are key aspects to what can be called a right brain embracing world view.
Another cultural skill set, loosely attributed to the right brain, is the well developed use of the senses in the present moment: feeling the direction of the wind, listening for sound, tasting the plants or the water. When these habits become a part of everyday life they bring us to the here and now or present moment consciousness. They also help bring our awareness to the bigger picture. We see the whole forest, not just the one tree.
As we continue to wake up to the problems inherent in our essentially more analytical and self focused view, I see us making changes accordingly. The women's spirituality movement is rich with ceremony. Personal retreats, where one can receive insights and inspiration, are gaining popularity. Yoga, photography, music, art and dance are being seen as valuable, albeit largely missing, components for education in our schools. And the environmental movement, women's liberation, gay rights and AIM are all helping us to be more inclusive and to see the bigger picture. This is what could be known as the right brain rising. Now all we have to do is to let it come into play more fully by stepping into this magic that already exists in me and in you.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Ginger tea is a lovely beverage that is known for it’s many health giving qualities. Please enjoy this short video on how to make ginger tea from the root.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
My mother was star-struck. She grew up on a farm in Nebraska and fell in love with celebrities. When she was older, she moved to Hollywood and was still in awe of them. But then she met and married my father, and his mother was a founding member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Almost every weekend, my mother, who became a writer, and my grandmother, who was a British correspondent, would go together to the Beverly Hills Hotel to interview a star. They along with the other foreign correspondents would send off their articles along with photos to be included in journals around the world.
Though she remained at least a little star struck for the rest of her life, my mother soon realized that actors and actresses are just people too. And so did I. In my teens, I was commissioned to be the driver for my mom, my aunt and my grandmother, all of whom were active members of "The Club." I also accompanied them to the Golden Globes, 'the club's' annual award's show.
Over the years, while just showing up for work, I met Meryl Streep, Clint Eastwood, Jessica Lange, Colin Farrell and a host of others. They'd speak of their latest films, their lives, their scandals and their hopes and dreams. The photographer would snap a few shots, while I sat in the back sipping tea, and off the articles would go.
To me, it was just a job, like any other job, I was simply the family chauffeur. In truth, it was just another working day for all of us. Though the job was mildly interesting, I must confess that often I was bored, because early on I realized that under the glitz, the stars were all just ordinary people. More like you and me, than you would think.
A similar thing happened to a friend of mine, an actress who landed a part as the second female lead in Phantom of the Opera. During the years that she was performing in it, there were eight performances a week on top of rehearsals. And when she wasn't "on," she'd be behind the scenes, yawning with a crossword somewhere back stage.
Too often in life, we get the idea that someone else is special or better than us. But really they are just people too. The even harder obstacle arises when we get the idea that we are better than others. This almost always rises up as a protective mechanism covering some deep hidden inferiority issue. And that's where the work lies there. But in the meanwhile, if we can just remember that we all have a role to play. We all have challenges and dreams, it can help us to see that though we are all different, we are also just the same. People are people, and no one, no matter how special they may seem, is either superior or inferior to little old you and me.