Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Reptile Explanation

Silly me, I thought you could read my mind! That when I mentioned the reptile brain, you would automatically know what I was referring to. But after a couple nights of interrupted sleep and telling Benjamin this morning about how my lizard brain was waking me up in the middle of the night and he in turn gave me that look, I thought I better explain.

"Reptile brain? What are you talking about?"

Oh right. I've been so engrossed in my books and thinking, that relating it to the outside and unknowing world slipped my mind.

So to summarize: the reptile brain is what we are all born with. It's our innate fight or flight thinking. It's the primitive thinking that enabled mankind to run if a sense of danger popped up to avoid being eaten.  The voice that dominoes our fears when we're walking in the woods, alone. The one that reasons there's a bear or mountain lion around the next bend. It amplifies our fears, no matter how rational or irrational they are and takes things to the extreme. The one that keeps us comfortable in what we know and the one that gets uncomfortable when we attempt the unknown.

Then there's the other part of your brain. The one where you get to choose your perspective. You get to choose how you react to things and make the most out of life. The one who stands out in the face of fear and boldly tries new things, regardless of how likely or unlikely an outcome is. The one that keeps you walking down the path in the middle of the woods and has you following your dreams.

Funny how when you get closer to those dreams, the reptile brain starts a full charge to get you to run the other way. An automatic opposition to stepping outside of the box. In many ways it's predictable. And when you can recognize the difference between the two modes of thinking, you can choose which one to listen to.

I've noticed when I listen to my other brain, the one where dreams are created and realized, doors and opportunities open up. Answers to questions I haven't even thought to ask become apparent. I am able to choose how to align myself with my life purpose despite fear of failure or the unknown. It takes courage, honesty, repetition and above all trust in yourself. And having a good coach or two along the way certainly helps.

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