life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

I write to find out what my heart thinks....
I write to expose and work through the ugly parts of this disease, open heart surgery that was less than successful and more recently an S-ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) implanted in my chest that will hopefully restore my heart beat in case of sudden cardiac death. I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to learn how to live a full life with heart failure, to honor my creativity, and to explore all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say
"Don't talk like that!"


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Music is loading really slow lately...sorry...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gratitude-less-ness

or

why I automatically “filter” out the marvelous blessings I experience everyday

I find it interesting, but mostly frustrating…that regardless of what or how much I have, I find myself focusing on the negativity of not enough and wanting more.

Why do I automatically “filter” out the marvelous blessings I experience everyday?
I do not think about the clothes I have on unless something pinches or I am not comfortable in them. Gotcha! I bet you weren’t even aware of what you were wearing until I just mentioned it? When the clothes fit physically and are suitable for what I am doing, I become totally oblivious and subconsciously unaware of what I have on. That is until there is some irritation or I see another really cute outfit I think is better. Then without my conscious permission my brain automatically begins to focus on the negativity, discomfort, and/or lack. The same seems to happen with my art, health, family, home, car, yard, and on and on and on.

I involuntarily screen out all of the absolutely wonderful things that are around me, in me, or on me and actively seek out the negatives I need to change, fix, optimize or rearrange. The “why” I continually did this was driving me nuts! Well hang on, here comes a huge AH-HA moment! There may be an anatomical answer for some of this "gratitude-less-ness".

WHEW! It’s not all my fault!

At the base of the brain, we all have a little screening device called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). I am not a scientist or doctor, so bare with me. The RAS is a group of cells at the base of our brains that allow us to tune out background noise when we are reading, to not really see billboards while we are driving, and not hear normal neighborhood noise as we fall asleep. In other words, without our RAS, we would be overwhelmed with input, and unable to function beyond simply processing our own environment.

I had no idea what the Reticular Activating System (RAS) was much less that I could have any concious influence in controling it. This tid-bit of critical information was not part of any science 101 class, or found in any of the bazillion self help books I have invested in, or any doctor’s office I have ever been to. I, like most of us equate brain function with stomach function. In other words I can control what goes in, but once it was there, the innate bodily functions take over and I have no conscious control of how the food or information is processed. So it came as quite a surprise, when I found out that simply being aware of the things this curious little group of RAS brain cells is normally blocking from my awareness could be a big part of why it takes such a conscious effort to be grateful. Just as mothers hear the slightest “peep” from their babies over many other louder sounds, can I choose to hear more gratitude and inspiration by simply over riding my RAS and allowing the good “noise” to rise to my conscious level?

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