From Lee Gerdes
We need heroes and heroines, people to look up to--those significantly demonstrating the best life has to offer, who can show us the way through life. I’ve found a new personal hero, and the book about him is entitled Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. She is the author of another book I love entitled Seabiscuit, a story of a race horse whose heart to compete and live life to its fullest was a symbol to millions of people during the depression.
Unbroken is the story of a World War II veteran--Louis Zamperini--who was lost at sea for 47 days and then captured and tortured by the enemy for two years. It is an amazing story of survival, ingenuity, resilience, and forgiveness. I’m humbled to learn of this kind of person, this kind of life force. Though he is no longer with us (he passed to the next life on July 2, 2014 at the age of 97), this is a life that matters and will always matter. This is a life we can seek to emulate in positive ways.
I believe it doesn’t require such dramatic circumstances of incredible hardship for us to help our brain to reset itself and seek to do the right thing for the long term. At least I believe that's the case if the brain is properly balanced. Sometimes, I believe, extreme trauma can have an extremely positive imprint on our lives. Extreme trauma is often that which causes us to seek that which is truly important and leave all of the rest of the stuff of life to fend for itself. I don’t think I could have done that without balancing my brain. And, I don’t think I would have sought to balance my brain unless/until I was forced to seek assistance. And then, as it happened, it was an inside-to-outside experience. Having a brain that would move into a state of deep relaxation and reset itself–wow, I had no concept how truly incredible that opportunity was and will continue to be for me.
Louis Zamperini is a hero beyond imagination. And, given the capacity for each of us to function with a balanced brain, to prioritize what is important, we become, I believe, small heroes and heroines whose life matters greatly, much beyond our own time. I salute a balanced brain to lead us all to a life that matters.
I am an observational scientist, learning by what I am able to observe. About 12 years ago, having observed many people who exhibited a strongly dominant right temporal lobe EEG amplitude, I noted that they also seemed anxious and quick to respond emotionally in a manner much more pronounced than was called for by the situation. These right-dominant clients would respond by either fleeing situations that caused them discomfort or by striking out at people whom they blamed for their discomfort. For example, a right-dominant person may go shopping on a busy Saturday before Christmas. They arrive to find the parking lot full and spend some time driving around the lot searching for a parking space. Finally, as they round a corner, they spot a car preparing to pull out of a space just ahead. They position themselves and wait to take the spot, but before they can another driver swoops in from the opposite direction and steals it. Wham! The right-dominant driver either pulls up behind the parking spot thief, honks his horn angrily, rolls down his window and gives the thief a piece of his mind; or, he screeches his tires as he speeds away, possibly to go to a different mall or possibly to go home without shopping at all. Fight-or-flight seemed the response mechanism for these right-temporal-lobe-dominant people. Having a much more pronounced response than the situation called for was also a common train among them.
At about the same time I observed that there were also people who had a strongly dominant left temporal lobe EEG amplitude. Such people often seemed withdrawn or prone to sadness and depression. I noted that these left-dominant clients seemed at times unable to readily respond to situations outwardly. Though they appeared calm and perhaps withdrawn, they had a lot going on beneath the surface. They too would respond to situations in a seemingly inappropriate manner. However, when faced with the full parking lot from the example above, the left-dominant individual would withdraw after he deemed his parking space stolen, blaming himself for failing to find a space, for being unobservant, for going to the wrong mall, for procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to do their holiday shopping. The left-temporal-dominant people also had a much more pronounced response than the situation called for, but theirs was a kind of freeze response. Defeated, the left-dominant individual may continue to drive around the lot for an extremely long time, seemingly frozen in what he was doing.
Eventually as the brain patterns of the right- and left-dominant individuals began to balance between the left and right, inappropriate response mechanisms seemed to diminish altogether. These individuals would begin to demonstrate more healthy and stable responses to their life situations. The balance seemed to enable them to attain happiness they may have never known. This process of facilitating brain’s self-balancing was eventually called Brainwave Optimization®, and today over 60,000 people have used it to seek happiness and wellbeing. Life is short, and we all deserve the ability to seek happiness and wellbeing, an existence filled with appropriate responses and lots and lots of gratitude for being alive.
Jane was in a book club which met a couple times a month to discuss what the members were reading together at the time. She heard that one of the members of the club had suffered recent financial ruin due to a devastating investment. Because Jane loved to bake she baked an extra gluten-and-sugar-free fruit pie. Everyone raved about her pies and she wanted to let the suffering woman see that someone had compassion. Jane wanted to provide her a bit of simple enjoyment. The result when word got out among the members was that Jane was butting in where she didn’t belong and doing so with some ridiculous act, giving food like the person was starving to death. Jane was crushed. The good one does is met at times with criticism. How can this be--cannot the critic see that there was good both intended and accomplished? What value can this ridiculous criticism possibly be to anyone?
I need to remember as I do acts of kindness that I do them illustrating who I am and not what I gain. When criticism comes without reason from internet terrorists, from acquaintances, and/or from friends/family/loved ones, then remember there is pressure to depend on something greater than the self, pressure to lean on the Greater Good, pressure to understand myself as dependent on my creator. And if one can get to the point of being appreciative of that criticism due to recognition and awareness of being a part of the whole, whoopie!, we find ourselves filled with gratitude. Gratitude for being in spite of the circumstances we are experiencing. Gratitude for “being” and awareness of being a part of the Greater Good--a created being of God.
It is in this awareness we celebrate that we are a miracle and therefore can be a miracle to others. This is a state of joyfulness. And then when we act in compassion we do so not to really give to someone else in particular or to gain anything at all – we give because that is who we are; it is a reflection of ourselves and the essence of us as created beings.
At Brain State Technologies we hear many clients say to us, “You didn’t tell me this was going to be a spiritual experience”. In fact, the state of deep relaxation that is facilitated by Brainwave Optimization® is not a spiritual experience as such; it is instead a state where the brain resets itself and usually balances itself. And then it is in this new balance that many find that they are the miracle of life and begin again to celebrate it.
There is little in the world which is as satisfying as being part of the facilitation of this experience for others. There is only realizing that we too are each the miracle so we can be a miracle for others that provides us true joy.
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