Your Plastic Brain

With the airing of a new television series on the brain, I decided to repost my previous article on the plasticity of the brain. The Brain With Dr. David Engleman is a fascinating series airing on PBS in the U.S. that helps explain who we are and why we do what we do. This neuroscientist shows how brain research continues to give us answers, and also to show that our brains are constantly changing depending on how we live and how much we expose ourselves to new ideas and experiences. He shows how you really can affect your aging process. The series airs on Wednesday evenings in my locale; check your local listing to see if and when you can catch the series. Meanwhile, check out the trailer. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I think that assumes it’s been while since the dog has learned anything. Researchers have known for awhile that the brain is very plastic. It is always changing. It is always responding to stimuli. The latest research was just released in the May 10th issue of the journal, Science. Researchers put 40 genetically identical mice in an elaborate maze with many toys and lots of places to explore. They put other mice in a less complex environment with less to do. After three months, scientists found that the mice who were exposed to more stimulation generated more brain neurons. In addition, some of the mice explored more than others. These most adventurous mice generated even more neurons than those who lost interest. The more the mice explored, the more brain cells were produced in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for short and long-term memory and navigation. This shows once again, how important it is to be adventurous,...

038: The Art of Breathing pt 2 Oct19

038: The Art of Breathing pt 2...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/38-The_Art_of_Breathing_pt_2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 32:59 — 30.2MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSThis is part 2 of an interview with Dr. Frank Seaman about techniques you can implement to improve your energy and health. He talks about using tape on your mouth while exercising and sleeping, being aware of how you swallow and where you place your tongue–simple steps you can take to keep yourself oxygenated, reduce oral problems and even deal with sleep disorders. “Our beliefs are a kind of rigidity, not to challenge our own way of thinking. I think in modern Western society, there seems to be a powerful cultural conditioning that is based on science. But in some instances, the basic premises and parameters set up by Western science can limit your ability to deal with certain realities. When you encounter phenomena that you cannot account for, then there’s a tension created; it’s almost a feeling of agony.” – The Dalai Lama “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert...

Life’s Teachers...

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller How willing are you to learn from others? Here is a lovely guest article by Jennifer Larson. Our interview rooms were side by side down the last aisle in the Kansas City Department of Children & Family Service Center. I was a new caseworker and Kimberly was a ten year seasoned worker. Our duties included interviewing clients face to face for state and federal assistance programs. Kim had a remarkable way of reaching out to clients in their time of need. I leaned on her knowledge and expertise when I needed another set of eyes during moments of uncertainty. At the time, I had no idea her mentoring would reach far beyond the workplace. I think we gain valuable insight and courage from the people with whom we cross paths. They help us face adversity and change when we need it the most and when we least expect it. The term “teacher” should not be reserved for academia; teachers are, in every sense of the word, our family, friends, partners, coaches, coworkers, and, sometimes, even strangers. Who are the teachers in your life? How magnificent would it be if you could gather all of the mentors from your life into one room – all of the outstanding souls who have inspired your passions, your talents, and your dreams? Think about all the unforgettable people who help guide you towards the things you’re the most passionate about. Competitive coaches, determined teachers, relentless parents, and unfiltered partners. Though often unforeseen, many of these people have a hand in helping you navigate your way through life. They influence and assist both your personal and your professional growth. Our friendships and our romantic...

Ugly Duckling

We have all felt like ugly ducklings, misfits, fish out of water, ugly stepchildren; use the analogy that works for you. We’ve all known rejection, the struggle to fit in, the desire for unconditional love. These are the themes in Hans Christian Andersen’s story, The Ugly Duckling. Take a moment to watch the classic 1939 Disney animated version, or read the original story. All our stories are similar yet different. Despite being born into a loving home, I grew up thinking of myself as an ugly duckling. A handful of life events were devastating. My first grade teacher actually told me I was stupid. Kids made fun of my looks in middle school. I even had a boyfriend who begged me to let him see me without makeup, then laughed hysterically when I did. These are not the kind of events that make us into healthy, happy, well adjusted individuals with appropriate levels of self-esteem. You have your own stories, your own memories, your own pain. In the story of the ugly duckling, we find a creature that was born happy and healthy. The pain he endured was the result of rejection, not fitting in, and being misplaced. He was not a duck at all, but rather a graceful and beautiful swan that was hatched in the wrong place. We all have to work through our crap. We have to do the hard work of the soul to regain our true selves and find out place. We have to come to a place where the past no longer defines us. I will never forget the day that I realized I was not stupid or ugly. It was a lightbulb moment when my world changed. It was also a milestone in a season of tremensous personal...

Effective Presentations Oct07

Effective Presentations...

Perhaps you have sat through ill-crafted presentations with PowerPoints that just about killed you! Well don’t do the same to others! If you are one who has to give speeches, sermons, teachings or presentations to clients, followers, co-workers or others, learn how to produce effective visual presentations (otherwise known as PowerPoint).  Here is a 33-minute video I produced to help my student successfully craft visuals to accompany their in-class presentations. The principles are universal and can easily be applied to business, ministry or other...

037: The Art of Breathing pt 1 Oct05

037: The Art of Breathing pt 1...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/37-The_Art_of_Breathing_with_Dr._Frank_Seaman.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 39:50 — 36.5MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSGuest Dr. Frank Seaman shares his pioneering work into the importance of breathing on dental and overall health. He deals with problems like sleep disorders, snoring, dry mouth, and overall breakdown of the mouth. Whether you’re a runner, suffer from sleep disorders or are just concerned with better health, this is a must-hear 2-part podcast for you. You can read about Dr. Seaman’s interview as he was about to do the Pikes Pek Ascent with tape on his mouth. Read about his dental practice in Colorado Springs here. Dr. Seaman recommends 3M Nexcare tape for sensitive skin.  ...