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Science for the Journey
Volume 2.03

photo of orange butterfly on hot pink bougainvilla bractsGo Back in Time

This month, I just wrote from the heart and shared some personal insights that were having an impact on me.

I am also ready to share the Brain Quiz that I have created.  Take the brain quiz to discover which type of brain you have and what that means.

For the exercise this month, enjoy the same meditation that led to the insights of the article. 

To your journey,

Alicia Ruelaz Maher, M.D.


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A Fresh Approach

"There cannot be a happy ending to a miserable journey"- Abraham Hicks

photo of young girl running barefoot in the grassI'd like to share with you the inspiration I've received this month from 2 very special women- my friend and a little girl. My friend was over and we were talking about our lives and what we'd like to accomplish, as we often do.  But this night we decided to take a different approach.  Rather than discuss them with the heaviness and concern of responsible adults, we decided to go back to a time in our memories before we took on all of these "necessary" adult characteristics.  For me this would be before worrying about what people thought of me, fear of the unknown, believing things had to be done a certain way, etc.  So I went back in my memory to a time when I was very young, probably around 3 years old and my mother put a pretty yellow and white dress on me.  I felt so pretty in this dress that I just wanted to spin around the room.  I did so, to her smiling at my enjoyment as I imagine that I shouted something like "Look at me!  Look at me!"

After being in this reverie for a while, I thought about my upcoming week and how that little me would have approached it.  This is where the inspiration of the little girl comes in.  She is 5 and ½ and I just spent the weekend observing her.  Watching her approach to things gave a good example for how I might approach my current circumstances as 'little me'.    She is quickly learning to swim and I watched how she approached swimming.  She didn't look at those adults around her who were far better swimmers and decide she wasn't good enough.  No, she wanted to see what she could do.  She watched for ideas on how it was done but the important thing for her was that she experience it.  And not only did she want to see what she could do, she wanted to share her excitement with others.

"Look at me!" 

I couldn't help but smile seeing the proud smile on her face.   Watching her learn was so great, not only to see her improving with practice but, more than anything, to witness her excitement about her abilities.    

This reminded me of something  my mother used to say that has been responsible for so many experiences in my adult life.  You don't know what you can do until you try.  I don't think she would have let me say that I couldn't play in the NFL.  How do I know if I haven't tried?  For centuries women weren't allowed to have higher education or be doctors.  Thankfully women before me decided not to listen to what they could or couldn't do and to secure for themselves the right to try.  What if I'd listened to those critiquing my driving skills and decided that I couldn't fly?  Maybe not the best example given some of my flying experiences, but I'm glad I did it.  Not to become a better pilot than others but to see what I could do.  Not worrying about where is this going and how will I use this experience, but just to see if I could do it and what experiences I would have through trying.

What if the little girl had fretted about her swimming strokes and whether she was far enough along for her age and on track to the Olympics and if there was any point in swimming just for the sake of swimming.  I laugh at the thought of those concerns in her little head but, as my friend and I lamented, we tend to let concerns take over and forget doing things just for the bliss of seeing what we can do. Somewhere along the way, we pick up the expectations that make us into adults.  Somewhere along the way we also go from laughing 400 times a day as children to about 12 times per day as adults.   

And what if, like me smiling over her excitement, God is smiling at what we are feeling more than having any concern for the technical aspects of the outcomes of our endeavors?  What if enjoying the process is achieving something very important- joy?  

When writing, I often get very nervous about what I am putting out there.  How is it compared to what others write, what do other people think of what I've said?  What if I approached it like 'little me'- just sitting at the computer and seeing what comes out and then wanting others to see it, too? 

I observed that the little girl would get these 'great ideas' of some way to play and try to convince the others around her to join in.  If someone didn't want to join in that might bum her out a little but it certainly didn't make her question her idea.  She'd just go on to find someone else that wanted to participate.  What if we just put our ideas out there and didn't worry about someone not liking them?  What if one person not liking an idea just meant that you needed to find someone else willing to play, not that there is anything wrong with your idea?  I heard that the book Catch 22  was given that name because the first 21 publishers rejected it.  What if that author had decided that 20 publishers rejecting it meant that it wasn't very good?

I remember thinking that being a grownup would be so awesome because I had so many ideas as a child but I didn't have the ability to make something of them.  I though that, as an adult, nothing could stop me.  I never would have imagined doing something so crazy as stopping myself.

I threw aside worries and wrote this in the spirit of seeing what would come out.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Also, I am putting out there something that I have created.  After so many years of seeing patients and studying neuroscience, I felt led to develop an explanation of the brain based on whether it is one of 3 different types.  In order to discover which type you might be, I made a simple quiz.  Based on your answers to that quiz, you will be sent a summary of your brain type as well as which practices might help you to rewire your brain towards the state you desire.

Click here to see for yourself:  


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'Little Me' Visualization

photo of orange butterfly on hot pink bougainvilla bractsTry the exercise that Jodie and I did.  Get very quiet and close your eyes.  Imagine back to a time before you had taken on others' opinions of you, when you were very young.  Imagine a particular memory.  Or, if it's hard for you to remember that far back, imagine the last time that you witnessed a child enjoying the moment.  Get very clear in that imagery- the sites, sounds, colors, smells, surroundings.  Then, bring that little person into a particular experience that you are having in your adult life, or an experience that you want to have.  Imagine how that child would approach the situation.  Imagine what concerns they wouldn't have and what they would do.  When you're ready, open your eyes and then try to incorporate something of what you saw into your current experience.

click button to go to Brain Quiz


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