Saturday, April 27, 2013

Twenty-somethings are right

Ever see someone reading a newspaper and the headlines catch your attention; you're trying to read their newspaper while they hold the paper up? That happened to me yesterday at the car wash. When the lady put her paper away, I couldn't help but ask her if I could take a look at it. She gladly said yes, and told me I could keep the paper.

After I finished reading the topic of interest, I noticed a little human interest story about a boy on a skateboard who whizzed into the street and nearly collided with a car. It seems the boy was in a hurry to get home to tell his mom that he had finally made the honor roll after struggling with math for two years. He attributed his success to the Luminosity website where he practiced the memory games everyday. On the last blog (April 24th), I spoke about the Jose, the MIT student who said that young people are involved in self-learning because of the internet.
What a wonderful example!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hopeful twenty-somethings

When I volunteered for a local election, one of my assigned duties was a poll watcher, which, of course, I had never done before. I arrived at the location and was greeted by a young man (twenty-something), Jose, who was the first check point for the voters. When I announced my duty, I was given a seat a few feet away from Jose. The other poll workers were elderly women who were intent on sharing their soap opera views; how long they have been watching the soaps, which soaps they were watching, and wasn't it a shame that some soaps were taken off the air.

Jose and I began to talk. Turns out he is a student at MIT. We talked about quantum physics; he talked about the "perfection" of the atom. We talked about religion and how science and religion really do intersect. One of the most interesting things that he shared with me was that gang related crime was decreasing. He said that the internet has opened up worlds of possibility. High risk youths are no longer confined to a neighborhood corner life of crime; they now see/have/are exposed to world wide open options. He said that many young people are self-teaching themselves. They find something of interest and can gather and explore all kinds of information about it online and can become "expert" in a particular field. The internet information explosion also affects college (bound) students. Some students, once they become "expert," question the value of a tradition college degree citing Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerberg as examples. He believes that the way companies hire people is also changing and there is an increase desire in young people to become entrepreneurs. Interesting insights from an impressive young man.

Additional information can change opinions, beliefs, and subsequent behavior.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Safe in his father's arms

After the last blog, I was in a shopping center going down an escalator, and in front of me was (I presume) a father holding his infant son. The baby's face was all scrunched up like  he was really trying, at any second, to get that cry out. I wondered if the father began to talk to him, if the baby would stop crying. The father pointed up to distract the baby into looking at a giant mobile hanging from the ceiling. The more the escalator traveled downward, the more the baby wanted to cry. When they reached the bottom, the father turned and got on the escalator going back up. The baby seemed satisfied and kept looking up at the moving mobile.

I thought what an experience to be embedded in the baby's subconscious. That baby will never consciously remember that particular experience, but the sense of safety in his father's arms will be a subconscious memory.

People need to feel safe. For women particularly, it's one of the primary needs that a man can provide. Even in basic psychology, Maslow's hierarchy of needs lists safety on the second level. That is why, as a society, we feel so assaulted when our sense of safety is threatened.

Our prayers and thoughts are with the families of the victims of the Boston Marathon.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A father's voice

I really love that quantum physics makes you aware of what you think you are looking at, you really may not see. It enables you to more readily change your thoughts and beliefs and therefore, your behavior.

A hole was drilled in the center of Your Little Light Shines to remind you, as you read, to look at things from a different perspective. For example, when you speak, you think words simply come out of your mouth. What if you change your thoughts to truly understand that when you speak, the vibrations of your vocal cords produce sound waves. All waves are rhythmic disturbances that transfer energy through space or matter. Sounds (your words) are waves (rhythmic disturbances) that move (transfer energy) through air, water, steel, skin, or other materials (matter).

Layer this understanding over information from Verny's book, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, that reports a child can hear in utero (in the womb). There is scientific evidence that hearing his father's voice makes a big emotional difference. "In cases where a man talked to his child in utero using short soothing words, the newborn was able to pick out his father's voice in a room even in the first hour or two of life. More than pick it out, he responds to it emotionally. If he's crying, for instance, he'll stop. That familiar, soothing sound tells him he is safe. (p. 51)"

Layer this information over another tidbit from Verny's book (p. 67), "On some level all emotional conflicts grow out of memories, whether the recollections are conscious ones or, as is more often the case, unconscious. … All of us have lost memories that from their hiding place—the unconscious—can exert a powerful influence over our lives."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

In the womb

There was a moment when I was going to (sub)title my book, "We serve a microscopic God." It played well with quantum physics which studies matter and energy at the level of molecules, atoms, or smaller. Many years ago I did a bible study where I passed around slides from a biology class that had tiny red-stained dots on it. Each dot represented hundreds and hundreds of cells that could only be seen with a microscope. (Ever think about the mind that invented the microscope?) I asked the class, "When God said, 'Let
us make man in our image, after our likeness' what image was He talking about? The
 image of an adult man or the image, invisible-to-the-human-eye, of a single microscopic sperm cell that fuses with a microscopic single ovum?" These invisible-to-the-human-eye cells contain all the DNA of the fully developed, individual adult. That question was followed with, "When God looks at a mustard seed, does He see the seed or does He see the fully grown tree with birds on its branches? (Matthew 13:24)"

How is that relevant today? A friend called with the distressing news that her grandson had been arrested (again). Often times our behavior is a result of beliefs that are embedded in our subconscious, of which we have no awareness. Sometimes we are as addicted to certain emotions as a drug addict is to heroin (see April 5, 2013 blog) and we are not aware that we have an addiction. Many times, as adults, we are still challenged with what happened to us in utero.

Some books everyone should read, study, and keep in their library. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child by Thomas Verny, M.D. with John Kelly is one. The book says that how the unborn child (fetus) experiences the mother's womb whether "friendly or hostile—does create personality and character predispositions." A warm, loving womb produces a child who is predisposed to trust, openness, and self-confidence. A hostile, rejecting womb produces a child who is predisposed to suspicion, distrust, and introversion. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child says for the child in a hostile womb,   "Relating to others will be hard … Life will be more difficult for him than for a child who had a good womb experience."

Sometimes the reasons why we act the way we act are deeply hidden in our psyches.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The beach imitates life (aka change is hard!)

After volunteering for a local election, my head was spinning and I needed major quiet, contemplative time so I decided to go to the beach, something I hadn't done for a long, long time. I didn't remember how hard it was to walk barefoot through the sand and I, on purpose, had to slow down even though I wanted to get close to the ocean as quickly as I  could. In slowing down, I had to focus on my steps—what I was doing at the moment—rather than the end purpose. I had to concentrate to make sure my walk was as steady as possible because the sand had uneven, lumpy mounds and sharp broken shells. Isn't that like life?  There were a number of people on the beach, mothers with children, teenagers, homeless people, sleeping, soaking in the sun, flying kites, sitting quietly. I wanted to find a quiet spot and had to walk a lot further than I had anticipated.

I paused to look to my left and several miles down the coastline were tall cylindrical, smokestack like structures billowing out heavy plumes of smoke. With respect to environmental ordinances, it still looked like pollution. The teenagers were also smoking. I thought about how difficult it is to break habits; how difficult it is to make a change. Your Little Light Shines talks about how difficult it is to change eating/(lack of) exercise habits, even after a serious heart attack. Change is difficult because often times we are addicted; and most times we don't even understand that we are addicted. In What the Bleep Do We Know!?, there is an excellent explanation about how the brain emits a chemical for every emotion we experience. We can become as addicted to our emotions as a drug addict is to heroin—which means that if you have a tendency to worry, you may be addicted to anxiety and seek out those situations that cause anxiety in order to get your "chemical" fix. Here is a video link to a clip of What the Bleep Do We Know!? that explains how we can become addicted to emotions: It really, really is worth a look!

My walk on the beach was not as enjoyable as I had first envisioned when I decided to make the drive. But I continued until I did find a spot isolated from the smoke and the voices so I could focus on my thoughts and spend some quiet time with God. This experience imitated life. Sometimes we have to walk a lot further than we imagined. Sometimes the walk is laborious. Sometimes when you reach a certain point, you still have work to do. Sometimes you have to force yourself to become quiet. Though the walk may not have been enjoyable, it certainly was memorable. Because I continued to walk, I accomplished my goal.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Right in front of you and you didn't notice

In the beginning (forward) of Your Little Light Shines, I talked about subliminal messages. Toward the end of the book, I pleaded with you to turn off your cell phones, computers, etc. and spend some alone time with God. During one of the book club discussions, someone suggested I read the book Brainwashed by Tom Burrell. I thought what better person to talk about subliminal messages than the (retired, Advertising Hall of Fame inductee) founder of an advertising agency.

I ordered the book from and when the book was delivered, I was busy with something else so I just opened the package and put it on the living room table—but not before I noticed and admired the high gloss finish on the cover. The next day or so, I noticed, from a certain angle, what appeared to be smears running across the cover. I thought to myself that must have happened when the printer put on the high gloss finish; maybe it didn't dry enough.

The book had been sitting on the table for several days before I noticed that what I thought were smears were actually words that had been screened transparent and placed over the image of the face that took up the entire cover.

What a tremendous example of subliminal messaging. Well done!