Dear Why Team member,
I hope this email finds you well and encouraged. This week we consider our built-in safety mechanism and how it can work against us.
Make no mistake, your vehicle comes with an airbag, and it's sole function is the preservation of life. To what vehicle am I speaking? The vehicle that is your body, that which carries your spirit or what my Mom referred to as your Earth Suit. I'm reminded of Christopher Reeves, late in his life, sharing that he was not his body. Isn't it ironic that he truly became a "Super Man" when he could no longer physically move?! I digress.
Our human vehicles have specific automatic functions we would do well to know. Why? Because they have a significant impact on the actions we take. Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living". So we need only take a moment to...
...examine our lives to make them more worth living. Within every human body there is what I call the human airbag system, and similar to the airbags found in a modern vehicle, it's literally a chemical explosion to affect an immediate response solely focused on self preservation. Within the human brain, deep in the oldest part of the brain, is found the "Amygdala", the source of human fear and rage. And when excited to act, causes the human vehicle to fight, flight or freeze.
The amygdala is immensely valuable in the heat of the moment of true danger, but it can be immensely counter productive when it comes to perceived danger. In extreme moments we can more clearly appreciate how the amygdala functions in our lives, however, it is the lower levels of fear that can be the most damaging. Perceived fears, fears subtly put into our psyche by the media, by our culture of shame, feeding the belief that we are never quite enough, for ourselves and for others. And thus fueling a life of getting, rather than a life of giving. When we allow psychological fear, at any level, to infect our lives, our physical and mental health pays a toll.
The amygdala requires energy and will reduce or shut down our immune systems, reduce or stop our digestive systems and can even reduce our peripheral vision - our ability to see alternatives. If you are running from a lion, the body cares not about digesting lunch, if you don't get away from the lion, you'll be lunch. Prescription drugs are most often advertised during the nightly news to people who are seeking to find evidence for their fears. And in so doing, those viewers literally experience indigestion, hypertension and the like, only to have the solution to their ailment provided in the next commercial.
Observe your own thinking.
As a Buddhist once said, "Stop walking around in my head with your dirty feet". Kick the dirty feet people out of your head. We are what we think. Clean up and elevate the value of your thinking and you'll clean up and elevate the value of your life, for you and for others. And you will also help keep your airbag from inflating and obscuring the view of your limitless possibilities.
Make it a great week,