Rusty Lindquist is the author of the blog “Life Engineering- Change your Life.” In the above link, he does an excellent job of explaining how neurons create learned behaviour pathways and that we can change them and build new ones. I have heard of this concept and thought about it a lot, but I like how Lindquist manages to explain it in a way I can actually remember. He outlines steps and uses metaphors that are easy to relate to (the metaphors worked perfectly for a daughter of a railroad engineer who lives in a city where the trains are consistent visitors). I recommend anyone who is interested in changing any of their behaviours read the entire thing.
So, that said, thank you Rusty Lindquist.
I sat down today thinking about my personal paranoia and the dependencies that I have. Specifically, I was thinking about stopping the thoughts of paranoia that plagued me as I looked out at the grey washed monsoon world. I knew that writing was really going to help me with that this afternoon… at least, at the very least I could get out of my head for a minute or two.
As I opened the page to my blog, I was thinking suddenly about unicorns again and how their horns could be seen as the barreling force constantly following the thought patterns that I wish to change. One example I will share here is when I do not get a response from a loved one in whatever time period my brain has determined is long enough for them to decide they actually hate me and never want to speak to me again, and the paranoia and the path I take from that until they finally call me… at which time I have normally worked myself into such a state all I can do is babble about nothing important just to hang onto the connection for as long as possible, or… something like that… there are a myriad of places I go. And staring out the window today my brain was screaming “Stop, Stop, Stop! Don’t get there! Do something, distract yourself now! And doing the dishes right now is not going to count for distraction, but you can come back to them soon.”
So anyway, I was thinking of the unicorn horn barreling through there, and I thought “what was that deal with the neurons?” and a little Googling brought me to Lindquist’s article. Originally, I wanted to be creative and vague by writing in metaphor and write some great story about how the unicorn horn would fit into this manifestation. Theoretically, of course, since unicorn horns and magic are not realities I can prove. And I think the story could make more sense to my readers if you first knew where the hell I was coming from, and if I really explored where I was coming from too.
The more immediate thing is to address the paranoia spiral/spin. I need to train my brain to remember first and foremost that my loved ones have tons of things they need to do all the time, just like I do. And sitting and thinking about them suddenly banishing me is actually taking a ton of time away from productive to-do-list tasks. So! I ask myself the next question… What do I need to do? Get to the next thing on my to do list! It can be writing, which I would love to do everyday… It can be reading one of the million things on my reading list, it can be tackling the cleaning as long as the new thoughts that occupy the brain during cleaning time are clearing the way with the NEW unicorn magic and they are saying, “you, my friend brandy, are being productive right now and doing what you need to get done… just like everyone else.” or maybe i could listen to a book.
In any case, my friends, I really believe there is some progress to be made here by creating and following these exercises and being PRESENT in the moment enough to do them! Change is not easy. But doing my best to be the girl I admire, the girl I want to be, is so worth it, everyday.
Oh and watch… What the Bleep Do We Know.