More Brain Stuff

on January 4, 2010 in Misc

Laylas_brain

In an earlier blog I talked about how I could feel my brain changing.  This is how I know.

Within just the last few weeks I’ve come to realize that I no longer look at the world in quite the same way.  I don’t mean the big world out there with its movers and shakers and history-making events, but the smaller, local world through which I move in my daily life.  My focus upon it and upon my life seems more firm, my gaze steady and head-on.  Where for so long I had a tendency to waffle on this personal issue or that – a tendency I really wasn’t aware of until it began to diminish – I now think more clearly, decide more quickly, fuss much less.  I really can tell that my brain is working more efficiently more often.

God knows the old gray matter in my head usually seemed to be a mess.

Only recently have I begun to understand how cluttered it could be with apprehensions and small fears and bad habits and hesitations.  And you know all those desires and treasured plans that so many of us give up on as the years go by?  They never really go away.  Mine have been crowding my subconscious and popping up into my awareness frequently enough to mess up my mind and distract me.

But then I became like Layla.

And the key word is became.

You see, there have been days in that past few months when I’ve felt overwhelmed for all the usual reasons.  You know what I mean – a crappy experience, an unpleasant encounter, or I’m just worn out and tired down to my bones.  On those days I could feel myself slipping into my customary, well-practiced reaction:  depression or discouragement or flustered confusion or frozen indecision.  Or all of the above.

Until I made one small change.

Starting sometime after I launched my Layla plan – maybe around last September – I found myself pausing just before I would slip down into the dregs and telling myself, “This is not what Layla would do.”

Okay, that sounds a hell of a lot like, “What would Jesus do?”  But he was divine and I am SO very human that I figure I’ll just stick with a really good human role model, even if it’s one I invented.  And these days I really do ask myself, “What would Layla do?”

I’ve already talked about how I’m not always sure where Layla ends and I begin.  But this much I know:  Layla is no wuss.  She doesn’t waffle, she doesn’t whine, and she sure as hell doesn’t put off what she really wants to do in her life.  She knows who she is and makes no apologies.  She knows what she wants and goes after it.  She’s had a bad day?  She gets over it.  She feels defeated?  Not for long, not when she can be plotting a fabulous comeback.

And as silly and trivial and oh so corny as all this sounds, this little trick really has done the trick for me.

That emotional and mental clutter I described?  By forcing myself to think and feel more like Layla I swept away some of it.  More and more these days my brain feels clearer, my perspective less blinkered, my heart lighter, my confidence stronger.  This might explain why my ability to concentrate has definitely improved, and my greater concentration is in turn sharpening the fuzzy edges around my thoughts and making them more coherent.  My mind also doesn’t go scampering off into la-la land or into a swamp of depression or doubt half as much as it used to.  And for this to be possible means a few of my brain’s neuronal connections or some chemicals in it or something have literally, physically changed.

Brain_dust

Better yet, it’s as if layers of dust that were clogging up my brain and heart are finally sifting away.  And in that dust’s place shines a clarity.  I feel as if I’ll soon be able to say, “Ah – there I am.  I thought I’d lost myself.  But now I’m found.”

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