Great Sunday. 5th meeting of Toastmasters in 3rd Club of Bangalore. Young, vibrant crowd mixed with some bearded oldies and middle aged Techies.
- Love Birds Meaning: A pair of people who have a shared love for each other. No. did not happen. Day of course, began different.
Jaws of Death Meaning: Being in a dangerous or very deadly situation. No. Not really. Saw a Premier movie for a while but did not experience it 🙂
Two Down, One to Go Meaning: Two things have been completed, but there is one more that has yet to be finished. Yes. Today’s short walk left the Udemy course study unfinished for the day .
No Ifs, Ands, or Buts Meaning: Finishing a task without making any excuses. Experienced this later in the day with two Excuse Masters cleverly negotiating with each other.
Right Off the Bat Meaning: Immediately, done in a hurry; without delay. Yes. without any inhibition responded emails and gave guidance to even a mail marked FYI 🙂 🙂 . Lessons repeated in Communications.
Break The Ice Meaning: Breaking down a social stiffness. Great speeches by two youngsters and one International Humorist champs at Toastmasters. The breaking the ice speech was literally great.
A Chip on Your Shoulder Meaning: Being angry about something that happened in the past. Yes. I still carry one anger chip on my shoulder.
Shot In the Dark Meaning: An attempt that has little chance for success. no like hope taking shot in the dark is not part of my strategy.
Let Her Rip Meaning: Permission to start, or it could mean ‘go faster!’ If the brainfog is gone and wiser sense prevails – you don’t need any permission.
Wake Up Call Meaning: An occurance of sorts that brings a problem to somebody’s attention and they realize it needs fixing. Hmmm… will wait and watch though.
Keep Your Shirt On Meaning: Keeping calm. Usually said by someone who is trying to avoid making others upset. Yes. even while in an angry tone, try not to rant. 🙂
Lost love is not little
Free verse by jay
An agreeable acquaintanceship, however hard it tries,
Will always be superficial.
Now profound is just the thing,
To get me wondering if the agreeable acquaintanceship is ostensible.
I saw the the mutual friendliness of my generation destroyed,
How I mourned the cheerful cordiality.
Now reciprocal is just the thing,
To get me wondering if the cheerful cordiality is common.
Just like matrilineal treaties, is kinship.
Why are they so little?
The lost love is not little!
the lost love is exceptionally bragging.
Now conspicuous is just the thing,
To get me wondering if the lost love is bragging.
Your mind isn’t deep at all. In fact, it’s flat.
August 9, 2018 by DEREK BERES
Photo: Getty Images
A box of crackers features the tagline, “Conscious eating.” An artistic subgroup embraces the Burning Man ethos: “Conscious music.” This self-declared genre arises from the same set that talks about techniques for “higher consciousness.” In every instance, the sentiment is obvious: my product is better than yours because there’s something deeper going on over here.
Consciousness, from their perspective, is like a ladder descending into an unfathomable abyss. This depth can be penetrated, through meditation, through breathing exercises or austerities, through faith or sheer willpower or a combination of the two, or through, apparently, eating crackers. For some, higher consciousness is handed down at birth, from a past life, or bestowed by a teacher, as in the Indian idea of shaktipat. Whatever the method, everyday consciousness only scratches the surface. Something deeper exists, waiting to be mined by the steadfast observer.
A deep sigh of relief washed over me when reading that Nick Chater called the notion of higher consciousness “nonsense on stilts.” The British behavioral scientist doesn’t mince words in his new book, The Mind is Flat. While many believe consciousness to be a hidden mystery few can access, Chater’s take on this evolutionary phenomenon is quite pedestrian. What you see is effectively what you get.
No amount of therapy, dream analysis, word association, experiment or brain-scanning can recover a person’s ‘true motives,’ not because they are difficult to find, but because there is nothing to find. The inner, mental world, and the beliefs, motives, and fears it is supposed to contain is, itself, a work of the imagination.
This is not shocking if you consider consciousness in its most fundamental regard. By definition, consciousness is simply what you’re paying attention to at the moment, which can amount to no more than four or five things. You can refine from there: the goal of meditation, for example, is to focus on one thing—a mantra, a candle flame, your breathing, something basic and accessible. Whether you’re an expert meditator or chronic multitasker, the effects on consciousness are physiological, not mystical.
Yet that’s not how we feel, which is why Chater’s book is likely to rattle many mental cages. An emotion, he says, is an interpretation of a physiological change in your body. He’s not the first thinker to posit this; Lisa Feldman Barrett wrote an entire book on this topic. While this will not square well with those who claim they know something to be true because they feel it, Chater’s point should not be dismissed. Anecdotal interpretations have the habit of often being wrong.
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We actually have a limited set of feelings. Think about the innumerable issues that cause a stomach to churn. Context matters, and in this sense, our brain contextualizes the physical sensations based on past experiences. Memory is fluid but based on prior events. Essentially, Chater states that we’re just making it all up as we go along.
We crave narrative and go to great lengths to fill in incomplete stories regardless of the validity of assumptions being made. This is why Chater thinks the role of psychotherapy is dated. He calls the Jungian notion of a collective unconscious “the astrology of psychology,” rather fitting given that Jung speculated that UFOs are psychic projections from our hidden collective drive. To Chater, comparing Jungian analysis to psychology is akin to relating astrology to astronomy. One exploits patterns of thought and behavior in an attempt to derive coherence, while the other relies on data to pinpoint exact locations and predictable patterns.
Chater believes psychotherapy feeds the illusion of a hidden depth and claims the industry is on the outs.
[Psychotherapy is] doomed by the fact that there is not a deep inner story that is hiding from you. Rather, you’ve got the first draft or a set of incoherent notes for a novel. You’ve got an incoherent muddle. And we’re all incoherent muddles to some degree. But when some of those incoherencies cause us problems, when we’re terrified of something we very much want to do, even something as narrow as a fear of spiders, these are conflicts in our thinking and reactions.
In his latest book, The Strange Order of Things, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio writes that feelings are “for” life regulation. They provide essential information to help us remain in homeostasis. If something is out of whack a feeling lets us know. Again, context matters. Our stomach gets jittery if we’ve eaten something rotten and when we’re courting a romantic partner. As Damasio states, feelings alert us to potential danger as well as potential opportunity. There is nothing metaphysical about the process.
But we perceive it to be other, as Chater writes. Instead of a perception refined by years of experiences, we come to feel that the deep well of the unconscious is simmering below the surface, like the famed kundalini energy at the base of the spine. Hyperventilate enough and you unleash its fury. Well, true, Chater might say—hyperventilate enough and your nervous system is certainly going to react in peculiar and dangerous ways.
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Does this make psychotherapy useless? Not so fast, Chater concludes. First off, talking to another is proven medicine. Chater also says creativity is an important aspect of our humanity. Ingenious solutions can be worked out between a therapist and patient, provided it’s understood as a metaphor. His contention seems to be assuming metaphor to represent reality as stated. Constructing new patterns of thought and behavior has therapeutic utility; uncovering unconscious motives or beliefs is not only counterproductive but dangerous:
The reason I think the unconscious is a dangerous metaphor is because it gives you the impression that mental things that are unconscious could be conscious. This whole idea of uncovering things from the unconscious and making them conscious has the presupposition that they are of the same type.
He compares this yearning for a hidden depth to Freud’s iceberg: consciousness at the top, the real story under the surface, which Chater says is a mistaken analysis of how our brains actually work.
The things we’re conscious of—experiences, thoughts, fragments of conversation—are completely different in type from the things we’re unconscious of—all these mysterious brain processes, which lay down and retrieve memories, piece fragments of information together, and so on. The brain is doing lots of unconscious work—but it is not thought in any way we understand it.
What is unconscious can never be made conscious because the information is inaccessible by design. I’ll never be conscious of my liver detoxifying my blood, but if something goes wrong in that process I’ll certainly feel the result. If the unconscious could be made conscious, we’d never need a doctor to diagnose an illness; our body would tell us.
We’re just not as deep as we think, which is fine: we have plenty of work to do on the surface. Perhaps if we stop taking so many metaphors as reality, we’d get along much better, with ourselves and those around us. There’s plenty to see when we open our eyes. Closing them to seek a treasure causes us to miss the treasure right before us.
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A mudflat, however hard it tries,
Will always be Delta.
Does the mudflat make you shiver?
I cannot help but stop and look at the Theta estuary.
Does the estuary make you shiver?
Short story that inspired me to write a Quick Poem below
Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls — family, health, friends, integrity — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life.
The Sharp And Grand Rock
A Poem by Jay Parkhe
Whose rock is that? I think I know.
Its owner is quite angry though.
He was cross like a dark potato.
I watch him pace. I cry A’llo.
He gives his rock a shake,
And screams you’ve made a bad mistake.
The only other sound’s the break,
Of distant glasses and bars awake.
The Rock is sharp, Grand and deep,
But he has promises to keep,
Tormented with nightbirds he never sleeps.
Revenge is a promise a man must keep.
He rises from his flat bed,
With thoughts of violence in his head,
A flash of rage and he sees red.
Without a men-O-pause you turned and fled.
With thanks to the poet, Robert Frost, for the underlying structure
Things Don’t Change, WE change! – said Henry David Thoreau. In my life, I have seen that not only WE change, We help change. But sometimes, we come across People who have piles of masks and masks which require constant unpeeling. The process is not pleasant for the untrained surgeon like me but also for those who laboriously have put them on and maintained very protectively for years!
But, sometimes, unwittingly, people open their mind’s windows or closed Silos – like the Johari Windows and we get a peep into their Brains. The darkest parts are become visible to us and once we have got an insight into this side of people – judgements become easier.
Sometimes though, the masks which are not carefully worn -fall off and the Real faces in all their gory, bloody ways become visible that cause sadness and does not help us.
Free verse by jay
All that is present is not absent,
absent, by all account is Absent.
Now absentminded is just the thing,
To get me wondering if the absent is inattentive.
How happy are inadvertent, occasional omission!
Odd, obvious, occasional omission.
Never forget the unintended and accidental occasional omission.
Just like copious remarks, is polemical prefaces.
Do polemical prefaces make you shiver?
They cause BrainFog in my brain!
You Can’t Judge a Book By Its CoverMeaning: Don’t judge someone or something only by the outward appearance. They can be fooling. How long we allow ourselves to be fooled is up to us REALLY
A Fool and His Money are Soon PartedMeaning:It’s easy for a fool to lose his/her money. Hmmm…
Mountain Out of a MolehillMeaning: One who escalates small things and turns them into big problems. Quite true. We meet complaining, whining people who avoid ownership, responsibility taking and attribute failures others rather than owning up mistakes.
Not the Sharpest Tool in the ShedMeaning: Someone who isn’t witty or sharp, but rather, they are ignorant, unintelligent, or senseless. Some people are so phony intellectuals who parrotise, write dictated mails by others, and when confronted just run away.
Are you in search of a brain fog treatment? Well, I embarked on my own personal journey to learn more about the pros and cons of consuming gluten. I ran across a common theme: clouding of the mind. It is also known conventionally as mental fog or “brain fog,” due to the consumption of foods containing gluten. Conversely, I found that many who were omitting gluten from their diets, either voluntarily or on a physician’s recommendation, noted improvements in memory and mental clarity. If you’ve ever put your car keys in the freezer by mistake, looked for your car in the wrong section of the parking lot, or simply couldn’t think clearly for seemingly no reason at all, you may be able to relate.
Often chalked up to a “normal part of getting older,” symptoms of brain fog include mild confusion, forgetfulness and/or the inability to think clearly. But this doesn’t have to be your fate!
Certain foods such as artificial sweeteners and dairy have been linked to mental fog. However, more and more physicians are discovering that mental fog is quite strongly linked to gluten intolerance. Within weeks of eliminating gluten from my own diet, I noticed an ability to think more clearly.
Luckily, there are several foods that have been associated with improved cognitive performance that are naturally gluten free. Tired of losing your keys? Here are six foods you can reach for to clear up mental fog and boost your brain health:
Foods for Brain Fog Treatment
1. Avocados: Avocado is high in oleic acid. This fatty acid that plays a role in protecting neurons. Along with other omega fatty acids, oleic acid helps make up the myelin sheath. This lining on neurons helps information in your brain travel at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. Avocados also increase healthy blood flow which promotes increased brain function. It also improves heart health. For an effective brain fog treatment, throw some avocado on your salad or spread some on your sandwich and super charge your brain for those holiday events.
2. Blueberries: Also called “brainberries” by Dr. Steven Platt, MD author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities of all fruits and vegetables. They are known to improve memory and cognitive function. Blueberries have memory-protecting properties. They have even been associated with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Add some blueberries to your breakfast and you may not need to check that to-do list several times throughout the day.
3. Beans: Not only are beans wallet-friendly, they also help stabilize blood sugar levels. They slow how your body processes carbohydrates. Our brains need a steady stream of energy and beans do the job. By adding more beans to your diet, you add some carb-like texture to your meals without consuming any gluten.
4. Nuts and seeds: One ounce a day can reduce inflammation and promote brain fog treatment. They provide you with a great source of protein and satisfy your appetite. In addition to having a high fiber content, nuts and seeds are packed with vitamins, minerals, and brain-boosting omega fats. They have a positive impact on your brain and heart health. For an easy snack on-the-go, reach for almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (pumpkin seeds are specifically beneficial for men).
5. Wild Salmon: High levels of omega-3 fatty acids in addition to astaxanthin, B vitamins, and amino acids make wild salmon a winner for improving cognitive function. There is a wealth of research supporting omega 3’s role in brain health preservation. B vitamins and amino acids boost everyday brain function.
6. Dark chocolate: The powerful antioxidant properties of dark chocolate and natural stimulants help enhance focus. They also improve concentration and stimulate the production of endorphins. These help to not only support brain health, but improve mood, too. One to two Hershey Kiss-size pieces of dark chocolate a day will provide all the benefits you need. So, don’t feel guilty reaching for that piece of dark chocolate. It will help you think more clearly and cheer you up.