Exercise Forty-Seven

Not all the house contents went to the East Coast. I sit here surrounded by four large bins of paper. Clearly, I am a paper hoarder and it takes a major move to get me to deal with the piles. I’m discovering all the magazine articles I tore out to read later…now is later. So I picked up the April 2013 Women’s Health magazine and found an article by Gretchen Voss on prejudice…”You may think of yourself as a fair person. A nice person. A nonjudgmental person. But research says you’re wrong. Bias is part of biology — our brains might be hardwired for prejudices we may not even know we have. We’re all born to judge.” The article continues on ways to adjust your attitude. It also pointed me to a sample online test at implicit.harvard.edu with over 90 subjects areas to assess attitudes and beliefs that may be so buried that we don’t even realize we have them. Trying some of the sample tests out has moved to my “to do” list. I’m curious and I expect that I’m in for some surprises.

photo 2“What’s the point?” you may be asking. I often ask that myself. The point is that in order to move forward, it helps to know what fears are holding us back. Neuroscience is making great strides in unraveling the complexity of the brain and the importance of creating new neural networks. While some things are flash instinctive, others are not and we have the ability to choose how we are going to react in given situations. This week, I’m going to suggest that you monitor how you are feeling. When you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, stop and examine the feeling. Can you pinpoint the fear? I know whenever I walk into a gallery to pitch my work, my stomach falls to the ground and the “I can’t…I don’t want to…I won’t” gets really loud. I have to force myself to take the steps through the door and to start talking. It’s getting easier as time goes on. Once you’ve pinpointed the fear, assuming it is not life-threatening, you can choose to acknowledge and deal with it. See someone as an individual, recognize your own awesomeness, write that story you’ve always wanted to write…the list of possibilities is endless. Don’t let fear be the reason you don’t try. The world is waiting for you to shine…(p.s. you already do, you just don’t see you like we do).

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