"CACA-LUMPECTOMY" AND THE AMYGDALA - repost from a couple of years ago
A dream I had:
We stood outside the car in a dark, totally deserted traffic lane of the freeway. I saw the lights of the approaching eighteen wheeler, which meant, we faced the wrong way! It was too late to get back in the car and turn it around. I reached in to honk the horn, but the sound that came out was a strangled rasp. All I could do was, watch the truck come closer and closer: a monster growing out of the darkness. Fortunately, the driver saw the lights of our car, and slowed down. Then the dream began to disintegrate, allowing my mind to start speculating, what else I could do; what alternative endings there can be to that nightmare. How would you like to wake up from a dream like that? For the rest of the day, I couldn't get myself together. Today is Friday, and I had an appointment with Mr. P. My plan was to do all the chores and errands, take a shower and go to an appointment. By eleven o'clock I absolutely forgot all about my schedule! I cleaned and cooked and checked my e-mail and Facebook stuff. The time passed, and I cleaned and I cooked and I checked my e-mail and Facebook stuff... Roberta: "Dina, don't you have an appointment with what's-his-name?" Me: "Oh, my God, it's in thirty minutes, and I didn't even take a shower yet!" I did have a shower. Somehow, even with me gulping down some lunch, I made it to Mr. P.'s house only 15 minutes too late! He was so excited from the session with a previous client that, like he mentioned, he had to change a shirt! We talked about my life's vision. "What would make you absolutely happy?" - Mr. P. asked. I had to think. Being happy is one thing, but getting there is something very different. But if I manage to forget all about my doubts in my ability to actually bring good results (according to Mr. P., its a usual malady among the humans), what would make me happy? "Achieving actual results, like losing a significant amount of weight or getting my work published", I began. "My children having successful, happy families. Loyal, fun loving friends with great sense of humor and a desire to reciprocate my efforts in a relationship". Mr. P. was incredulous: "What, nothing about your husband?" I laughed: "Oh, you know, we just work together in the family. There is, probably, almost no chance that our relationship will ever be anything else!" Mr. P.: "I'll just put it here" - he was writing on a whiteboard - "a relationship with Taka developing gradually." He bounced around a little. Mr. P. is Latino, and its hard for him to sit serenely through a session. He drew Pacman on the board, swallowing all the negative thoughts and messages. Then he produced a stick figure, indicating, it had the said negative things in it's mind. - "Like some caca!" - he said. On the stick figure's head he drew, what Mr. P. assured me, was a video projector (it looked more like a piece of a puzzle). - "You see, all thecaca in your brain makes you lose opportunities, and you project negativity at everything in your life.
"We have to de-caca your mind, in order for you to be able to eliminate the obstacles to your happiness!" - he declared. - "I will attempt a "Caca-lumpectomy!" He mentioned how, a part of our brain called the amygdala, is linked to fear responses. "When a person is afraid, amygdala makes them temporarily lose the ability for action or rational thought". I remembered my dream. My whole day was shut to h.e.double-hockey-sticks because of the terror that I felt not only from the nightmare itself, but also from trying to figure out, what it meant. Am I going to make a terrible mistake, because of which I'll put my familyin danger (me placing the car the wrong way on a freeway)? Is there a horrible trouble coming, and nothing that I'll do will be able to deflect it (the horn in the car not working)? I was so completely scatter-brained, that I even forgot about my appointment!
Mr. P. would have none of this. He re-focused my attention on thinking about the ways to get rid of the negativity and work on improving my life. S.M.A.RT. goals. What are they? - SPECIFIC - MEASURABLE - ACHIEVABLE - REALISTIC - TIME FRAMEWORK In other words, the goals that can be described by above mentioned epithets (I don't care, if "time framework" isn't an epithet!). That's one of the methods of organizing one's life in a way that can bring success! When I whined that, my past failures make me loath to try something again, Mr. P. answered: "Every time there is a question, how you are doing or whether you are doing anything to achieve the most desirable things in your life, you should say to yourself or to anyone who is asking, that you are in the process of it.The amygdala might get all scared about failing again, but these words:in the process of...; will put it at ease."