Crushing — Chapter 1

IMG_0308It’s Friday evening, which I’ve mentioned before on earlier posts. It seems to be the day of the week that I need to take stock of where I am before I begin writing. Not a busy week this week, work wise. It was however, a very stressful week, but that’s another story.

I am up on my balcony. I will sit up here more and more as the days begin to shorten and the weather gets colder. Like my office, the balcony faces exactly east. It is on the second floor and can only be accessed through my bedroom, which affords a certain amount of privacy, at least from family.

I cannot see the same garden from here. Instead, in front of me, there is a view of the side and backyards of my neighbour’s place. To me this is more evidence of manifesting. The simple act of appreciating the good in your life has a way of drawing more of the same in. It is as though by expressing gratitude you are sending a signal that this is something that you like and that you would welcome more. The longer I sat on my balcony and was grateful for how gorgeous the view was, the more its beauty increased.

Some of my more pleasant memories – or not – on Oak Street were of loves and crushes. I was speaking earlier about feeling like an outsider in the fourth grade class that I was initially placed in at my new school. What I didn’t mention was that this was the location of my first crush. He sat behind me. He was taller than average, quite thin and had longish brown hair. When I say long, I just mean that it was not cut to within one inch of his head, which was the style for most of the boys. It was still above his ears but it was cut all the same length. His favourite music was Bob Seger. I was so happy that I loved this music as well; similar taste is always a good sign.

I was supposed to be looking ahead for most of the day, not towards the back of the class, so the main thing that I remember was feeling his presence behind me. This was an overwhelming sensation for me. Every trace of comfort that I had known, my trees, my friends and Squirt had gone missing. My parents did not seem to exist anymore and there was this presence behind me. It calmed me down to be sitting near him and over time I became giddy with adoration. I have often wondered what the role of oxytocin is in a relationship. I suspect that it is the strongest form of bonding. They are discovering now that social interactions can cause an increase in oxytocin.

We have all laughed at ducklings that have bonded to inappropriate things and have followed them around relentlessly. This is the power of oxytocin. I believe that we have underestimated its power in human relationships. If you think of any imbalanced and hurtful relationship that you have ever witnessed and ask yourself why they stay together, it could very well be hormonal. This type of bonding occurs at the most fundamental level, well away from logic or common sense.

I tell myself this to try to make sense of this time in my life. For the first time I was arguing with myself. The part of me that had been socialized and had learned what appropriate behaviour was, was battling with this little nymph that was giddy with excitement and would not behave. I know that I embarrassed myself by how I was treating this boy, but I couldn’t help myself. I scolded myself for my inability to not flirt with him.

It is during this time that I decided that my brain would be in charge instead of my natural inclinations. I had to take control of how I was acting. If I caused this guy any embarrassment, I apologize, but I really was unable to act otherwise.

Anyhow, I would sit for hours on a Saturday afternoon hoping that he would walk past my place to the variety store. Little did I know that there was a different store that he likely went to. I would borrow erasers, pencils and crayons—even though I had my own. I would drop things on the floor so that I could pick them up. I would tap him on the opposite shoulder as I walked by.

During that time, a normal class consisted of writing down what the teacher was writing on the blackboard. I actually found that I learned quite a lot this way. The notebooks that we were given were bound, soft covered with lined pages and two staples to hold them together at the spine. Needless to say, it did not take long to fill one with the stuff that was on the blackboard. I remember concocting a story. I thought that it was feasible enough that I could pull it off.

I called my crush at home and explained that I had forgotten that the first half of the notes for our test the next day were in my last notebook. I said that I had only brought the most recent stuff home and therefore was unable to study and I was wondering if I could borrow his notes. He said sure, I could come and pick it up.

It was all I could do to contain the energy that was bursting out of me as I headed out the door. I was going to get a book from my crush. What would he say? What would happen? The possibilities were endless. I walked up to the side door and knocked. His mother came to the door. I explained who I was and why I was there and she handed me his book explaining that he had left to play hockey. How Canadian.

Years later I visited my hometown on a trip from university and saw him across the floor at a very large bar, The Station I believe, named after the previous use of the building. I was unable to go over and say hello. I felt butterflies in my stomach and could not bring myself to speak to him.

Keep Reading: Hill in the Park

 

Read the entire book, now available
Read the entire book, now available

www.wendypowell.ca

Right Brain/Left Brain — Chapter 7

http://pixgood.com/left-and-right-brain-art.html
http://pixgood.com/left-and-right-brain-art.html

I am in my office again. I just finished a pretty easy week at work. I was only covering my own desk, which meant that I had a reasonable amount to do. There are definitely ebbs and flows of work and this was a particularly light flow.

It is 6:00 p.m. EDT and it is pitch black outside. I wish that they would recognize that there has not been justification for Daylight savings time for over a hundred years and remove it. It is such a great example of how we deny the fact that we are animals in praise of our “greater knowledge,” from our logical brains. Daylight savings time throws entire populations into jet lag without even a change in sun patterns to help them adjust.

I first experienced an understanding of this disconnect in grade four when I had a crush on my classmate. It was during this time that I decided that my brain would be in charge instead of my natural inclinations. I had to take control of how I was acting. By nine years of age I had already learned that what my logical brain wanted should take precedence. Now I am spending more time trying to reconnect with what I actually want, not what I “should” want. I find this interesting.

It has long been known that the brain has two hemispheres. These look almost identical and it can appear as though they would do the same thing but they do not. There is a great video by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor during which she explains her experience after having a stroke that knocked her left-brain “off-line” so to speak. She explained that her right brain is connected to a greater knowing, a connection to the energy that is all around us.

At the risk of over simplifying this, the left-brain is the logical, thought producing hemisphere. It spends its entire day generating words that form thoughts. These repeating messages occur over and over again until we believe them. This is the part of the brain that says things like, “You shouldn’t do that”. The right side is more of the artistic side, but I like to call it the animal side. It is the part of the brain that knows how to survive and what it enjoys.

So we get ourselves into situations where the two sides of our brains are arguing. I was already having this argument at nine years of age. It occurred again when I was trying to decide whether or not to resume my marriage. Funny thing. The right side always won. This is true in other aspects of my life. The vision disturbances and the crying were both my body, or my animal side telling me that I was not OK despite the fact that my logical brain could come up with all kinds of quantifiable arguments about the logistics of leaving.

Stop for a moment and consider the fact that you are reading this sentence. To most people, this is experienced as “hearing the words” in your mind. As you read this, you hear the words, “As you read this” in your mind. Is this true for you? Is this how you experience reading to yourself? If it is, I have a question. Who is listening? Let me propose a possibility. It is not our bodies, our animal side or our right brain that is in control. It is also not our thoughts, the words that we tell ourselves or our left-brain that is in control, it is you, the one listening to your brain read the words.

One of the ways that this conflict plays out in our society is through all of the rules that are shared about how we should live that if followed, take us further away from the knowledge that we instinctively have about how to take care of ourselves. The media goes crazy condemning foods and then exonerating them. Telling us how much sleep, exercise, food and television we should indulge in. It does not take a genius to see that this is not working. It might be time to get back into our bodies and begin to listen to what they are saying.

Our bodies need to be cared for, not tortured. The food restriction, the belief in things like, “no pain, no gain” and our crazy schedules do not respect the fact that our bodies are where we live. We need to learn to listen to the messages that they are sending us about play and rest; enjoyment and focus; hunger and movement. Reconnecting is the key, not learning the newest fad.

All bodies will want to move. It may not be “exercise” but they are designed to be doing things. Our bodies know what they want to eat and when they are full. Also, we know how much sleep we need. In our overbooked lives, it is easy to let our left brains convince us that what we need to do is more important than taking care of ourselves. These brain over body arguments all need to be reexamined.

Recognize that the part of you that is listening to this as you read it to yourself, can see both sides. You can hear the left brain spewing rules about how you should behave and the right brain desiring more freedom. You know what you actually want and taking time to be quiet in wordlessness will help you connect to this knowing more and more.

This is an excerpt from my book, “I Woke Up In Paradise”.

Read the entire book.
Read the entire book.

Crushing — Chapter 1

IMG_0308It’s Friday evening, which I’ve mentioned before on earlier posts. It seems to be the day of the week that I need to take stock of where I am before I begin writing. Not a busy week this week, work wise. It was however, a very stressful week, but that’s another story.

I am up on my balcony. I will sit up here more and more as the days begin to shorten and the weather gets colder. Like my office, the balcony faces exactly east. It is on the second floor and can only be accessed through my bedroom, which affords a certain amount of privacy, at least from family.

I cannot see the same garden from here. Instead, in front of me, there is a view of the side and backyards of my neighbour’s place. To me this is more evidence of manifesting. The simple act of appreciating the good in your life has a way of drawing more of the same in. It is as though by expressing gratitude you are sending a signal that this is something that you like and that you would welcome more. The longer I sat on my balcony and was grateful for how gorgeous the view was, the more its beauty increased.

Some of my more pleasant memories – or not – on Oak Street were of loves and crushes. I was speaking earlier about feeling like an outsider in the fourth grade class that I was initially placed in at my new school. What I didn’t mention was that this was the location of my first crush. He sat behind me. He was taller than average, quite thin and had longish brown hair. When I say long, I just mean that it was not cut to within one inch of his head, which was the style for most of the boys. It was still above his ears but it was cut all the same length. His favourite music was Bob Seger. I was so happy that I loved this music as well; similar taste is always a good sign.

I was supposed to be looking ahead for most of the day, not towards the back of the class, so the main thing that I remember was feeling his presence behind me. This was an overwhelming sensation for me. Every trace of comfort that I had known, my trees, my friends and Squirt had gone missing. My parents did not seem to exist anymore and there was this presence behind me. It calmed me down to be sitting near him and over time I became giddy with adoration. I have often wondered what the role of oxytocin is in a relationship. I suspect that it is the strongest form of bonding. They are discovering now that social interactions can cause an increase in oxytocin.

We have all laughed at ducklings that have bonded to inappropriate things and have followed them around relentlessly. This is the power of oxytocin. I believe that we have underestimated its power in human relationships. If you think of any imbalanced and hurtful relationship that you have ever witnessed and ask yourself why they stay together, it could very well be hormonal. This type of bonding occurs at the most fundamental level, well away from logic or common sense.

I tell myself this to try to make sense of this time in my life. For the first time I was arguing with myself. The part of me that had been socialized and had learned what appropriate behaviour was, was battling with this little nymph that was giddy with excitement and would not behave. I know that I embarrassed myself by how I was treating this boy, but I couldn’t help myself. I scolded myself for my inability to not flirt with him.

It is during this time that I decided that my brain would be in charge instead of my natural inclinations. I had to take control of how I was acting. If I caused this guy any embarrassment, I apologize, but I really was unable to act otherwise.

Anyhow, I would sit for hours on a Saturday afternoon hoping that he would walk past my place to the variety store. Little did I know that there was a different store that he likely went to. I would borrow erasers, pencils and crayons—even though I had my own. I would drop things on the floor so that I could pick them up. I would tap him on the opposite shoulder as I walked by.

During that time, a normal class consisted of writing down what the teacher was writing on the blackboard. I actually found that I learned quite a lot this way. The notebooks that we were given were bound, soft covered with lined pages and two staples to hold them together at the spine. Needless to say, it did not take long to fill one with the stuff that was on the blackboard. I remember concocting a story. I thought that it was feasible enough that I could pull it off.

I called my crush at home and explained that I had forgotten that the first half of the notes for our test the next day were in my last notebook. I said that I had only brought the most recent stuff home and therefore was unable to study and I was wondering if I could borrow his notes. He said sure, I could come and pick it up.

It was all I could do to contain the energy that was bursting out of me as I headed out the door. I was going to get a book from my crush. What would he say? What would happen? The possibilities were endless. I walked up to the side door and knocked. His mother came to the door. I explained who I was and why I was there and she handed me his book explaining that he had left to play hockey. How Canadian.

Years later I visited my hometown on a trip from university and saw him across the floor at a very large bar, The Station I believe, named after the previous use of the building. I was unable to go over and say hello. I felt butterflies in my stomach and could not bring myself to speak to him.

Keep Reading: Hill in the Park

 

Read the entire book, now available
Read the entire book, now available

www.wendypowell.ca

Right Brain/Left Brain — Chapter 7

I am in my office again. I just finished a pretty easy week at work. I was only covering my own desk, which meant that I had a reasonable amount to do. There are definitely ebbs and flows of work and this was a particularly light flow.

It is 6:00 p.m. EDT and it is pitch black outside. I wish that they would recognize that there has not been justification for Daylight savings time for over a hundred years and remove it. It is such a great example of how we deny the fact that we are animals in praise of our “greater knowledge,” from our logical brains. Daylight savings time throws entire populations into jet lag without even a change in sun patterns to help them adjust.

I first experienced an understanding of this disconnect in grade four when I had a crush on my classmate. It was during this time that I decided that my brain would be in charge instead of my natural inclinations. I had to take control of how I was acting. By nine years of age I had already learned that what my logical brain wanted should take precedence. Now I am spending more time trying to reconnect with what I actually want, not what I “should” want. I find this interesting.

It has long been known that the brain has two hemispheres. These look almost identical and it can appear as though they would do the same thing but they do not. There is a great video by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor during which she explains her experience after having a stroke that knocked her left-brain “off-line” so to speak. She explained that her right brain is connected to a greater knowing, a connection to the energy that is all around us.

At the risk of over simplifying this, the left-brain is the logical, thought producing hemisphere. It spends its entire day generating words that form thoughts. These repeating messages occur over and over again until we believe them. This is the part of the brain that says things like, “You shouldn’t do that”. The right side is more of the artistic side, but I like to call it the animal side. It is the part of the brain that knows how to survive and what it enjoys.

So we get ourselves into situations where the two sides of our brains are arguing. I was already having this argument at nine years of age. It occurred again when I was trying to decide whether or not to resume my marriage. Funny thing. The right side always won. This is true in other aspects of my life. The vision disturbances and the crying were both my body, or my animal side telling me that I was not OK despite the fact that my logical brain could come up with all kinds of quantifiable arguments about the logistics of leaving.

Stop for a moment and consider the fact that you are reading this sentence. To most people, this is experienced as “hearing the words” in your mind. As you read this, you hear the words, “As you read this” in your mind. Is this true for you? Is this how you experience reading to yourself? If it is, I have a question. Who is listening? Let me propose a possibility. It is not our bodies, our animal side or our right brain that is in control. It is also not our thoughts, the words that we tell ourselves or our left-brain that is in control, it is you, the one listening to your brain read the words.

One of the ways that this conflict plays out in our society is through all of the rules that are shared about how we should live that if followed, take us further away from the knowledge that we instinctively have about how to take care of ourselves. The media goes crazy condemning foods and then exonerating them. Telling us how much sleep, exercise, food and television we should indulge in. It does not take a genius to see that this is not working. It might be time to get back into our bodies and begin to listen to what they are saying.

Our bodies need to be cared for, not tortured. The food restriction, the belief in things like, “no pain, no gain” and our crazy schedules do not respect the fact that our bodies are where we live. We need to learn to listen to the messages that they are sending us about play and rest; enjoyment and focus; hunger and movement. Reconnecting is the key, not learning the newest fad.

All bodies will want to move. It may not be “exercise” but they are designed to be doing things. Our bodies know what they want to eat and when they are full. Also, we know how much sleep we need. In our overbooked lives, it is easy to let our left brains convince us that what we need to do is more important than taking care of ourselves. These brain over body arguments all need to be reexamined.

Recognize that the part of you that is listening to this as you read it to yourself, can see both sides. You can hear the left brain spewing rules about how you should behave and the right brain desiring more freedom. You know what you actually want and taking time to be quiet in wordlessness will help you connect to this knowing more and more.

This is an excerpt from my book, “I Woke Up In Paradise”.

Read the entire book.
Read the entire book.

Crushing — Chapter 1

IMG_0308It’s Friday evening, which I’ve mentioned before on earlier posts. It seems to be the day of the week that I need to take stock of where I am before I begin writing. Not a busy week this week, work wise. It was however, a very stressful week, but that’s another story.

I am up on my balcony. I will sit up here more and more as the days begin to shorten and the weather gets colder. Like my office, the balcony faces exactly east. It is on the second floor and can only be accessed through my bedroom, which affords a certain amount of privacy, at least from family.

I cannot see the same garden from here. Instead, in front of me, there is a view of the side and backyards of my neighbour’s place. To me this is more evidence of manifesting. The simple act of appreciating the good in your life has a way of drawing more of the same in. It is as though by expressing gratitude you are sending a signal that this is something that you like and that you would welcome more. The longer I sat on my balcony and was grateful for how gorgeous the view was, the more its beauty increased.

Some of my more pleasant memories – or not – on Oak Street were of loves and crushes. I was speaking earlier about feeling like an outsider in the fourth grade class that I was initially placed in at my new school. What I didn’t mention was that this was the location of my first crush. He sat behind me. He was taller than average, quite thin and had longish brown hair. When I say long, I just mean that it was not cut to within one inch of his head, which was the style for most of the boys. It was still above his ears but it was cut all the same length. His favourite music was Bob Seger. I was so happy that I loved this music as well; similar taste is always a good sign.

I was supposed to be looking ahead for most of the day, not towards the back of the class, so the main thing that I remember was feeling his presence behind me. This was an overwhelming sensation for me. Every trace of comfort that I had known, my trees, my friends and Squirt had gone missing. My parents did not seem to exist anymore and there was this presence behind me. It calmed me down to be sitting near him and over time I became giddy with adoration. I have often wondered what the role of oxytocin is in a relationship. I suspect that it is the strongest form of bonding. They are discovering now that social interactions can cause an increase in oxytocin.

We have all laughed at ducklings that have bonded to inappropriate things and have followed them around relentlessly. This is the power of oxytocin. I believe that we have underestimated its power in human relationships. If you think of any imbalanced and hurtful relationship that you have ever witnessed and ask yourself why they stay together, it could very well be hormonal. This type of bonding occurs at the most fundamental level, well away from logic or common sense.

I tell myself this to try to make sense of this time in my life. For the first time I was arguing with myself. The part of me that had been socialized and had learned what appropriate behaviour was, was battling with this little nymph that was giddy with excitement and would not behave. I know that I embarrassed myself by how I was treating this boy, but I couldn’t help myself. I scolded myself for my inability to not flirt with him.

It is during this time that I decided that my brain would be in charge instead of my natural inclinations. I had to take control of how I was acting. If I caused this guy any embarrassment, I apologize, but I really was unable to act otherwise.

Anyhow, I would sit for hours on a Saturday afternoon hoping that he would walk past my place to the variety store. Little did I know that there was a different store that he likely went to. I would borrow erasers, pencils and crayons—even though I had my own. I would drop things on the floor so that I could pick them up. I would tap him on the opposite shoulder as I walked by.

During that time, a normal class consisted of writing down what the teacher was writing on the blackboard. I actually found that I learned quite a lot this way. The notebooks that we were given were bound, soft covered with lined pages and two staples to hold them together at the spine. Needless to say, it did not take long to fill one with the stuff that was on the blackboard. I remember concocting a story. I thought that it was feasible enough that I could pull it off.

I called my crush at home and explained that I had forgotten that the first half of the notes for our test the next day were in my last notebook. I said that I had only brought the most recent stuff home and therefore was unable to study and I was wondering if I could borrow his notes. He said sure, I could come and pick it up.

It was all I could do to contain the energy that was bursting out of me as I headed out the door. I was going to get a book from my crush. What would he say? What would happen? The possibilities were endless. I walked up to the side door and knocked. His mother came to the door. I explained who I was and why I was there and she handed me his book explaining that he had left to play hockey. How Canadian.

Years later I visited my hometown on a trip from university and saw him across the floor at a very large bar, The Station I believe, named after the previous use of the building. I was unable to go over and say hello. I felt butterflies in my stomach and could not bring myself to speak to him.

Keep Reading: Hill in the Park

 

Read the entire book, now available
Read the entire book, now available

www.wendypowell.ca

Crushing — Chapter 1

IMG_0308It’s Friday evening, which I’ve mentioned before on earlier posts. It seems to be the day of the week that I need to take stock of where I am before I begin writing. Not a busy week this week, work wise. It was however, a very stressful week, but that’s another story.

I am up on my balcony. I will sit up here more and more as the days begin to shorten and the weather gets colder. Like my office, the balcony faces exactly east. It is on the second floor and can only be accessed through my bedroom, which affords a certain amount of privacy, at least from family.

I cannot see the same garden from here. Instead, in front of me, there is a view of the side and backyards of my neighbour’s place. To me this is more evidence of manifesting. The simple act of appreciating the good in your life has a way of drawing more of the same in. It is as though by expressing gratitude you are sending a signal that this is something that you like and that you would welcome more. The longer I sat on my balcony and was grateful for how gorgeous the view was, the more its beauty increased.

Some of my more pleasant memories – or not – on Oak Street were of loves and crushes. I was speaking earlier about feeling like an outsider in the fourth grade class that I was initially placed in at my new school. What I didn’t mention was that this was the location of my first crush. He sat behind me. He was taller than average, quite thin and had longish brown hair. When I say long, I just mean that it was not cut to within one inch of his head, which was the style for most of the boys. It was still above his ears but it was cut all the same length. His favourite music was Bob Seger. I was so happy that I loved this music as well; similar taste is always a good sign.

I was supposed to be looking ahead for most of the day, not towards the back of the class, so the main thing that I remember was feeling his presence behind me. This was an overwhelming sensation for me. Every trace of comfort that I had known, my trees, my friends and Squirt had gone missing. My parents did not seem to exist anymore and there was this presence behind me. It calmed me down to be sitting near him and over time I became giddy with adoration. I have often wondered what the role of oxytocin is in a relationship. I suspect that it is the strongest form of bonding. They are discovering now that social interactions can cause an increase in oxytocin.

We have all laughed at ducklings that have bonded to inappropriate things and have followed them around relentlessly. This is the power of oxytocin. I believe that we have underestimated its power in human relationships. If you think of any imbalanced and hurtful relationship that you have ever witnessed and ask yourself why they stay together, it could very well be hormonal. This type of bonding occurs at the most fundamental level, well away from logic or common sense.

I tell myself this to try to make sense of this time in my life. For the first time I was arguing with myself. The part of me that had been socialized and had learned what appropriate behaviour was, was battling with this little nymph that was giddy with excitement and would not behave. I know that I embarrassed myself by how I was treating this boy, but I couldn’t help myself. I scolded myself for my inability to not flirt with him.

It is during this time that I decided that my brain would be in charge instead of my natural inclinations. I had to take control of how I was acting. If I caused this guy any embarrassment, I apologize, but I really was unable to act otherwise.

Anyhow, I would sit for hours on a Saturday afternoon hoping that he would walk past my place to the variety store. Little did I know that there was a different store that he likely went to. I would borrow erasers, pencils and crayons—even though I had my own. I would drop things on the floor so that I could pick them up. I would tap him on the opposite shoulder as I walked by.

During that time, a normal class consisted of writing down what the teacher was writing on the blackboard. I actually found that I learned quite a lot this way. The notebooks that we were given were bound, soft covered with lined pages and two staples to hold them together at the spine. Needless to say, it did not take long to fill one with the stuff that was on the blackboard. I remember concocting a story. I thought that it was feasible enough that I could pull it off.

I called my crush at home and explained that I had forgotten that the first half of the notes for our test the next day were in my last notebook. I said that I had only brought the most recent stuff home and therefore was unable to study and I was wondering if I could borrow his notes. He said sure, I could come and pick it up.

It was all I could do to contain the energy that was bursting out of me as I headed out the door. I was going to get a book from my crush. What would he say? What would happen? The possibilities were endless. I walked up to the side door and knocked. His mother came to the door. I explained who I was and why I was there and she handed me his book explaining that he had left to play hockey. How Canadian.

Years later I visited my hometown on a trip from university and saw him across the floor at a very large bar, The Station I believe, named after the previous use of the building. I was unable to go over and say hello. I felt butterflies in my stomach and could not bring myself to speak to him.

Keep Reading: Hill in the Park

 

Read the entire book, now available
Read the entire book, now available

www.wendypowell.ca