Pinky & The Brain

I do not believe that any peacock envies another peacock his tail, because every peacock is persuaded that his own tail is the finest in the world. The consequence of this is that peacocks are peaceable birds. – Bertrand Russell

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This is an image taken of a high functioning brain using a diffusion MRI machine, which can follow the neural pathways and connections of the brain. When I first saw this picture I think I cried….haha you can’t deny the beauty of the brain. Ahh, the tree of life. That my friends, is the coolest thing I have ever seen.

On the real – I love writing, and I’m all for self-development and spiritual talk but the truth is I come from a family who speaks in cold hard facts, a pure love for science is in my blood. I think this is an important guideline because to far on the spectrum either way (science vs. spiritual) doesn’t help the majority grasp the beautiful middle, and that’s where the fun happens. haha, let’s just say the scientific method is a golden rule in the McBeath Casa. Which I must admit keeps me super grounded in my writing and in my research – I can thank my dad for that one. Science fair, say whaaa?

Psychology & neuroscience is my jam — I have been uber fascinated with the human mind and brain since high school – how could you not be is my question. Do you guys remember Bill Nye? Well I’m going to get a little BN the science guy on you (you know you sing it every time in your head too) – I truly think a little science is good for the soul – and I think it’s important to know how our “crown jewel” runs the show. Ps. Psyche is derived from the greek word for soul. #soulology

Did you know that there are 100 billion neurons in your brain, roughly the same as the number of stars in our Milky Way galaxy? And to think that it isn’t all within ;] Let’s just say we’ve got the whole world in our hands. This most complex system that sits on our shoulders weighing in at around three pounds is the most mysterious and complex object in our solar system. Which is probably why there are numerous labs around the world trying to reverse engineer the brain so that they can understand what actually goes on up stairs — to that I say, good luck.

Each of these billion neurons are apart of your intricate electrical system – your wires “live tissue” if you will – sending electrical impulses throughout your whole body to tell it what to do, when to do it and how to do it through chemicals (messenger molecules / neurotransmitters). Mind to body, body to mind.

Our brains are constantly evolving and growing – we are not static, closed systems. We aren’t hardwired like a computer if you will (neuromorphic computer chips are changing this — cool, yet a little scary). Our mind/brain is so much cooler than that, it’s not even mind over matter, it’s mind turning into matter as your thoughts create new pathways. Boom! Neurons that wire together fire together. Let’s take a deep breath after that one. In the field of neuroscience, they call this neuroplasticity – it is your brains ability to create, regenerate, adapt, and change based on it’s environment. That old sang, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a myth, and I’m happy to see it go.

We are autonomous beings with choice and the ability to create new behaviors and thoughts daily. We can get under the hood and mix it up a little — the more choices we have the better of we are for sure. It’s a free-market upstairs if you want it – use your brain, don’t let it use you. I’ll be honest though changing habits that have been engrained in our neural pathways since our imprinting years (0-8) takes practice, intention and deep inward reflection. This is why meditation and mindfulness are such incredible practices – they help you re-wire your brain by disrupting patterns and disconnecting existing neurology to create new, better, and compelling reactions.

I believe that understanding the anatomy and physiology of our brains is our ticket to the past, present and the future. With all of that being said, I think we could use a little software update. Our thoughts, memories, desires, and experiences shape the way we perceive our reality each moment. Truth is, we all have a lot of self-limiting beliefs, fears, pain, anger and rules that are holding us back. Most of us aren’t aware of some of these unconscious beliefs because they happened when we were just young bucks enjoying otter pops and yoyo’s. Kinda crazy to think that most of us are creating our futures based off of the information and a framework that is built in the past and then acted upon in the present moment — no wonder history repeats itself. Yikes bikes.

Patterns re-emerge over and over because we aren’t actually getting to the root cause – the neural pathway that needs a little update. We go through life and make decisions based off of things we learned from our parents, teachers, or anyone who raised us. The power of suggestion really does shape our thoughts, words and actions – it’s almost programming your thoughts from the get go – unconsciously – to survive. That’s why fear shows up again and again – we needed to be fearful in the past because if we were doing yoga in the meadow we would’ve been coyote chow – side note – not a good look. It was a survival mechanism and it’s why I’m sitting here today typing this on my computer and you are on yours reading this. Times have changed though and I don’t know about you but I’m not being chased by lions, tigers, and bears – most days.

Our brains have a negativity bias, engraining pain points even deeper than positive memories because our minds find it necessary to put a yellow star next to them so we can avoid them at all cost in the future, no one truly likes pain. These pain points weigh us down more than we are even aware of, holding us back from reaching that super sweet infinite human potential I was talking about. We gotta release those bad boys, when the time is right of course.

Can you see where something may be holding you back? If you did know, what would it look like? What would it feel like? I invite you to be mindful of your thoughts. I remember listening to a Dr. once on Dr. Oz (love that man) and she said whenever you feel hungry grab an apple, if you’re hungry eat it, if you’re not, don’t. It’s funny how many times we turn towards food to help soothe a much deeper feeling – just that suggestion alone got me thinking about the underlying emotions & feelings as I went for the apple haha. Baby steps my friends, baby steps.

Humans need to feel like they are being loved and loving others (compassion), gratitude (happiness), peace, a vision for the future, self-determination (sense of control), and feeling supported. That sounds about right — and I think those met needs will keep you happy, happy. I think that meditating, journaling, slowing down enough to be one with your thoughts and being mindful of actions, thoughts, and words has the potential to change your whole life – putting you in control of the future, for real though.

On meditation/mindfulness, Time magazine says, “boosting immune system, brain scan suggests that it may be rewiring the brain to reduce stress.” (it is)The Washington Post adds, “…increased activity in the brain related to positive emotion.” And to top it all off, CBS news writes, “…helps depression, control pain, increase longevity, slow down cancer, invigorate immune system, and significantly reduce blood pressure.” Time kills me with this one, stating, “Meditation can sometimes be used to replace viagra.” — I can probably site another 10,000 studies but the proof is in the pudding, try it out for yourself. I personally like these meditation apps: Omvana & Headspace.

Seriously though, check that picture out again – that is unflippin real. haha I’m a dork, over and out loves.

Illuminate your past within the present and I promise you the future will be in your hands, the Milky Way and all.

Woooooosahhh my friends. xx Ky

pss. Bill Nye is still around and kicking it. Mad Respect. haha

Hibernation Mode

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable. – Joseph Addison

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Over the past ten months of my life I’ve gone into serious hibernation mode – post traumatic growth disorder sounds about right…I think Smokey the bear is onto something with this yearly reset. Lets just say I went through a mountain instead of climbing one – deep inward reflection was my only path to a deeper understanding. The old axiom, when the student is ready, the teacher appears – has been the story of my life since my breakdown. My world cracked open right along with the end of my marriage to my best friend. Let’s just say I’ve seen way better days (years), as I’m sure he will agree. It was the first time I ever experienced true pain and emotions to a depth I can’t necessarily explain in words. I wish I had a manual on emotional intelligence & conscious living circa 2000 because that would’ve been really cool.

I just want to preface all of my words and details of my story and knowledge before I jump into it. I write all of these words not to justify, blame, judge, or to victimize myself — because if I was here to do that I wouldn’t have learned the teachings behind my fall. A healing journey into truth, remembrance, and love. Healing is the process of accepting all, and choosing best.

Truth is, there were many times throughout this year where I wanted to stop feeling, keep it surface and move on…but something within wasn’t going to let that happen. Every time I thought I had it figured out, the Universe would knock me over again telling me to feel, heal, and listen. The answers I realize are never far from home, they are found within. When you blame outwardly and search for the answers in the external world you won’t find them, as you know, there are usually 10+ fingers pointed right back at you. Hypocrisy never was that cute, along with the blame games that rival 3 year olds. Materialism and Pessimism are opposites of deep connection.

The only message I was receiving loud and clear was to write a book, I know sounds crazy – I thought so as well…at first I was like not a chance in he*l that I am going to do that – seriously English was my least favorite subject in High School and College – so when this thought came strolling into my mind, I kindly told myself no, no, no. I tried leaving the project many times and moving onto something different – but it almost felt like it wasn’t my decision, the pull felt bigger. Soo, instead of resisting the call, I jumped on ship and started writing – I must say I’m happy I did, and I hope you will be too.

While I have finished Part 1 of the book and have gathered about 300 pages of research, empirical evidence and personal stories – I feel inclined to write on BIB again. While I’m still not finished with the book, I have read and reread the material, stories and wisdom contained within all of the words and notebooks – and I must say I am saddened by some of the choices, self-limiting beliefs/fears, behaviors, and decisions I’ve made in the past – I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m far from perfect – which I’m certain others consider harmful and unforgivable. That’s fair, we all know everyone is entitled to hold their own council.

I invite you to be careful with what you fear & judge, your thoughts & words have immense creative power. Forgiveness is the first step to true love – for yourself and others. Digging through our own junk drawer illuminates some of our fears, pain points and self-limiting beliefs — this is where true self-control is gained. In reflecting, releasing and radiating.

Friends, truth is – we don’t know what’s going on in the world of others, and sadly most of the times we don’t even know whats going on in our own. I learned and experienced the power of the mind, ego and how fear, pain, shame, guilt, anger, sadness, suggestion & repressed emotions will cause you to get really thrown off center – legit catapulted into outer space. A pendulum & a tornado of emotions don’t necessarily see eye to eye.

Though I have profound remorse that it was through others’ pain, I continue to grow, forge meaning, while finding gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned, sharing and continuing to live connected to love. All of the pain that I’ve caused others and that I see around me sits heavy on my heart and I’ll be the first to tell you that I still have a lot to learn, but that’s what life is all about. When we are learning, growing and connecting – we are ALIVE.

I apologize to everybody for the slowness of that learning – never in my worst nightmare would I have predicted this year. The big D word was not in my vocabulary or timeline…. However, I’m grateful for all of the people, friends, and connections I’ve made throughout the last 25 years, you’ve all been amazing teachers and friends – especially you LMS, no words to express the gratitude and love I have for your soul. Through love, forgiveness, and creation I am encouraged to always keep trying – keep on trying – to live a grander vision. I think that’s what life is all about anyways – realizing your infinite human potential.

With all of that being said, I think we can begin again, in love.

My journey towards self-realization, self-love and a search for a deeper connection within started when I was 19 years old. That’s why I created this blog 4 years ago – wowza, time flies. I remember walking around the campus of UofA when a thought came to mind, “everything is connected.” I’m a full blown generalist so I took a wide spectrum of courses – this is when I realized that they all had undeniable & profound overlap. I remember calling my dad and telling him about this philosophical / theoretical thought, a theory of universal connectivity. Pops agreed and laughed it off with me. My deeper sense of knowing and understanding deepened with my introduction to Spirituality by one of my greatest teachers.

Growing up in Las Vegas and going to a Lutheran High School didn’t necessarily offer a platform for philosophical thoughts and spirituality to come on the line. I will tell you though when I took my first philosophy course in college I almost walked out after the first sentence was said. My professor said something along the lines, “If this is not a chair than what is it?” C’mon bro, you’re killing me. My head was spinning. Needless to say, I grew fond of all the great philosophers in due time.

Richard Rohr, a modern day theologian tossed my thought omelet in the universal skillet in 2011 when I attended his 2 day seminar. (ps. the name of my blog came from this seminar – much love RR) From that day forward, I’ve received his daily meditations and I must say I am grateful for his words. I was looking over the notes that I took from the event last week and I started laughing to myself (I tend to do this often), my scribble was relational to some of the bigger messages I was uncovering in my research – I always knew that Rohr saw the symbolism – whoop, whoop – the Universe (cosmos/kosmos), and the metaphysical. One of my favorite lines from Rohr was, “Literalism is the lowest form of reasoning,” seriously — he really got me thinking with that line. While I loved all of his words and they made sense to me logically – I didn’t actually understand the experience and feeling behind the words.

His teachings parallel all of the great contemplatives teachings on non-dual consciousness, vision-logic, Godhead and the illusion of Self. Yeah, it can be a lot to grasp when the Western way has a strong hold on believing the mind is fully evolved and centered in a black and white, this or that, either / or, sinner/saint, up/down (fractured) worldview. Good news, there is a better way, luckily neuroscience and psychology is finally proving that for us over here in the West – where we need research, and quantitative & qualitative data to prove what contemplatives have said for thousands of years (it happens). Mindfulness – it’s the future.

I have come to learn that ignorance is not bliss, it’s actually chaos. Naturally, I needed experience to tie it all together. The power of contrast and polarity….darkness & light, male & female, right & left, good & bad, yin & yang, positive & negative — you get the drift, the beauty is in seeing and holding the opposite – it’s with that insight that you can gain a new set of eyes and a second wing to fly above with love – not fear – peacefully. An objective reality.

I believe, along with many that the symbolism in all the major religions tend to point to the same light. The same light that spirituality focuses on and the same scene that physics and all of science is heading towards, but God is – as William Blake said – in a grain of sand and in a flower. The energy is everywhere.

With globalization, increased connectivity, and information we see all the different cultures, traditions and teachings that surround our wondrous planet – it’s no longer nation/state – it’s planetary – and truthfully, yeah – I think all of these traditions, religions, etc. hold beautiful stories and symbols (for the most part) obvi man got a little carried away with some of their words in a few but power retention makes people do/say crazy things when fear/scarcity is running the show.

The most important truth is the overwhelming calmness and inner peace that comes from acceptance and unconditional love – a knowing and connection within. I wish and pray that for you, you and you. Through these words, I hope I can provide some stepping stones and direction for you so that you too can feel bliss – without all the pain and trauma (I don’t want that for anyone). Through love and wisdom, a path to conscious life and vertical growth sounds pretty rad to me.

Fun fact for you, positive vibes actually have a scientific meaning — studies show that your heart is giving off 5000 times more Electromagnetic waves than your brain. The heart always knows friends…I don’t know about you but that is pretty cool stuff, can you feel the love? You actually can. With that being said, much love to you all.

To understand the human/spiritual (subtle) experience in the physical world I think we need to look at it from all angles, an integrative approach that focuses on everything, the visible and the invisible. When we look at the collective parts, we realize that the whole is much, much more than the sum of all of it’s parts, and that my friends is where we find the beauty in the science to unite the finite with Infinity and the art to experience Infinity in the finite.

As always, take what resonates and leave the rest – strong arms loves.
Smiles & Love. xx Ky

Ultimate Paradox

“The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides of gravitation, We shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Some of you know me personally, some of you know me through this blog and some of you are stuck with me. The people who do know me, would probably agree with me when I describe myself as having it all together (pre 2014). I sure put on a smile that looked like I did – truth is, I wasn’t even close to having it all together – my mind was all over the lay out. My life was following the trajectory I thought it always would…college, marriage….I was following the status quo and sure thought I had life figured out when BAM – my world fell right out from underneath me, and let me tell you that free fall was far from pretty. A tornado of pain & fear is an understatement.

2014 taught me more about myself, humanity, and the world than any class in college, parent, friend or teacher in high school could ever even dream of. I guess, I tell you parts of my story because I want people to know that they aren’t alone, I want to help give you the knowledge, a deeper understanding of who you are, why we do what we do and how to change it.

Life can sometimes be a total B, and there are things that happen to us that should’ve never happened. What I’ve come to find out is that we create it most the times through our own self-fulfilling prophecies, your perception is and becomes your reality. Personal responsibility is a beautiful thing, and humbling to say the least. If we still want to play Machiavellians’ tit for tat, eye for an eye, a dualistic 2D flatland way of thinking than we will all continue to be blind – the result of naive realism – not transcendence and growth – I can say this because sadly I thought this way and let me tell you it doesn’t end pretty.

I realized that most of us are never taught about anatomy/physiology of the mind, spirituality, ecology, or psychology in school — when I had this realization I was a little upset. I think it is imperative that we understand the workings of the human mind and brain considering it’s what runs the show, our crown jewel.

Knowledge and timing – the ultimate paradox –  I’m on a mission to change. I continue to write my blog in hopes to shine some light on your past, present and future. It is my wish and intention that through my words you can gain the transformational knowledge you need to understand yourself on a deeper level, because you are a good human. I’m not talking your fav. reality show, color, or book deep…I’m talking emotions and feelings. Yep Yep, the good stuff.

With that being said…stay tuned for talks on science, spirituality, nutrition, ecology, and psychology. Take a second and think about all the things you’ve never thought about…. I invite you to jump out of default mode, create, and grow – your mind and body will thank you :]
Love and Light. xx Ky