Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ahlan wa Sahlaw

The welcome I extend is to the first visitor from the United Arab Emirate. (first new country since the Bahama's on 7-20-15) The UAE consists of 7 emirates with Abu Dhabi serving as the capital. It is an Islamic country who's official language is Arabic. Interestingly, immigrants outnumber nationals by a 9 to 1 ratio. I am curious if the visitor is an actual Emirati, or an ex-patriot currently residing in the UAE. I had a former teammate from Troy High School (Brian Lester) who once lived there for some time, coaching a basketball team in Dubai. Still, I know so very little of the country, I would be grateful if the unknown guest would take time to post a comment and tell us about themselves, how they found this blog, and anything permissible to share (it seems wise, given the circumstances, to be discreet on social media). Maa salama!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Source of Gratitude

Your brain makes instantaneous evaluations of everything, in terms of threat or benefit (approach or avoid--fight or flight). No conscious reasoning goes into these evaluations. You actually have what is called an "affective reaction" just reading words (for instance; happiness or disgust). Because affective reactions are so tightly integrated with perception, we can find our self liking or disliking something the instant we notice or experience it. What G-G-G promotes is honoring the initial experience, (be it thought or emotion) then allowing for other possibilities of perception to present themselves.

The possibility we strive for is the event (whatever it may be) being viewed as a "gift." When we experience something negatively, it takes aptitude (skill) to create a scenario of that negative event being seen in such a way. (ie; as a gift.)  We aren't grateful when we lose a job, for instance. What we encourage and ask our readers to do is foster a BELIEF that the universe is inherently biased toward expansion. A baby does not want to leave the womb and is forcibly ejected, screaming and crying. Trauma! Yet we all know it is essential for the baby's growth. The events in your life can be interpreted in the same fashion. As much as it hurts, as painful as it might be, the attitude that it is an expansive experience that currently defies our understanding can be cultivated.

While it is true the heart constantly sends messages to the brain, it is also true the brain has an innate ability to disregard the messages. Think of those that have anger management problems. The heart tells the brain this isn't good for us--yet the brain justifies and continues the behavior. (however irrational) Unless and until the brain is harnessed, the hearts communication is lost in the ongoing and persistent "chatter" of the brain. And that chatter is going to consist of justification of one's behavior. (As an example: victims feel totally justified whether they have actually been victimized or not.

It is the view at G-G-G that gratitude is the outcome of perceiving events (life experiences) as a gift. Perceiving events as a gift when everything you know or believe tells you otherwise is a difficult proposition. Why aren't I grateful for this gift? That question reveals the personal bias in play that can sabotage any further consideration of the event. If there is no further consideration of the event, we won't be, can't possibly be, grateful for that event. It is in this sense, the ability to invert, expand, disassemble, or reconstruct the event into a gift, is where the learning takes place.

To understand "gift" as essential for gratitude, see the very first post AURORA. Use the Blog Archive to the right. Click on 2012 and scroll to the bottom.

(A readers question ["What do you mean a learned skill, I thought gratitude comes from the heart."] was the source of this post--thank you.)