Amygdala is where emotions such as fear or pleasure are processed. One way to find it is to stick a finger in the ear. We can learn and develop skills for more satisfaction by practicing good thinking
Our grandchildren sent me a podcast story from Stitcher Radio - stories for bedtime, car rides and kids - where the grandma answers, most occurrences and issues that come up in the family, with the words, "Good news, bad news!"
Grandma has figured out a way to turn on and off the Amygdala switch (your emotional thermostat). Research suggests the Amygdala also enhances memory by heightening the emotion related to the incident. Niel Slade's research states this includes logical and intuitive perception of future events. Slade further suggests ways to "supercharge the Frontal Lobes" for sharpening ones mind.
Conversely, a Japanese study on NHK television showed how "stress" - we no longer have to flee or fight wild animals as cave dwellers; and is replaced by modern living - grows extra nerve endings. Therefore, the Amygdala more efficiently transmits messages to our body organs and especially the adrenals. This produces extra Cortisol that causes problems in our arteries that lead to Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer and a host of other problems..
Slade further suggests there is an Anterior Amygdala and Posterior Amygdala. Turning on the Anterior causes pleasure and peace of mind. Turning on the Posterior causes discomfort, paranoia, fear, rage and emotional pain.
Grandma is right, "Good news, Bad news!" We stimulate our brain with thought. Thought and electrochemical brain activity are inseparable. The question is: What am I doing to learn and develop the skills for controlling my thoughts so I can spend more of my time with pleasure and peace-of-mind?
John Rosemond video for Prager University
According to Rosemond, PROTECTION, AFFECTION & DIRECTION are the requirements for good parenting.
Material and heart-felt emotional over-indulgence is creating depression, whining, entitlement addiction in our children. Also true with the "child" within each adult!
This Vitamin N deficiency is not just out there - I find a deficiency with my own inner child as well. I just looked in my pantry and there are several boxes of goodies given to me by my friend, who Japanese-style gives them to me in friendship when she comes back from Japan. I don't want to hurt her feelings and the treats are really tasty and beautiful in appearance. It's not easy to say "no" and choose something more nutritious when I feel hungry for a snack.
Starbucks is on every street corner in our Seattle environment. It's not easy to say "no" to too many Frappucchinos on warm summer days.
I walked through Nordstrom with our daughter and she said, "Look, that's good looking and on sale!" In no way do I need another dress, but I bought it.
On the other hand, I have long established a habit of staying on my budget. I learned early in life to not spend more financially than I make. That also applies to spending more emotions and energy than I have or can create.
Therefore, add "VITAMIN-O" - opportunities for growth and learning for a more fulfilling life!!!
Studies show families where "no" is strong and repeated often come out more successful.
When our first daughter got to age two, I decided she didn't have to go through the "no no stage". I disciplined her without using the word "no". Therefore, we avoided that no no stage, but just saying the word "no" is not the total answer to building our good inner values and self awareness.
That didn't mean we allowed her to not learn discipline and self-control of her emotions of wanting whatever she thought about or saw that looked inviting. Evidently, one of the studies done at a prestigious college found there was a huge difference in families that said "no" a lot. Disfunctional families were found to be too indulgent and used the word "no" less.
One of the baby steps is repetition. I helped get the Suzuki Method of Talent Education started in the Seattle area. One of the principles of starting a student at the age of three learning to play the violin, cello or piano is that we don't expect the child to do more than repeat learning Mozart's TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR for a whole year. Parents have no trouble praising each little effort of that three-year-old the whole year as well.
It's a struggle. According to Prager in FOR GOODNESS SAKE, struggle is good and necessary to get to "goodness" because we are all born self-indulgent. Culture and learning skills the KAIZEN way are steps toward success in life. It is suggested this separates us from the animals, but it is even getting to be "in" to have all kinds of schools for animals as well.
Challenge is to start with one small step at a time and appreciate each step
Seventeen-month-old Marshall visited us this week. It is easy for his parents and for Sam and me to figure out how to satisfy his simple wants. It was also relatively easy for us to feel good about satisfying his wants.
As we age it is harder to simplify a want or need and have that want or need fulfilled. The deeper value of KAIZEN is to develop the skills to complete each small step every day.
Marshall is just learning to do the stairs. He has to crawl or have us hold his hand to successfully do a stair without falling and getting hurt. It's the same with life.
Using the metaphor of stair climbing, I like thinking of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. Like our three story house, the first set of stairs is to learn to satisfy our "having needs" of food, clothing, shelter and safety. The second set of stairs is to learn to satisfy our "doing needs" striving to gain respect and dignity. Every day, we need to climb the "having stairs" before we can climb the "doing stairs".
The ultimate goal in life is to learn the skills of climbing the third set of stairs of "having needs" for love beauty and esthetics. Not only do we daily satisfy the first two set of stairs, but it is best to learn the skills of each of the steps in the later set - one small step at a time.
Marshal reminds us that he practices one small step over and over each day. And there is no doubt that we expect him to ultimately climb all the way to the top. We want to avoid getting stuck. KAIZEN means learning and appreciating the essential skills of each step, keep repeating so we don't forget and to keep going.
Sophomore Keilyn Kunimoto and Anna Oda are headed to the National Championships in San Diego. Wow!!
Keilyn is Jodilyn Nakanishi and Keith Kunimoto's daughter in Hilo, Hawaii. Sam, with his mother's Nakanishi heritage, says, "It's got to be part of our Nakanishi blood?" But visiting them on the big island, Keith is super involved with Kei-K and tennis!! Great parenting.
The best part of this picture of success is how wise Kei-K is about life. As in my last post about the 5 traits of successful people, she is equally excited about the success of others saying, "“I’m also super excited to share this experience with my good friend, and I’m really looking forward to it. This is the first time Anna and I qualified for nationals, and I’m really happy we were able to qualify together.”.
She seeks new experiences, “I’m super excited to get the opportunity to play against the top talent because it is a chance for me to get more experience playing different people and seeing how I can do against high-level players,” Kei-K said. “Overall, I’m looking to gain more experience playing better players while having a great time."
She is humble about it all while going all out.
IKE'S PRINCIPLES - tools to build the 5 successful traits
1. FINDING HAPPINESS IN THE SUCCESS OF OTHERS
*Share in other’s joy
2. RELENTLESSLY SEEK NEW EXPERIENCES
“Novelty seeking is one of the traits that keeps you healthy and happy
and fosters personality growth as you age” - Robert Cloninger
3. YOU DON’T THINK WORK-LIFE BLANCE. YOU JUST THINK LIFE.
*Successful people find ways to include family without excluding work.
Most of the younger generations choose not to work the long hours the
first and second generation Japanese worked to get ahead but
freedom means we have the opportunity if we choose.
4. KNOW SUCCESS IS FLEETING - KNOW DIGNITY LASTS FOREVER
*EXUDE RESPECT AND DIGNITY. Despite all the discrimination and
incarceration experienced by Japanese and Japanese Americans, I am
proud of how we kept our dignity and respect.
5. YOU DON’T THINK YOU’RE SPECIAL
*Successful people reap the benefits of humility.
*BE HUMBLE - spending some time at the Japan Fair in Bellevue, I can
see this trait is embraced by our Japanese Heritage almost to a fault,
but I am pleased to learn to practice this value, growing up in America
where it is a choice.
This list comes from an article in businessinsider.com. My interest in this list is that I am a champion of the good Japanese Heritage values that I want to pass on to my grandchildren here in America.
My great grandpa came to America first in 1897 because he wanted his sons to have the economic and social opportunities here in the USA that he felt were not available in crowded and depressed Japan. Wherever one lives, keeping the good values make a difference in a fulfilling life.
Veteran's Memorial at Mercerdale Park - Before all the Mercerversary Activities - NOTHING LIKE A SUMMER WALK AROUND OUR PARK
We're back from an early morning walk around Mercerdale Park where all the vendors were almost set up for the crowd coming to enjoy the Mercerversary Celebration.
Cars were already parked going down hill on 78th toward the park, but Sam kept driving into the Mercerdale parking lot. I said, "I'm sure there isn't any parking." I was tempted to say more emphatically, "See all the spots are gone." But Sam kept driving into the back section.
Lo and behold, there was an empty spot and there was even another car pulling out. That is the way our life has been when I learn to keep my mouth shut and Sam never lets immediate impressions and the average rhetoric from the public get in the way of pursuing what he wants.
Last Thursday my 10-year-old and 8-year-old granddaughters and I went to get a treat at the B-Street used bookstore in San Mateo. I had earlier refused to buy the $30 dragon figures at Talbot's toy store, but I could be talked into spending money on books.
After about 1/2 hour of browsing, the 10-yr-old chose Edgar A Guest's COLLECTION OF VERSE. I was surprised, but she said, "I looked at some of the poems and I liked them. I want to write poetry and this will inspire me."
The 8-yr-old is competitive and she chose another volume of the same book. She said, "Look, it's a 937 page book and has a special cover." Her book was a special gift edition with a second box cover and also came edged with gold leaf. She was proud to outdo her sister.
I thought it a slight waste of resources not to spend my money on getting a different book, but I said, "I'm pleased to spend $30 on books."
Our next stop was lunch. At lunch and for the rest of the afternoon, both girls shouted out page numbers and read poems together out loud. After we got home the 10-yr-old marked her favorite poems with stickies.
I particularly liked IT COULDN'T BE DONE, copied and sent it email to a friend explaining the acquisition process. After I returned home to Seattle, I explained the incident to my husband, Sam. He said, "Edgar A Guest is also one of my favorite poets. I want a book too." So I called B-Street Books and ordered another volume for ourselves.
Now we can send the page numbers to each other and enjoy the poems together. I hear our granddaughter's father heard them reading some of the poems yesterday and liked IT COULDN'T BE DONE. He doesn't know that I had chosen to copy that same poem out of the 900+ choices I had.
GAMBARU = TO PERSEVERE, OVERCOME OBSTACLES, DO WHAT YOU ARE TRAINED TO DO, GET TO YOUR GOAL
When my Japanese mother sent me off to school and into the world she told me to: "GAMBARU". Fear is there for most new and challenging situations. In other words, "Use all the tools I have learned to develop COURAGE!
So a question is, "When does courage take over?" For me and for most people who are successful, it is to set clear goals for what we want in life and figure out ways to stay on the courage path.
One clear goal I remember was when our first daughter was born. I looked at the little miracle day and night; thinking, "I will perhaps see great grandchildren in my life and what do I need to do to raise a good mother who will raise another good mother or father?" My goal was to become the kind of person where I might become an influence to see kind, independent, giving and responsible great grandchildren.
When I started my nutrition and family counseling business, I wrote down my mission: "To bring out the best in myself and others."
At age 78 I'm getting closer to seeing great grandchildren; therefore, I try to remember to use and teach "Gambaru" skills.
post post: I'm here visiting my granddaughters and they are listening to John Lennon's I'M STILL STANDING.
IKEBANA - THE ART OF FLOWER ARRANGING
This is an example of one of the eleven "life principles" Ike Ikeda created at his job as head of Atlantic Street Center community center in south Seattle in the 1970s. It was during a time when the phrase "Black Is Beautiful" was being publicized.
Ike said, "I'm of Japanese Heritage and 'yellow' doesn't resonate as well." Therefore, he created some of his own success principles which is in a book.
Yale Wong had Ike come to his BIODIESEL business and give a talk for the employees. One of the employees moved away to Southern California and recently called Yale and said, "IKE'S PRINCIPLES is one of the books that most impacted my life."
The book is available at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington at 1404 So Weller Street or www.jcccw.org.
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