brain

Feeling Creatures Who Think

Another powerful concept Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor provided in her TEDx Talk is the concept that we are feeling creatures who think. We are not thinking people who feel, yet this is what our society believes and values – which is at the heart of many of our issues.

brainHere is the science and biology behind it. Our limbic system is constantly asking, “Am I safe?” If things feel familiar to our limbic system then we feel calm and safe. The system then sends the message “I am safe” to our nervous system including our higher cortex, our thinking brain. When things are not familiar, then our limbic system panics and jumps into self-preservation. As this happens, the hypocampus shuts down our thinking brain. An example of this is test anxiety where the situation is unfamiliar so the limbic system panics and shuts down our ability to think clearly.

What does this mean for you?

Although our biology works unconsciously, we can consciously choose to turn on our higher mind and think past the limbic’s fear. Using mindfulness to calm our minds and knowing that emotions wash over us in 90 seconds, we can stop, breathe, and then choose to think different – ensuring we don’t make poor, muddle choices in our haze of emotions.

Knowing how our brain and emotions work also helps us see our society in a different way. Our society, based on thinking and doing, discounts individuals, their feelings, and their worth. By shifting our focus to our feeling and intrinsic value, we can create a society based on human value. We can learn to:

  • Care about humanity as a whole, not our personal gain.
  • Focus on people instead of profits.
  • Increase equality, not reinforce stifling authority and us versus them.
  • Use our similarities to find understanding, versus attacking others for differences.
  • Become compassionate instead of competitive.
  • Forgive, not judge and attack.

The third lesson of this science is the stress relief it provides. When we stop striving, competing, doing, and longing after money, we can then focus more on what brings us joy – connection with others, creating a community, respecting the equal rights of all, finding understanding through acceptance, being compassionate, and using forgiveness to release our self-created prisons of hate. Moving our focus from our left “doing” brain to our left “feeling” brain, we become more peaceful, joyful, and stress free.

Are you ready to embrace being a feeling creature who thinks? How will it change how you approach your day?

Kirk Rhoads

Making Changes in our Society Kirk Lee Rhoads

In this talk Kirk Rhoads focuses on managing addictions, the importance of a community, and what we can do to reduce the amount of sexual trafficking occurring.

Kirk Rhoads
Kirk Rhoads

Kirk was born in Columbus, Kansas in a family of 5 with a Christian background. His parents’ separation and divorce led to his interest in the Buddhist practice after researching a book on Buddhism in the local library. This new study sparked a fire in his spirit.

After High school he worked for one year as a welder, but felt unfulfilled.  He returned to the University of Kansas to complete his studies. Kirk wanted to travel and pursued work in the Peace Corps where he volunteered in Guatemala for 2 years.

Fascinated by the oriental culture, he returned to the US and began studying and practicing Zen at the San Francisco Zen Center. Kirk’s desire to learn more took him to Japan in 1985, where he worked there as an English teacher and subcontractor. While on a business trip to Seoul, Korea, he fell in love with his future wife who was born in the Philippians and they raised two children in Japan. His family returned to the US in 1997 and started a family business with his brother.

Kirk has extensive knowledge on a variety of topics including, cross-legged seated meditation, yoga, cardio vascular and weight fitness center training, social-environmental-human rights activism, LinkedIn and other Social Media development.

Sexual Trafficking Resources

Trafficking Hot Line 1-888-373-7888

Polaris Project

Shared Hope

Covenant House

Truckers Against Trafficking

 

Village of Arlington Heights

Building Communities – Arlington Heights Mayor

When I started my small business the first thing I did was join the local chamber.  It was a great way for me to meet other business owners, learn about the city, connect to residents, and create a relationship with the city government.  Being part of the chamber not only helped launch my business, but more importantly it made me part of the local community.

Village of Arlington HeightsThere are many different aspects of a good community.  There are the local residents who by living there benefit from public services and that unique culture.  There are businesses which provide goods, services, and employment.  There are government agencies who manage the safety and security of the community.  And there are local non-profit agencies providing valuable services for those who would not be able to receive them otherwise.  There is a very important symbiotic relationship between small businesses and the residents of that city.

My local community of Arlington Heights Illinois is very important to me as I both live and work here.  It is interesting to be not only invested in the local schools, park districts, and streets of the Village as a resident, but also to be active in the issues and policies affecting local businesses.  A thriving business community supports the local residents, and a healthy population is important to the economic viability of every small business.

Village of Arlington Heights President Tom Hayes
Village of Arlington Heights President Tom Hayes

As a resident of the Village of Arlington Heights, I was excited to have our Village President as a guest on The Empowerment show.  Tom Hayes was recently elected Village President after outgoing President Arlene Mulder held that post for 20 years.  Tom talked about his belief in leadership by example.  Tom believes that “building consensus and encouraging involvement of Board members, residents and business owners throughout our community is the best way to advance the quality of life in Arlington Heights.”  Whether you are a resident of Arlington Heights or not, listen below for a lively discussion about building communities, supporting small businesses, and providing positive quality of life for residents of a small town.  Learn how your actions as a business or resident can affect your local quality of life.