Monday, September 8, 2014

Fear vs Gratitude and Napa Quake

As you may know, the Napa Quake 6.0 left many with a mess to clean up. Friends of mine offered to drive out and go into my house with me to survey the damage. When I unlocked and pushed open the door and saw all the smashed glass and china and pressed alabaster statuary and blown out windows, I started trembling and felt tearful from the shock. That is a typical reaction to shock; the trembling muscles actually helps with the recovery (if someone doesn't realize this  the tendency is to try to get the person to "stop trembling,' which can interfere with the recovery). Within just a minute or two, however, my brain reminded me that "fear and gratitude cannot exist simultaneously within the brain. Recalling that, I immediately began to think of things for which to be grateful (e.g., we were all safe and uninjured, the house neither fell down nor burned up, my friends were helping me clean). Two minutes later I was no longer trembling or tearful and had energy to jump in and start the the process. I frequently say that brain-function information, practically applied, can be  life-changing. This was an opportunity to use the information--and it definitely gave me a positive outcome.

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