I caught this flower peeking out of bushes yesterday at the temple that I visit daily. All year, I’ve been barely in the garden for no better reason than busy, and when I have been, I haven’t been with eyes fully open.
That’s saying a lot for someone who spent a lot of her life absent ad dwelling in the past and now is very present a lot of the time.
Still I have those busy, consumed, backward-thinking moments.
Then I catch up with myself, and flowers are blooming. Amazing things are happening. Life is magical.
Are you missing the flowers, the magic moments, the creative wonder and even opportunities because you’re not 100% here all the time? Are you stuck in stories of the past that shrink the opportunities of the future?!
Today let’s show up more for the beauty!
Live in the present.
I even saw this plant family yesterday when I tuned into the day and out of the busy!
You see so much beauty in the present.
And, even more striking than all the beauty you miss when you’re not present, your memory can be fallible, distorted and full of tricks, reinforcing stories that keep you trapped in the past…
Like fear, the past and the future are products of your mind. No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of anxiety can change the future. Successful people know this, and they focus on living in the present moment. Its impossible to reach your full potential if youre constantly somewhere else, unable to fully embrace the reality (good or bad) of this very moment. Travis Bradberry of Intelligence 2.0 and President at TalentSmart
Reconstructive memory is a theory in cognitive psychology that suggests that a persons memory is influenced and guided by other cognitive processes such as perception, (the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses), imagination, beliefs, and so on.
When a person reconstructs their memory looking backwards they are using their past script or as termed in psychology, “schema.” To simplify the idea, schemata are a set of preconceived notions that our mind uses to organize and categorize information and the relationships amongst the incoming information in order to make sense of our environments that are constantly changing. We selectively choose what to remember, what information to attend to, and what to recall (memory) to maintain the script that we have already created. (more here)
Selective memoey doesn’t really give us a clear picture of what things were actually like only what we choose to ermember to support the story we’ve been telling.
The War of the Ghosts (1932)
Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett hailed as a psychologist from the University of Cambridge and was one of the first psychologists/researchers to lay the foundation for modern cognitive theory. He explored the notion of a schematic type of thinking, which expands upon how information is attained, processed and organized in the brain.
Naturally, this extends to memory recall of events occurring in ones environment. The schemata that we create can have a large influence on what our minds attend to, and absorb within the environment.
Could it be possible that we develop scripts for our life and construe and recall incoming information to fit the script that we have already set up for ourselves?
YES it could!
To test the above theory, Bartlett designed a groundbreaking experiment The War of the Ghosts.
The assertion here is that recall involves the reconstruction of past events and memories.
Bartlett created an experiment where he told participants about a fictitious Native American story, something out of their realm of reality, a foreign story, for which that would have a very unlikely chance to be able to assimilate their past experiences into their recall of the story. One group was asked to recall the story using a method where they reproduced the story, over and over, for days, months, and years later. The second group had to repeat the story to someone else. It was found that regardless of the modality, both groups changed or distorted the story as they began to recall it. The stories became more in line with their own cultural expectations as the study ensued. (more here)
So, where does this lead us?
First, it’s eye-opening to keep in mind that we’ll selectively curate our memories to match our stories. Deciding to take a fresh, perhaps moer positive, approach to the stories of things that have happened in our lives can literally open the doors to a ton of memories that support this lighter and brighter story.
Second: wow, it’s worth being present and seeing things fresh and clear right now!
A lot of times, we can’t see the past clearly because of traumas and upsets that create even more distractions and “blank spots” in our memory.
Dealing with major trauma is best left to professionals, but for the lighter things that are blocks lingering in your past, you can make a difference starting right now, unloading these things!
If you want to really start clearing things up so that the past no longer feels compelling in any way but pleasantly
here’s an idea to help you break out of the loops of the past and embrace the present in a fresh light!
Of course, that’s just a starting point, but a big one
Everything you do to sweep away distractions and create more of a sense of grace and power and presence in every day will bring crispness to your creative visions, possibility to areas of life that have felt stuck and big excitement to all that you do!
Here’s to looking forward !!!
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