Art Glenberg, physicist speaks on Smart Planet about how the body affects the mind and the way we view the world around us.
“Over the last decade researchers have produced striking evidence that the body, and its relationship to the environment, is completely intertwined in the thinking process. For instance, simply sitting in a wobbly chair makes us judge others’ relationships to be unstable. Wearing a white lab coat, thought to be a doctor’s coat, helps our concentration and focus. Literally washing our hands rids us of guilty feelings.
So seemingly inconsequential events have a huge influence over our emotions, thoughts, and decisions. And this, scientists say, is because our abstract knowledge comes not from some disembodied reasoning within the brain but rather from our concrete experiences interacting with the world from the moment we are born. The very structure of reason itself comes from our visual and motor systems.”
I find his observations to be so true! When I am in my office I get more actual writing done than if I am on the sofa with my laptop, with the same music and the same quiet.
I am a physical creature, formed by my environment.
I also follow TED . One of the most moving TED talks I’ve watched recently was by Shane Koyczan on being bullied, and how the opinion of other people shapes a person’s view of self. He also affirms the right of every person to be who they are and to be proud of being that person, no matter how different they are. I highly recommend you watch this talk–you will shed tears and be proud of who you are.
I am an emotional creature, formed by the casual taunts and the negative opinions of family and, sometimes, friends.
Through these two different venues, a vision of myself forms. There is the view of myself – the young adult in a shaky chair, seeing the world as being unsteady. Is it me, or is it the world? Hiding in books, finding secret refuge in filling notebook after notebook with writing fantasy tales but too embarrassed to tell anyone, because there was no way I could ever be a writer. Girls in the data entry pool should stick to what they know–key those numbers girl, they pay your rent.
Also there is the view of myself through the eyes of my parents–a too big, rather clumsy girl who spent twelve years in the public school system staring out the window, avoiding conflict and flying under the radar.
A girl who didn’t know who she was, or what she wanted to be. The girl who never quite measured up.
And yet, 59 years on, I am a different person. When the ground shifts today, I know that either the chair is wobbly or we are having another earthquake. I am comfortable with either event and will work around it.
I am still lacking in grace, but now I know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m doing it and I’m taking no prisoners. Sure, I get knocked down once in while, by a sucky review or by the sheer amount of work that one must do get your work out there when you’re an indie writer.
But now when those things loom large I pick myself off the floor and ask, “Was that another earthquake, or is my chair just shaky?”