Sometimes, I wonder if we don’t all have an innate form of ‘locked in’ syndrome… of experiencing life from the inside of our heads that feels normal to us, and we never think of sharing with other people…
Twice, recently, I’ve experienced moments of ‘oh, doesn’t everyone do/know that?’
The first was in doing some research about neurology and psychology and the effects and power of mindfulness meditation (weird direction, I’ll grant you, but you just never know what kinds of wonders you’ll find when you look…)
Insula: it’s a part of your (and my) brain that is active in perceiving the body’s internal experience, and is highly attuned to empathy. It is said that people with highly-developed (that is, in neuroplasticity speak, often-used) insula are not only highly empathic with others, but highly self-aware: they can feel what’s going on in their own bodies, including their shifting moods and tension or relaxation and one of the markers for high level insula function is being aware of their on heart beating.
Cue the double-take..
Ask around a bit.
Isn’t that ordinary? Don’t you always feel your heart beating?
That was surprise number one.
The second one I stumbled upon while re-reading Dan Baker’s lovely (I highly recommend it) What Happy People Know. He refers obliquely to one of the sources of happiness in life being about choice, specifically being aware of our personal choices regarding not only our lives, but also what we’re good at and value. It reads:
Why am I so sure that’s who I am? Because that’s exactly whom I chose to be. I put tremendous effort into making these choices. I eliminated many other possibilities and poured my heart into the ones that fit me best.
Which got me thinking about the multiple talents and abilities I am aware of having (that old self-awareness thingy again) and have no intention or interest in using or developing further, or, perhaps more relevant to the title of this piece as you’ll see in a moment I hope, earning money from… For example, whenever the option to sell things (home party kinds of things) comes up, which is virtually every time I attend one and someone notices that I’m good at retaining all kinds of information and chatting up the benefits, etc… Yes, I know, but I still also know that I’m not willing to do what I know it takes to be successful in that business and I have no interest in participating in it –no, really, not even for the potential for vast amounts of money. I get it, I’m weird.
But what I just realized I’m not sure I ever told my girls –because it’s one of those ‘doesn’t everyone know this?’ – is
you don’t have to do what you’re good at just because you’re good at it
You are good at so many things, you can pick the one(s) that you want to use, not only the ones other people notice or that other people value, and certainly not all of them if you don’t wanna…
Just sayin’ … ‘cause you may not have noticed…