22 Things You May Not Know (or Want to Know) About Me

1967MomCharAnnDegePeakWell, isn’t this cool? Last year I was nominated for a “Liebster” award by Katia Bishops, who writes a funny and heartfelt blog about being a mom (among other things). Check out her very real and often hilarious musings at iamthemilk. Anyway, I was charged with posting some random facts about myself, and promptly forgot all about it until now, so thought I would resurrect this in honor of my birthday next week. 

Warning to my neuroscience followers — this is a just for fun blog today. Not much of any significance, but if you’re curious about me, lots of dish. 

11 random facts about me:

1. As creative as I am, my very first beloved stuffed toy was a Steiff bear named, well, Bear. My rationale (and yes, I had one, even at age three) was that this was such a wonderful and perfect bear, no name could possibly be better than Bear. With a capital B.

2. I am a high school drop out. Seriously, I am. Bored, stressed, confused, and completely unable to follow any rules I found counter to my own proclivities, I left in my junior year. A couple of years later, I talked my way into college based on good PSAT scores and struggled with rules again, attending four different schools before finally getting my B.A. in philosophy at age 30. (I think my pre-frontal cortex had finally come on-line at that point and I was able to tick off the graduation requirements without excessive amygdala hijacking.)

3. My deepest unfulfilled desire was to be a philosophy professor, focusing on existentialism and applied philosophy. Oh wait a minute, that’s basically what I do. Never mind.

4. I can’t imagine living without at least one cat. But then you probably knew that.

5. When I was growing up, my family lived in a commune for two years. What can I say? We were Unitarians. I think my dad may have even tried pot once or twice, but he’s a little cagey about that.

6. I don’t really do yoga. It’s one of those things I think is awesomely great for other people, and I respect it totally, but yoga and me? We’re just not close. We’ve worked on our relationship a lot over the years, and finally have agreed that we have irreconcilable differences. Yoga thinks I am an impatient dilatante with little or no discipline. I think Yoga’s boring. We’ve agree to disagree.

7. I am trying not to tell white lies. It’s really really hard. I fail a lot.

8. I did the est training (now the Landmark Forum) when I was barely 18 years old. I knew then that the only possible purpose for my life was to create transformation. I’ve been doing the best I can ever since.

9. I lost my hair when I was 17 due to a condition called alopecia. It’s never grown back, so I have worn different wigs for most of my life, and even gone without for a while. It was not an easy thing to deal with at that age (or any age, really), and it has been a long journey to find the peace, beauty and perfection in this challenge. And I have. I know that this gift shaped me in ways that are deep, and real, and true. I know I would not be the person I am without it, and since I like the person I am very much, I am profoundly grateful. And you know what? It also sucked.

10. For some reason, I like crime dramas, preferably classy British ones (not too much blood, dear). I don’t think this is actually very good for me, but I don’t really care. I can’t, however, stand TV shows or movies with lots of blood, tension or car chases. But a nice corpse in the library? Bring it on.

11. I only care about neuroscience because I see that it helps us understand human transformation. And that, to me, is what it is all about. If I can make it practical, applicable and helpful, then it matters. If you can use what I write or teach or say for yourself or client, then it matters. If all I do is create the impression I’m really smart, then so what? And remember, you’re talking about a high school dropout here.

 11 questions Katia had for me:

1) Which one of your blog posts do you feel reflects you best? I am going to really cop-out here and say whatever the latest is. But I mean it seriously. Whatever I post is my latest thinking, what is most important to me in the moment. I hold myself (and all beings) as highly complex systems, and therefor emergent in nature. What is important is now. And now. And now again.

2) What’s your favorite blog? Wray Hebert on Huff Post. He has a gift for making neuroscience real. And he’s usually kind of funny.

3) 5 things that make you happy? My cats, warm weather, finding really really cool jewelry, hiking in the woods, and a great conversation with my son.

4) If you get to choose your own gift card, where would it be from? Fab.com. Just check them out. Trust me.

5) What is your favourite place in the world? Pacific Northwest, specifically the Washington coast.

6) What’s your star sign? Aquarius, of course.

7) Did you ever overcome a fear? I think I’ve done nothing but overcome fears. Fears of not being good enough, fears of being judged, fears of being too much. What else is there other than overcoming/embracing/tickling and learning to love our fears?

8) Which show should I watch? Why? Anything that makes you laugh, my dear! Because laughter is good for us.

9) When did you last laugh? This morning, teaching a class and telling on myself. 

10) Your 3 favourite books? Mindsight, by Dan Siegel, The Master and His Emissary by Iain McGilchrist, and everything by Jane Austen.

11) Which mistake would you make all over again? All of them. Seriously. How the heck else would I have learned?