Enjoy Every Sandwich
I'm currently reading a book that my husband gave me as a Christmas present, Enjoy Every Sandwich by Dr. Lee Lipsenthal. As you can probably elude from the title, it's about stopping to smell the roses, enjoying the simple pleasures, etc. There's a part of the book that's really got me thinking about my "story" about your "story" and how they don't often intersect. I'll share with you an excerpt from the book:
Have you ever been in a meeting or a conversation with a friend or a colleague and afterward found out that you have completely different views of what happened? You were both in the same meeting, hearing the same words, witnessing the same events, yet your interpretations are completely different. Your Neuroimaginal worlds are to blame. They are just different.
Our parents and family origin contribute significantly to the creation of the Neuroimaginal world. They take our basic brain function and add color to it in many ways. They made add a sprinkle of anxiety or a pinch of hypercaution, as my family did with me. Fortunately, my mother threw in a dollop of curiosity and my dad mixed in a heaping scoop of sweetness and humor. Families may throw in optimism, self-doubt, playfulness, adventurousness, and willingness to change or not change. These and many other ways of being are learned from our parents at a very early age. Each day we carry these learned patterns with us, consciously and unconsciously. They affect all of our life experiences, perceived choices, and relationships. If a willingness to try new things was part of your family makeup, a work meeting about change is a meeting about opportunity. If your family was all about maintaining the status quo, a work meeting about change is about threat. Same meeting, different family, different perceptions.
How has your family of origin affected your thinking on a day-to-day basis? What rules did they teach you? How do these rules affect your life? Could they be wrong? Moving into this new year I want to be more conscious of my behaviors and if they are true to my nature or just a learned habit. I encourage you to do the same. Also, step back and be kind to one another, appreciate your different viewpoints, and empathize by acknowledging that your friend's opinion isn't challenging your opinion but rather just what it is —- different.