The gifts that we are meant to bring to the world

Hello. Dr. Anita Johnston here, and I’m getting ready to plant some seeds in my edible flower garden.

I’m not exactly sure why it is that I’ve been fascinated by edible flowers but I have been ever since I was a little girl. I think maybe it’s the idea that it’s a very direct way to literally bring in the beauty of Life. To really take it totally into my entire being.

As I plant the seeds, I get in touch with the great mystery of life and how is it that we, like these seeds, already come with everything we need for life. It’s all there. These little seeds can grow into big bushes or delicate flowers or giant trees. And we don’t have to do anything to make that happen, other than provide the environment that is optimal: the environment that will allow whatever it is that’s already been seeded to come forth.

That’s how it is with the very nature of our being. To entertain the idea (because we can learn so much from nature) that we already are seeded with gifts. The gifts that we have. The gifts that we are meant to bring to the world. But in order for them to come forth, we need to make sure that the ground is fertile, and that it has all the nutrients we need in order to grow. In order to flourish. And we need to make sure that we get the optimal amount of sunshine. Sometimes that means transporting, transplanting, ourselves someplace else. To a sunnier spot.

And sometimes it means making more space, removing weeds, that which does not serve us. Or just making sure there’s enough space around us so that […]

Ancient Wisdom meets Modern Neuroscience

Hello. Dr. Anita Johnston here. And I am at the MEDA conference. Which stands for Multi Service Eating Disorder Association. I am in Boston, Massachusetts for the conference. I gave a talk here entitled Ancient Wisdom meets Modern Neuroscience and I want to share a little bit with you about some of what I talked about.

It’s so exciting for me when the ancient stories come together with what we’ve discovered with modern neuroscience especially because they have now found the neuro-correlate of metaphor in the brain. It’s right over your right ear. And it’s called the anterior superior temporal gyrus.

What the neuroscientists have discovered is this is where something happens when you get an insight: when you get an understanding of the deeper meaning of what’s really going on with your eating or with your thoughts about eating.

When you get an insight, and an awareness pops in your mind, you go, oh, I got it! I had no idea about this before, but now I can see, there’s a connection between what I’m doing with eating and food and my relationship with my husband. Or my career. Or memories. Or thoughts that I have.

They’ve now been able to measure the brain during those moments when you “get it.” There’s a part of your brain, the anterior superior temporal gyrus, in your right hemisphere. And it sends out a burst of gamma waves. Now, gamma waves are the highest electrical frequency that the brain can generate. They can now measure and see that that’s what’s happening. And they know, before that even happens in your right hemisphere, there’s a hum of alpha waves going on.

Alpha waves are what we experience when we are taking a […]

Feeling, observing, and experiencing waves of emotion

I’m in Hawaii, and I’ve been here this morning just sitting with the ocean and watching the waves and really thinking about how much we are like the ocean.

How much our emotions are like the ocean and how we have these waves that come, peak, and pass. And they come in and they peak and they pass.

But for some reason, we get the idea that we’re supposed to do something about them. Rather than just allowing the emotions to come in and peak and pass, we try to stop them. We have rules about which are the good waves that are allowed and which are the bad waves that are allowed. And we bemoan when the ocean is stormy. And we relax when it’s calm.

But the ocean itself, and this is what we can learn from nature, the ocean itself accepts all waves. And allows them to peak and pass. And come in. And peak and pass. It doesn’t fight them. It doesn’t call some waves “good” waves and some waves “bad” waves. It accepts them all and allows them to flow.

So I’d like you to think about that. Think about how your life might be different if you could be more like the ocean. And just allow these feelings, these waves of emotion to flow through us, rather than thinking, oh my gosh, I got to do something to stop that feeling. Or I have to restrict it in some way. Or there must be something wrong with me because I’m feeling things so strongly.

Does the ocean say, oh there must be something wrong with me when it gets a little stormy? No, it just allows. And it knows that it will pass. […]

It is ok to be sensitive…

My adorable gorgeous dog is Ozzie. He is more than my companion.

I want to tell you a little bit about Ozzie.

Ozzie is a really sensitive being. And sometimes in my sessions with clients, Ozzie will come in and join us.

Once, with one particular client who was crying, he went and put his head on her lap to comfort her. Later, when she was complaining about her husband who was really giving her a hard time about something, she said “I just wish he would give me some space.” And at that moment, Ozzie got up, walked across the room and sat on the other side of the room.

What if we could accept our sensitive nature?
What if we could say, alright, I feel things deeply?

Maybe stuff that might not affect somebody else, penetrates my very bones. And, so what if I feel things deeply, is that really a bad thing? For those of us who are super sensitive and find certain things intolerable — perhaps there are things that not to be tolerated.

Imagine what the world would be like without that level of sensitivity?

There would be all kinds of horrible things that would be tolerated when people weren’t sensitive to them. Imagine what it would be like if we had a world without people who were sensitive to the smell of a new born baby. Or the sensation of the sun against your skin. Or the sound of the birds as they go flying by.

All of these are sensations, and those of us that are very sensitive, we get to take them in. We get to take in so much of life, if we allow our sensitivity. But if we don’t, we think there’s […]