Wow, it is August! So much has happen in this year. I took the social media break, went back and social media and feel like I have changed my algorithm. If you don't follow me over on the "Gram", please head over to my FB and like! I post almost daily in the stories, which are linked to Facebook, so you can get all the updates there.
This year so far I have achieve goals and hoping to achieve more goals. The biggest one to date, is getting into a program! I have used the practices of manifesting and visualization, and lucky enough the universe blessed me with my program at a reduced rate and I can take it now, over waiting! I can't wait to share the teachings. The universe blessed me with having an amazing turn out this year in my "9-5" job, well more like "9-2" since I work part time outside of the home. I took the courage to ask for small raise, not only was I blessed with the raise, but a policy was put in place so we don't have to ask for raises! I feel like that was a super goal for everyone I work with. This year has totally been about fulfilling some manifestations.
And here we are in unity hitting the end of summer, where August is like the Sunday of summer. August seems to be for me , literally everything hitting all at once. I never seen Sunday's being the end always the beginning, therefore I will take August and run with it. I officially start my program in August and will most likely be doing that for the next couple of years, which I will tell more later in another blog post. In my personal life there is also some huge huge changes, I will be seeing some family members I have not seen and haven't seen in over 30 plus years. So the new beginnings are endless with my family. I am also becoming a parent again! It's a girl! Ok, really, my husband and I are hosting an exchange student from Thailand! We are so excited for our new "daughter" for the next school year. I want to blog about it, so we will see! The program we used is CIEE, I encourage you to please go check them out and if you feel like hosting a student, let me know in the comments and I will help you get to the right people! So August is just the beginning not the end for me! I am heading off in new adventures.
So what about this little old site here! Don't worry I plan on addressing that soon, but to give insight, I will be posting more in the blog. Be on the lookout for my plans! I am still working out a few last minute details. This is one Sunday where it's not the end but the beginning! I am ready! So see you soon my stardust friends. ...
I have been doing a lot of reflecting this 2018 and as 2019 approaches here in a few short hours, I am on the rise of my priorities. One of those principles in my priorities is changing my own algorithm in life. I have been thinking about algorithms of late due to my own spiritual studies and my upcoming paper I need to write, but most importantly it was the changes in my own life that have lead me.
In the world of social media, social construct of now social media stars are a legitimate business, everyone wants to be in this strange reality of perfection. In life, now via the internet our world is controlled very much like Netflix show of Bandersnatch, the choices we make are a narrative of the choices we make online with our likes, dislikes and shares. Adverts are now geared by our thought process and key words we write or in some strange reality we think. We have devices in our home to ask questions, which in news reports are recording our private moments. Data mining with funny quizzes, surveys and even or DNA.
This is the world we live in, the future is very unknown. However, we can change our personal algorithms. By the energies we choose to focus out in the world.
We can start small. Being a positive influence, change our negative thinking into positive thinking. Social media is a norm, some choose to live with it. I personally am one of those people. I am very open, I use social media on regular base in my personal life and here on a business side of the house. However, although I probably should use it more in business, I do not. I don't have the budget nor have been a person to self promote. I have always been the word of mouth gal, this is how I have chosen to live my life. I don't strive to be like another person. I have been told, I should be like "insert popular name here as I choose not to name", this quite frankly always bothered me. I would shake my head and say yeah, yeah but deep inside, I am me. I am myself. I want to be know for me just being me, not like some generic comparison. This is how I have in my life, slowly working on my own algorithm. For the month of January, I have decided to take a small social media break on my personal page of the famous social media that now seems to be as normal reading like a Sunday paper. I am still on my personal photo social media platform as that is so ingrained in my being, that makes me whole, I love sharing quotes, positive vibes and random photos. My photo social media is not an "paid influencer", however I do consider myself a positive vibe influencer. That is my personal algorithm I choose to lead in the world.
I am choosing to take the month off as a social experiment myself. How will my leaving the world of hearts, likes, sad and angry emojis change the direction of who I see online or what my feed sends to me. I am changing the personal algorithm, that this new world chooses to for me. Taking back a little control in my life, maybe? It doesn't cause me anxiety, however yes, there are days, I get sucked in the rabbit hole and get pissed off about the state of affairs in our world. Thus I see how much, the state of affairs is controlled by big media, misinformation, people not thinking for themselves. I think that is what may make that anger rise, is the lack of control that people are having within their own lives. People not thinking for themselves. Not being authentic. Are we losing our humanity? Changing direction is not easy, but it begins with you.
I wish everyone has the best 2019!
Reasearch for my doctoral paper leads me to interesting articles, this is another one worth repeating.
Culture has been called “an amalgam of values, meanings, conventions and artifacts that constitute daily social realities” (Kitayama & Park, 2010). As a system of meaning and shared beliefs, culture provides a framework for our behavioral and affective norms. Countless studies in cultural psychology have examined the effect of culture on all aspects of our behavior, cognitionand emotion, delineating both differences and similarities across populations. More recently, findings in cultural neuroscience have outlined possible ways how cultural scripts that we learn during childhood and cultural practices that we observe as adults influence our brains.
What is cultural neuroscience?
Source: royyimzy/Adobe StockAs an interdisciplinary field of research, cultural neuroscience investigates the relationship between culture and the brain, particularly, the ways in which culture “both constructs and is constructed by the mind and its underlying brain pathways” (Kitayama & Park, 2010). Exactly how might culture wire our brains? According to findingsfrom cultural neuroscience, the mechanism has to do with the brain’s plasticity: the brain’s ability to adapt to long-lasting engagement in scripted behaviors (i.e. cultural tasks). The capacity of our brains to undergo structural changes from recurrent daily tasks has been well documented (e.g., larger hippocampi - a region that is intimately involved in spatial memory - of London taxi drivers; increased cortical density in the motor cortex of jugglers). Analogously, in order to process various cultural functions with more fluency, culture appears to become “embrained” from accumulated cultural experiences in our brains. Numerous fMRI studies have shown how cultural background can influence neural activity during various cognitive functions. For instance, cross-cultural differences in brain activity among Western and East Asian participants have been revealed during tasks including visual perception, attention, arithmetic processing, and self-reflection (see Han & Humphreys, 2016 for review).
Culture and self-construal
One of the widely studied traits to interpret cross-cultural differences in behavior, cognition and emotion is self-construal. Self-construal refers to how we perceive and understand ourselves. Western cultures promote an independent self-construal, where the self is viewed as a separate, autonomous entity and the emphasis is on the self’s independence and uniqueness. East Asian cultures, on the other hand, foster an interdependent self-construal, with a self that is more relational, harmonious and interconnected with others. Recent cultural neuroscience studies have given a glimpse into the interaction between self-construal, culture and the brain. In particular, research has suggested that self-construal mediates differences in brain activity across different cultures by activating a framework for various neural processes involved in cognition and emotion. In other words, because the self is formed in the context of our cultural scripts and practices, continuous engagement in cultural tasks that reflect values of independent or interdependent self-construals produces brain connections that are “culturally patterned”. This neural blueprint, according to researchers, is the foundation of the cultural construction of the self.
One way researchers have studied the influence of cultural values on neurocognitive processes is by priming participants towards independent and interdependent construals and then examining how the brain reacts to various situations afterwards. Priming can be done, for example, by asking participants to read stories containing different pronouns (“we” or “us” for interdependent self-construal and “I” or “me” for independent self-construal) and asking them to think about how similar or different they are to others. Findings have demonstrated various differences in neural activity after priming for independent or interdependent construals. For instance, priming has been shown to modulate the response to other people’s pain, as well as the degree with which we resonate with others. In another study, when participants were primed for independent construals during a gambling game, they showed more reward activation for winning money for themselves. However, when primed for interdependent construals, participants showed similar reward activation as when they had won money for a friend.
Culture also appears to influence the way the self is represented in our brains. In one experiment, Western and Chinese participants were asked to think about their selves, their mothers, or a public person. The fMRI data showed that the same parts of the brain (Medial Prefrontal Cortex) were activated when both groups thought about themselves. However, unlike with the Western participants, the MPFC was also activated among Chinese participants when they thought of their mothers. These results were interpreted as suggesting that the Chinese participants (interdependent self-construals) use the same brain area to represent both the self and their mothers, while the Western participants use the MPFC exclusively for self-representation.
Recent cultural neuroscience research is shedding light on how culture shapes our functional anatomy, biases our brains, affects our neural activity, and even influences the way we represent the self and others in our brains. Whether due to daily activities or genes, when neurons fire repeatedly in scripted ways for a prolonged time (essentially what cultural practices entail), brain pathways can be reinforced and established – all to enable a more seamless execution of cultural tasks and to “facilitate a cultural and biological adaptation” (Kitayama & Park, 2010). Thus, as some researchershave suggested, our endorsement of particular cultural values may leave a greater imprint on our brains than on our behaviors.
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confessions of a starseed
Wisdom to be passed to the human race...