“The universe as we know it is a joint product of the observer and the observed.” –Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Several years ago, People magazine sent me to interview one of the runner-ups on the reality show, The Bachelor.
The assignment was to find out if reality shows truly depict reality. Although we reporters are taught to be objective and simply report facts, I’m savvy enough to know that reality, like beauty, is in the mind of the beholder.
The bachelorette I interviewed was very clear that reality shows are anything but true. Early on, she was cast by producers as a certain character, a certain personality type (namely, the partier) and then everything that fit that story line was shown on TV and everything that didn’t was left on the cutting room floor.
Even though we may not be television producers, we all edit our life experiences to fit the stories we make up. If our story line is that our boss is a jerk, for example, everything that furthers that plot goes straight to the active part of our brain.
If our story is that our significant other is lazy, everything that jibes with that scenario is registered and magnified.
The gazillion good things our boss and our partners do get left on the cutting room floor.
We literally can’t see them. Likewise, if we believe life is hard or that money is difficult to come by, we find evidence to further that story line in our lives.
At the base of the brain stem, about the size of a gumdrop, is a group of cells whose job is to sort and evaluate incoming data. This control center, known as the reticular activating system (RAS), has the job of sending what it thinks is urgent to the active part of the brain and to steer the nonurgent stuff to the back. But as it’s organizing, it’s also busy interpreting, drawing inferences, and filtering out anything that doesn’t jibe with our story.
The good news is you can change your story. And, in so doing, change what the RAS sends to the active part of your brain which, in the end, will change every plot point in your beautiful, glorious life.
Pam Grout is the author of 18 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the about-to-be released, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.