Professor Prefrontal vs Caveman Primitive

We make 35,000 decisions a day.  They are made with two different parts of the brain: either your prefrontal cortex or your primitive brain.  Can you guess which one should be “in charge” most of the time?

I think about my primitive brain as a caveman (or Thor in the Avengers: Endgame).  I call her the Caveman.

I think about my prefrontal cortex as the professor (or Thor in all of the other Avengers movies).  I call her the Professor.

Caveman just wants to keep us alive: always looking for danger.  She seeks pleasure, avoids pain, and conserves energy.

Professor uses her scientific method in decision making always reaching for our goals.

Caveman wants immediate gratification.

Professor wants to achieve the goal we set despite what is in front of us.

Caveman says we need to eat the donut right now (or we might die).

Professor says that donut won’t help us achieve anything.

Caveman is extremely verbal: all that chattering going on in your head is all her.  She is very persuasive. Never underestimate her. She can yell louder and longer, because she is very motivated by your survival.

Professor will state her case factually and expect you to make the correct decision. She doesn’t even here Caveman’s rattle.

For Caveman, every decision is urgent and frenzied, based on the moment.

For Professor, every decision is based on a plan for a future result.

Caveman is your urges.

Professor is your reasoning.

I love Caveman.  She does a great job of keeping me alive.  But, there just aren’t that many lions running the town these days.  She is more into sugar and flour – getting us the biggest dopamine hits she can find.  

I love Professor.  She keeps pushing me forward toward my goals, becoming better than I was yesterday.

These days, Caveman isn’t really serving me in the food department.  I need Professor’s emotionless viewpoint on food.

She will get me where we want to be… in the ideal body.

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I always thought trust was earned by another person.  Turns out I was wrong.

Trust is an emotion – felt by me.  If I feel trust for you, you can’t feel that.  Only I can.

Trust is not black & white.  I can choose to feel it a little, a lot, or not at all.  It is a spectrum, like any emotion.

Whether I trust you or not is based on how I choose to feel – not your actions.  Wait, what?!

Let’s say you are married.  You choose to trust your spouse.  It turns out, they were cheating on you.  You find out. You no longer trust your spouse now that you know.  But, you trusted them while they were cheating on you. It wasn’t their action that made you not trust them.  It was your thought about their action that created your trust (or lack thereof).

If you have a hard time trusting others, it is because of your beliefs about other people – not their actions.

If you wish you could trust people more, you can.  Right now. You can feel trust at any time.

I’m not saying you should trust every person or all the time… I’m just saying it is available to you. It is your choice and in your control 100%.

Trust me. 😉

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Dream Crushers

We want more in life.  We have this desire, this need, to grow and do more.  Be more.

But, then something gets it our way.  That something is the very reason only 1% achieve that success so many of us crave.  Instead of dealing with that something, we choose safety and security.

We resist.  We react. We avoid.

They are called Dream Crushers. They are called uncomfortable emotions.










Why do they matter so much? How can this simple thing stop us from achieving our dreams?

We don’t like the way negative emotions feel.  We attempt to change them or avoid them. The three most common ways of dealing with these dream crushers are overeating, overdrinking, and overworking.  So, we stay stuck – getting no closer to our dreams.

But, that feeling or emotion is simply a vibration in your body that is caused by a thought.  Really. A feeling is simply a vibration, and nothing more.

Really think about that. Those dream crushers, those vibrations that you don’t want to feel, are what is standing between you and your dreams.

I’m ready to change how I think about these negative emotions.  Are you?

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I have never had what you might call a green thumb.  In fact, I have trouble keeping any plant alive.

Now, fake plants.  They are my jam. I can keep them alive, no problem.

So, when I planted bluebonnets seeds last fall, I didn’t hold my breath. But, yall! We have FIFTEEN bluebonnets.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it!

Now, here is the thing.  I look over into my neighbors’ yard, and they have an entire field of bluebonnets.  

If I compare my measly 15 to their field, I’m going to feel pretty crappy about those 15 beauties.  But, why would I do that?

Why would I compare my accomplishments to theirs?  Does that serve me in any way? No. So, I don’t do it.

I appreciate their ability to grow bluebonnets and enjoy the view.

I also compare my 15 bluebonnets to is when we lived at our last house.  I tried planting bluebonnets for years. The most I ever got to grow was seven.

Do you know what that means?  That means my 15 bluebonnets represent a 200% improvement over my last accomplishment. That is amazing!

In life, we always have a choice.  We can compare ourselves to others, or we can compare ourselves to ourselves.  

I think I’ll choose door #2.  

How about you?  What will you choose?

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My coach was sharing 5 pieces of wisdom.  

There was one sentence that really stuck out to me. “Tell yourself the truth,” she said.

So, I decided to take a closer look.

Why did this one sentence mean so much to me?

You see, I have always been a big believer in the truth. I’ve never liked being called a liar.  I find it offensive, really.

It turns out, I value truth above all else… for other people.

But, I didn’t respect myself enough to be honest with me.

It is funny that you can lie to yourself.  You would think that would be impossible.

After all, I can hear all of my own thoughts. But, I got good at lying to myself.  I could turn the volume way down on the truth and paint a prettier picture of reality in my brain.

Awareness is 90% of the battle.

So, I’m done with lying to myself.

If I’m going to eat that pizza, I’m going to eat it knowing I’m doing it to comfort myself… not because my son suggested it… not because I was STARVING… not because it was just on the way home.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who is masterful at lying to themselves.  Lots of us are really good at pulling the wool over our own eyes.

Here were my coach’s 5 pieces of advice:

  1. Don’t hide.
  2. Stay skeptical.
  3. Tell yourself the truth.
  4. Be brave.
  5. Have fun with this.

Which one speaks to you? Why?

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This picture brings me so much joy my heart just wants to burst.  This is my amazing world.

This man in his pjs.

These two dogs.

This sunset.

This view.

The water… the colors… the quiet…. the calm.

And, there is me – behind the camera, sitting on the porch, reading a book, and taking it all in.

This is my heart, my joy.

I am so grateful.

Look around you.  See your joy. Soak it all in.

What are you grateful for?

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Action & Reaction

All of my hard work for the last six months culminated last week…  *** …By the end of it, I was emotionally and physically exhausted….

***I deleted the entirety of this story.  Although entertaining truth, it is irrelevant to what happened next. See, all of my reasons why I acted in the manner I did doesn’t change these 4 sentences.


A child told me, “Those grown ups are yelling at me, telling me to hurry up.”

I thought, “How awful are those adults to yell and be rude to a kid!”

I felt angry.

When I approached them and one of them said something rude to me, I engaged with them. We all said lots of rude things back and forth in very loud voices.

As a result, I was rude and yelled at them… notice a pattern?


My point is, because I didn’t manage my thoughts before interacting with the adults, I REACTED to them from a place of ANGER.

End. Of. Story.

None of the other details matter.

What they did doesn’t matter.

Why they did it doesn’t matter.

Because, I can’t control other people.  All I can do is control me. I am not the morality police. It is not my place to judge.  It is not my place to teach them a lesson or make them feel the way I perceived that child felt.

If I was faced with the same situation, I would still defend that child.  But, I would come from a place of love.

How in the world could I possibly come from a place of love when I perceive such an injustice, you ask?

We are all going through something.  Who knows what has happened or is happening in those people’s lives to cause them to act the way they did.  

My only goal would be to help out that child (whether that meant interacting with those adults or not). I would ACT with compassion, not react from anger.

For me…

Mistake made.

Reflection done.

Lesson learned.

Moving on.

For you…

Remember love… even when it is the hardest emotion to feel in the moment. You can’t go wrong if you are acting from love.

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My Busiest Week of the Year

This week, I am managing my time.  I am focusing on what need to get done – one step at a time.

I could give into overwhelm.  It is my busiest week of the school year.  I have 3 finals for school and 2 Field Days for my students.  Months of learning and planning will culminate in a few, short hours.

It’s a lot… on top of my already full days.  In the past, I was like a ticking time bomb. People avoided me until after it was all over.

But, this year, I’ve managed my mind… and my time:

  • I ask others to help me when I need it… instead of trying to do it all myself.
  • In my 30 minute lunch, I am eating and studying… instead of Facebooking.
  • Sitting in the pick up line at my son’s school, I am listening to my audiobooks & classes… instead of playing Candy Crush.
  • While donating plasma, I am reading my textbook… instead of watching a movie.
  • I am creating Heat Sheets while my students are practicing for Field Day events… the list could go on & on.

I am managing my time – even those few minutes here and there.

Don’t get me wrong… I still have downtime.  Because, it is on my calendar – scheduled… because, it is important.  Everything that is important is on there.

I am getting more done in the same 24 hours I’ve always had, and I’m not stressing over it.

On Friday, I will take a moment (or two) to appreciate how it all came together… and that I didn’t give in to overwhelm, spiraling out of control.

It is going to feel amazing.

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Addiction or Overdesire?

Have you ever wanted to not want to drink an entire bottle of wine?

Have you ever wanted to not want to eat the entire batch of homemade cookies?

Have you ever wanted to be able to eat just one slice of pizza?

Have you ever wanted to be able to drink just one glass of wine?

So many of us overeat or overdrink on a regular basis.

We are often overwhelmed with shame and guilt – hiding or justifying our actions.  I can’t help but wonder how many of us feel this way but aren’t willing to say it out loud. I’m certain you are not alone.

I want to offer a different perspective – one that gives you a chance to get back the control in your life. Instead of focusing on the symptoms, let’s look at the cause of overdrinking or overeating.

It is the concept of overdesire.

We often buffer our emotions with substances.  It is much easier to numb them than to deal with them.  

We increase our use over time which increases our desire.  Our cravings and urges become artificially inflated beyond our evolved ability to satisfy. When we try to cut back, it increases our desire by the withholding of it.  It feels like we are consuming against our own will or that we are out of control. Once we run out of willpower, we are right back to overconsuming.

The solution is to reduce the desire.  When that is gone, there will be no need for willpower to direct our behavior.

How do I reduce desire?

  1. Write a plan for your food or drinks.
  2. Commit to your plan.  Your reason to commit must be stronger than the urges you will encounter.
  3. Follow your plan no matter what.
  4. Be willing to feel the emotions that come up.
  5. Know you will fail at following your plan, but commit to never giving up.

If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results.

If you want a new result, you have to start taking different actions.  Imagine what your life could be like.

If you are ready to get control over your life, click here for a FREE Life Assessment.

(Note: If you believe you are addicted to a substance, using a substance hazardously or with negligence, please seek help.  The information in this blog is not intended for you.)

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Out of Control

Does your life feel out of control?

Are you in charge of your life, or is life in charge of you?

There are so many things we want to control but can’t find the way.

How is my house always dirty?

My son’s coach plays favorites. My son is not one of them. Grr.

Why can’t these people drive the speed limit or get out of my way?

Why won’t my husband help out more?

Why are we always broke?

How can they afford to go on all those vacations?

Why am I the only person who can change out the toilet paper?

Don’t teachers know we have other things to do besides homework all night?

Why is my boss so critical?

Why aren’t my children more respectful and well behaved?

I never have enough time.

We get frustrated.

We get overwhelmed.

Instead of finding solutions, we just turn it all off.  We escape reality and comfort ourselves with pleasure.

We drink.

We shop.

We eat comfort foods.

We binge watch Netflix.

We scroll mindlessly through Facebook or achieve level 682 in Candy Crush.

We find comfort.  But, it is only temporary.  When we wake up in the morning, it is all there again… plus a few more pounds… or a nasty hangover… or any empty bank account… or a worn spot on the couch.  We do it all again.

How do I regain control of my life?

How do I get a different result at the end of my day?

If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results.

If you want a new result, you have to start taking different actions.  Imagine what your life could be like.

If you are ready to get control over your life, click here for a FREE Life Assessment.

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