my pavlov’s dog is a pirahna

if you shot an arrow through my left eye and let it intersect with an arrow that you shot through my left ear, you would be on target to meet my amygdala


i have two, left and right

my amygdala is involved in many things,
one of which is responding to fear

it often acts in a short-cut response to dangerous situations
– fright, fight and flight –
instead of heading to the logical brain to work out what to do next,
the fear system short cuts to the amygdala,
which outputs to raise blood pressure, heart rate, and release stress hormones,
in a 12 thousandth of a second
all because the amygdala processed the many sensory inputs
– visual, auditory, touch, pain

now, remember pavlov’s dog?pavlov's dog
that experiment where a bell was rung and the dog was fed?
it was repeated often enough, that the dog would salivate with a bell ringing,
even if the food didn’t arrive?

i do it too
specifically, i am thinking about the amygdala responding to fear
without any fear to respond to:
stress hormones, increased heart rate and raised blood pressure,
all for a memory
(bell rings, salivation, no food)

i am calling this reaction to a memory – my shadow
it used to be unconscious,
but now I am on to it
this is blatant overuse of my amygdala
to a situation
that isn’t fact,
is not real,
is disabling me
not at all useful

I could barely believe my ears when the sculpture teacher – project 3 – asked us to think about a creature to represent a shadow side of ourselves


i have since realised that my pavlov’s dog is in fact a piranha;
relentless, continuous, regardless of pain, in for the protection
your services are no longer required for bell ringing thank you very much

the other bits I didn’t mention
about the skills of the amygdala
is eating, drinking and sex,
but you can put those off when faced with some fear

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which wolf do you feed?


just last week i had a serendipitous moment, 2 connected happenstances

in sculpture, the teacher set our 2nd project: benevolent and malignant
the good and the bad
the white and the black
the yin the yang

the class talks
our experiences
our thoughts are laid on the air above the table

i am almost in tears as i become quite focused on the contrast that is presenting in my life how to bring this to my work?
to make my work real, it must come from something real in me

shaky voice

australian artist- linde ivemay- clearly brings herself to her work
” if pain persists “
it is not a comfortable exhibition
it is an awesome exhibition
such attention to detail
you can read excerpts of her life in those sculptures

i find myself absently pondering on the topic
digging from within me, looking to create something of me

wednesday arrives
it is the day to dance – movement medicine is on
i am compelled, more than usual
i am being called
i want to remove the conscious rumination
allow my body to process my life

ask and ye shall receive

we are asked us to dance a current thought/story in our life  and its shadow
i dance the shadow, i dance the other
one rigid and heavy, the other light and open
we move from one to the other
and back again

i realise that i see one, only because of the presence of the other
i dance the space in the middle
the coexistance of both
the two sides of the coin

thanks michael leunig for his pic

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love is the response


is the word

and acceptance of the other
is the other

we are born of contrasts
good and evil
black and white
happy and sad
present and absent

to shine the light on both sides of a coin

our shadow
and our bright

i learn to accept without judgement
there is no acceptance with judgement

i manifested a (head) dilemma this morning
i attached myself to it
i judged myself
i cried and i pained

for a change,
i decided to stop proceedings

i accepted the dilemma
blessed its origins,
the small child with minimal experiences
and sent love

it got calmer

i send more love each time the judge drags me there


love is the response

thankyou michael leunig (pictures) who knows about being tender
and blessings on the duck
and the judge

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being unique is what we are
i am unique
this is reflected
the way i think, what i think
and in the beads i make

i work in my business part time
i study visual arts full time
i am a mother, most of the time, other wise i am being me

life is busy
full of loads of things,

some i like,
some i don’t,
mostly it is great, sometimes it is not

i understand this to be the sin-cos curve of life
contrasts allow clarity,
happy vs sad
good vs evil
love vs fear
yin vs yang
handmade vs mass produced
they need each other to be seen

and it is all perfect

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