Is the term “just a thought” something casual or is there more to it?   This week I’ve been thinking about the complexity and uniqueness of us as human beings.  Deep I know, but bear with me.

Fun fact – did you know that the human body is made up with a whopping 724 trillion cells…?

Another even more incredible fact is that every cell in our body will regenerate every seven to ten years. 

Not only is your body a finely tuned machine, but it’s always creating new cells at a blistering pace.  Over a trillion cells per year by my count…

Staggering, isn’t it?

So how about our brain?   Well, there is somewhere between (depending on which scientist you believe) 86 and 100 billion cells in the human brain alone, and each finely tuned for its specific function.

What’s most fascinating to me is that even though all our brain cells are constantly regenerating over the course of our lives, we still retain memories, often decades on.

I suppose it’s a bit like software upgrade on your computer – your data persists even though there is updated software that runs it.  Lol! 

Being able to recall memories in our lives can be either the most joyful or indeed painful thing in our lives, depending on the situation yet our brain is not the same as it was when those memories were made.

I was thinking about the beautiful memories I have of the moment that I first held Zach and Sam after they were born.  And that intoxicating newborn baby smell as they gazed into my eyes for the first time… ❤️❤️❤️

These joyful yet emotional moments have been seared deep into my psyche and I’m able to transport myself back to those moments all these years on.  Yet my brain cells have regenerated at least twice and possibly three times since that time.

Our values, beliefs, and our social mores provide us with a lens to interpret our lives, some of these evolve, but many continue to be fixed, yet we’re able to navigate these all while our brain cells are being replaced and regenerating.

Given that our brain is faster than a supercomputer and our thinking is inherently influenced by our gut instincts we’re able to make lightning-fast decisions about every aspect of our lives in real time…

This clearly harkens back to the time of our ancient ancestors who were constantly in fight or flight mode throughout their relatively short existence.

The question is – is it shaped by our DNA or by the lens of our current world?   Clearly there is no simple answer as both are at play.

As an example, what was considered the societal norm in ancient times may be seen as barbaric or cruel today.  Everything evolves including our brain as it adjusts to the current world in which we live, and therefore moulded by these influences, yet our DNA exists as a foundation.

It’s true that with scientific and technological breakthroughs that our brains need to work faster and smarter to keep up, but you can see with our younger generations their ability to multi-task and function at a highly cognitive rate is incredible.

With each passing generation it seems that the brain is pushed to deal with greater complexity at a constantly quickening pace… 

I believe that the old myth that we use less than 10% of our brain’s capacity is a myth!

Each neuron and synapse in our brain has a special function and therefore always working…even when we sleep.

I guess this is why sleep is so important to the human body – so that it can take a break from the stresses of conscious thought and regenerate.

What differentiates a single moment from any other and commits it to memory?

I believe that it comes down to our ability to connect our senses and emotions to a special moment that makes it different from any other thought and thus memory worthy.

Hence, why I get so emotional when I think about the birth of Zach and Sam all those years ago… ❤️

Take a moment to think back to a special memory that you’re able to recall.  I guarantee that brings with it emotions and multiple senses.

Therefore it’s difficult to rid ourselves of trauma as we take the good memories with the bad; our psyche unable to separate the two equally emotional experiences.

Often, we aren’t in control or our emotions like we think we are.  Whether we think we are or not is irrelevant because our brains will make that decision for us, including to decide if it becomes a memory or not.

Our brain is also the home of our emotions and feelings, yep even the bad ones!

It’s also the place that enables us to use innovative and critical thought, initiate problem solving and to live our lives in the best possible way.

Each of us has a slightly different amalgam and make up of values, beliefs, conscious thoughts, value judgements, memories, and emotions.  This is all swishing around in a sea of hormones initially formed by the evolution of our specific DNA all while regenerating at a blistering pace…

Mind boggling, isn’t it? 

The complexity of who we are is totally unique even though there are 7.5 billion of us on this planet…

Now that’s food for thought!

Until next week