The Lighter Side of Transformation

with Lisa Wessan, LICSW

What are mirror neurons?

on March 30, 2010

For years I didn’t know how I knew certain things…numerical answers in a math teacher’s verbal pop quiz, the answers to a tour guide’s question, “How many floors are there in this building?” and other strange trivia that would just pop into my head — was I telepathic? A psychic? Well, now there is emerging research concerning “mirror neurons,” and I’m very excited because this would explain how I have done some bizarre learning in my day.

The most freakish experience was being in Egypt, and understanding Arabic so well — without ever studying it. I thought perhaps this was evidence of past life experience –but now, it could just be that I have a whopping dose of mirror neurons! I’m going to study this and see where it goes…

If you’re in the same boat, here’s a good overview of current mirror neuron research from the New York Times

For those of us with a high emotional IQ, e.g. deep empathy and strong reaction to others’ emotions, we need to be extra careful that our mirror neurons don’t harm us from exposure to intense toxic emotions or violent scenes….we need to be discerning about our film, television and media choices. And what about difficult people? We all need more protection from abrasive humans…but if we are loaded with mirror neurons we really need to avoid spending too much time with these folks, or our health is seriously at risk.

For addictive personalities with a high load of mirror neurons, this would explain the real danger in being among people, places and things that are using the substance du jour. Smokers, food addicts, alcoholics, cocaine and narcotic abusers are particularly vulnerable to be in proximity of their substances if their mirror neuron load is high…

Not too far in the future there will probably be an index or scale for measuring mirror neuron activity on our brains. This will help all of us — especially addicts — to practice better self-care with NO GUILT. For today, isn’t it nice to know you can sleep better and be healthier by monitoring your mirror neuron exposure…Yes, once again I am reminded that “There are no victims, only volunteers!”

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