095 - Dreaming of Rob

Last night I dreamt I was Rob Schneider's girlfriend. We were very happy together. He was a snuggler. Then, the dream morphed... and I think this is because I read Mozbak's blog, my backyard turned into a little piece of Africa... with a twist. I was sitting on my couch and saw the strangest parade of animals go by: a little gorilla, followed by a duck, followed by a monkey, followed by a squirrel, followed by a small wild boar. So what to do I do? I wait for them to pass and I walk outside. *sigh* (in the dream I remember thinking 'oh shit! where's Gracie? my cat) Once I was out there I saw a fox, a porcupine, and two rather large lion-like creatures that I chose not to investigate. I would have preferred to be canoodling with Rob in the weird movie theater where they sold jewelry before the show started.

Now we get a little deeper than I usually go:

On Friday I went to an Inclusion and Innovation training class taught by Dr. Steve Robinson. I hate training, but this session was actually interesting, and if more training classes were like this one I'd probably be more excited to go. I got there early, and I found it ironic that there were several tables but only one person sitting at each table. So, not to be different, I staked my claim on a table of my own. It was interesting to watch the tables fill up. I wondered what though process people had as they entered the room and took it all in. At my table it happened this way: First was a friend of mine, Chris, then a girl who probably recognized a fellow introvert, then a small British man, then my friend Brian, and finally someone I'd seen at a mutual friend's house, who also knew Brian (but he made eye contact with me first, so I was the lifeline -- that was part of his process, 'I recognize her'). So really at my table there were only two people I didn't know. The girl continued to keep to herself. The Englishman engaged me in conversation. Human behavior is fascinating.

At one point Dr. Robinson had us get up and go around, repeating some silly phrase as we gave each other high-fives. Not my cup of tea. In a situation like that, I am the one who stands there and lets people come to her. I don't like to approach people. If I'm approached I'm perfectly nice, but I'm shy and awkward if I have to initiate (stop laughing, I am shy!). My friend Brian? He high-fived me first, then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzip, he was all the way across the room in no time flat. He's an extrovert and that exercise was right up his alley.

He's one of my absolute favorite people. We're such an odd pair. Looking at us from an outsider's prospective, we shouldn't click at all. He's the guy who's always perfectly coiffed, very professional, very polite, seemingly very straight-laced. I'm the sarcastic girl who always wears jeans, who has the pierced nose, dark eyes, and sucks at office politics. But get us together and we never stop laughing. I really enjoy talking to him, time just flies. He's just one of those really cool people that come into your life to bring a little sunshine into it.

One of the things Steve discussed was (yep, we're back to this) perception. He asked us to come up with a series of numbers, based on the model 2 - 4 - 6. I knew he was looking for something different, so I shrugged off the typical 8 - 10 -12 and decided that the model was to double the first number and add two to the result, so my answer was 6 - 12 - 14. Steve took it a step further and said it could be any series of numbers where the next number is bigger than the last. It was an interesting illustration of how our though processes are boxed in by our past experiences and we are conditioned to only see things the way we've always seen them without looking for innovative solutions; we rarely think outside the box. It's part of the way the brain works, it's efficient.

He also talked about mental scripts, how outside influences can put thoughts into our heads without our consent, things we don't necessarily elect to allow in, but can't get rid of. Like advertising. He asked us a question (which in writing is probably more obvious than it was in spoken form): Tim's mother has three children: Snap, Crackle and...? We all screamed POP! But the answer was Tim. Stupid Rice Krispies.... These messages are especially easy to absorb when we are stressed out. In real life, we perform action A and get result B. If we continue to perform these actions, and continue to get the same results, it becomes our script. If someone hurts us, if we get bad results, it becomes part of the script. If we do something and we fail, it becomes part of the script.

My hypothesis is that we're more open to receiving negative scripts.

It seems to me that people retain their negative experiences, and allow them to shape the future far more often than we focus on their positive outcomes. Some of us will go through a whole day of wonderful, face one obstacle, and that's what we focus on (or blog about). How many of us still remember something horrible that someone said to us ten years ago? How many of us take it one step further and let it affect how we react to similar situations today?

It's easier to say that we can merely decide to change than it is to actually do so. It takes effort to change your mindset, but it's possible. For example, I get cranky when I drive, but sometimes I make an effort to remain calm. When someone pulls out in front of me, I don't let it bother me. When someone gets on my butt, I switch lanes and don't let it bother me, instead of my usual reaction which is to think "if you want to go around me, go around... I'm not moving asshole," which, to be fair is usually when they're on my butt, not just coming up to me. Normally these things would have me speaking French and my blood pressure would shoot up, but if I choose not to let it bother me, it actually doesn't. What if I took that and applied it into the rest of my life? How much better would I feel?

I don't know where I intended to go with this, I just sort of free-formed it. I guess I'm trying to say that we shape our own futures. We decide to let things bother us. Ultimately, we decide to let other people get to us. If we put our minds to it, we can make a better life for ourselves, it just takes effort; it's not easy, and we have to remind ourselves to do it until it comes naturally.

So yesterday's movie... turns out the bloody guys were people that were murdered and they came back to set things right. Another one of those unhappy 'this could go on forever' endings, because we had resolution, and then all of a sudden this even more sinister looking bloody person came out of the ground to attack one of the bloody guys. Funny how a two hour movie that I DVR'd seemed to take four hours even when I skipped over the commercials... You can't say I give up easily...


  1. Nice blogging. I wish you'd write shorter ones though because it takes me ages each time I come here :-)
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Funny, I reread this and realized that each time I was trying to type 'thought' I left off the 't' at the end. I even read through it before I posted it and my brain must have filled in the blanks. Talk about perception...

    Fish - You know... I actually start out thinking they are going to be short...

  3. Good post. Very good way to spend a few minutes that I should be spending working!

    Kate x

  4. lol had to laugh of u dreaming of Africa! where u actually from?

  5. Well... I know some of the animals are out of place, but the setting looked very African. You know how dreams are...