I have been reading recently about mirror neurons – neurons that fire when one acts and when one observes others acting in the same way. I understand there are differing opinions about mirror neurons, but in integrating thoughts about them, I saw so much application to living, life, and self care, about which I often write. Mirror neurons it is believed are the nerves that fire when a baby looks at her mother, when she watches and imitates, when she watches to observe and integrate into her actions and knowing…and reciprocates them back at the mother.
I got thinking about how I teach others to have self-care, to ask “What do I want, what do I need, what feels good for me”. I advocate self-care so that others will rise to the care for us that we give to ourselves. I challenge, not the “doing for others”, but often the unhealthy motives behind the doing for others. I sometimes say that the over flow of true love that we nurture in ourselves is a more genuine love than loving out of duty or doing. I wonder if I give off the idea that we don’t need others in my emphases for self-care. I hope not and even more so after being reminded of the purposes of our mirror neurons.
We don’t live in a vacuum. We can’t live as an island. We need others for many, many reasons, and even neurologically so that we can perceive, learn, model, interact, reflect, respond to… It is both specific and metaphorical. We literally need others in relationship to be whole and to know wholeness… And, others need our living our own self-care before them so that their “mirror neurons” are stimulated as well. Others learn from our authenticity, our joys, our tears, our peace, our eyes, our face…
Integrative thought: spend time looking, observing, interacting face-to-face, not only for the purposes of communicating information, but for the stimulation of your mirror neurons – it will do you both good. If you were here, I would be reciprocating smiles with you right now.