Prism Thinking – Design Your Mind

Posts tagged ‘art’

Can You See the Picture Before Connecting the Dots?

When we were kids, I’m sure most of us enjoyed many a fascinating session with our “connect-the-dots” coloring books.  It was always such a mystery and we couldn’t wait until all the dots were connected and we got to behold the surprise within our handiwork.  It usually started with just a hodge-podge of numbers and dots that gave us barely an inkling of the picture it contained.

In life, the answer to many of our so-called mysteries and life’s questions are also contained in our big pictures of seeming numbers and dots.  It seems to me that the point at which we enter adulthood, we should somehow have figured this out. Yet most of the time we go about our lives blindfolded, not knowing the dots are even there for us to connect.  We often stumble and arrive at a point of surprise and say to ourselves something like, “If only I had seen this coming…”

So what does it take for us to connect the dots, to make pictures of really any event in our personal lives or in the world we live? Kids do this all the time, first of course, with the unfinished pictures on paper, and then with great imagination they do this with other facets of their growing lives, learning all the time as they connect the dots.  We as adults however, seem to have a more difficult time with the ever-etheric page that holds the answers to our questions.  Do we actually need an analytical mind to do this? No, but we at least have to want to participate in the craft and attempt in making our nebulous pictures take shape and come alive.

Unfortunately for some, this involves effort on their part, to take responsibility—be it for a global cause or just for their own sense of personal direction for the way they would like their lives to go. Many would rather have somebody else take the reins of their pen and connect the dots to their own pictures and even color it in for them.  Fortunately for the rest of us, we get to take the journey individually, connect our own dots and perhaps even figuring out our greater pictures as we go along, choosing our own colors and even deciding on whether we would like to add in new dots to the picture or make new pictures altogether.  There is a difference between getting a lesson or having someone else do it for you.  While the latter could be entertaining, it doesn’t give us the experience we need to make bigger and better pictures—and we never get to see our own pictures until “they” are finished! Can you perceive the differences?

So since so much of it is about effort and perspective, what happens when we get unknowingly involved in other people’s agendas?  This could be with people in our personal lives or even social or political movements.  Because of our direct or indirect involvement, we still have to connect the dots for ourselves in order for us to see their big picture and how we are affected. What happens when we avoid this vital participation? Let’s use a common example on a public scale.  When we vote on laws to be passed or vetoed by which we will become somehow either immediately or gradually affected, it would make sense for each of us as individuals to use our prism views and learn about these propositions in their entirety.  This would make for sensible and responsible citizenry. Many times, I have noticed we make these decisions based on face value of surface, cursory or group-think information.  How often have we experienced suddenly being in the midst of an enormous orchestrated arrangement which we either at first carelessly didn’t know about or actually were responsible for bringing about without realizing?  We witness this first-hand when the complaints begin in full-swing of indignation.  Even those who did nothing but stand by and let others do.  Now how many times has this happened to you in your personal lives with your own social or familial groups?  We often feel exploited, used and taken advantage, don’t we?

Well we aren’t victims.  How much better to have connected the dots as we behold the picture that is unfolding and realize that we have the ability, capability and freedom to continue when we like what we see or stop when we don’t like what’s being revealed and move on to another? We did it when we were children, we can do it now.

Note: These are just a few perspectives. I have more—as should we all.

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What’s So Phat About That?

How Language Changes Our Perception

Let’s face it, women love style and fashion, some boldly and some subtly.  I say subtly because most of us have some level of body issues that may mar our true view of who we really are.  I myself, love watching fashion makeover programs and reading fashion magazines, albeit with my own perceptual prismic view. I observe paying specific attention to the issues women face and the language used to change the public’s perception on image with which many stylists now perform their craft.  I love the fact that it has come to the public attention that real women have real bodies as a result of real life.  I do not love the fact that many stylists now tend to over-compensate for the inherent and underlying dilemmas that surface within body image issues that many women have.

As someone who is in the personal growth change-work business, I realize how useless mere positive-speak can be with many whose issues are deeply patterned into their beliefs over many years.  As a woman who at some time or other has also fallen prey to “evil” thoughts about body image, I may take offense to the propagandizing of industry versus reality.  I mean as a woman who has also dealt with weight issues from time to time, I wonder, have our deep-rooted beliefs about body image really changed since “curvy” has become the new fat? Curvy is absolutely an acceptable term as well as a flattering one, but please let’s put into perspective in those situations when curves are the natural part of a woman’s *vital statistics and when the curves are the result of fat accumulation! (*For the readers who are somewhat lost in the hype of this lost reference, that means our measurements of bust-waist-hips) There was a time when today’s version of curvy or plus-size was known as Rubenesque, named after the famous painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640) who was infatuated with painting plump women with voluptuous full hips, full thighs and poochy tummies, which incidentally was the fashionable body-type of the times. When one mentioned the term “Rubenesque” we knew exactly what that meant and what it looked like.

At the risk of being indelicate with this sensitive subject, I ask why should this feature be sugar-coated? That’s how it all started in the first place—sugar-coated, butter-coated, cream-coated, crumb-coated…I could go on. I mean hasn’t this aspect of body-fat been sugar-coated enough in the physical sense without it being coated metaphorically too?  When I keep hearing the word curvy instead of a more tactful description of the reality, I wonder since when has it become taboo to use words like plump, heavy, large or overweight? I also now understand the standard industry gauge as different levels of curvy, such as “She’s curvier than you are…” when not really referring to actual curves.  The fact is when you’re comparing a woman who’s a size 2 with one who’s a 16, I’m sorry—but it is semantically incorrect to use “curvier” as an adjective! Well the news is, all women are curvy—thin, slender, petite, muscular, overweight or fat—it’s how we were anatomically designed. You can be voluptuous at any size, but true diplomacy using appropriate language gets your message across a lot more helpfully that shying away from honest integrity.

In this society’s attempt to make us “feel better” about ourselves as a result of this same society’s representation of the perfect, air-brushed model figure, have they perhaps once again, put us in a box—in this case, the dress box that still doesn’t quite fit? When you really see some stylists fitting a lovely woman into a fashion-trendy outfit that may not be too flattering on her, now telling her to accentuate her curves, without a discriminating eye; when there seems to be a clear difference between good curves and bad curves, they do us a disservice.  Using feel-good words and descriptions for inappropriate situations will often result in poorly outfitted “curvy” women who deserve a lot more respect than given.

But words influence us all and I realize that even when someone tells us we look good in something that doesn’t quite feel right kinesthetically, we know the difference. However, the skill involved in getting us to see ourselves less critically and highlighting our true assets is a whole other project. We understand that fashions in clothing are created and cut for different body types, don’t we? When they tell us that a larger sized woman can look just as good in a skimpy dress as a small sized woman, they are telling us that one-size fits all in the fashion sense. But does it? At which point does the hype get to us all and become a universally acceptable truth?

I reiterate, as someone in the change-work business, in promoting healing from the inside-out, stylists—please stop sugar-coating.  Dress us attractively as is wont of your talent and craft.  We will continue to look to you for guidance as long as you stay honest and keep us honest too.

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” – Coco Chanel



Some trends aren’t so flattering to all curves. Can you see the difference?

Note: These are just a few perspectives. I have more—as should we all.

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Molecular Gastronomy – Quantum Food for the Senses

When you think about the latest and increasing trend in culinary adventure you might consider the very innovative molecular gastronomy.  When I first learned about molecular gastronomy and watched several known culinary authorities on various food shows partake of the unusual cuisine with delight, I was very curious.  Mainly about how tiny little morsels in exclusively artistic presentations could actually satisfy and further, how this would play on our senses.

Molecular gastronomy, utilizing scientific processes in chemistry and physics, changes the way one perceives food, from conception and culinary technique, to the whole dining experience on the receiving end of this spectrum.  This technique combines the physical and chemical processes in cooking and transforms ingredients into an absolute epicurean phenomenon.

Upon becoming more accustomed to this technique, as you can see on shows such as Quantum Kitchen, I realized that what molecular gastronomists like Chef Marcel Vigneron do mostly is to take the most basic of foods, along with specific natural catalysts, transforming them in their essence, so that we the receivers of this culinary extravaganza may enjoy the benefit of savoring every flavor, aroma and texture fused into a single mouthful. It is an absolute overwhelm to our senses. It got me thinking that with the skills learned in NLP and DHE™, we already know how to retrain our brains and have the ability to do this using ourselves as a catalyst in the process. Further, what feelings could these trigger for us as an extended multi-sensorial event?

This technique doesn’t only enhance our palates. Here are just a few examples of what molecular gastronomy is about, according to Peter Barham, Professor of Molecular Gastronomy, UK and author of  The Science of Cooking.

  •  How ingredients are changed by different cooking methods
  • How all the senses play their own roles in our appreciation of food
  • The mechanisms of aroma release and the perception of taste and flavor
  • How and why we evolved our particular taste and flavor sense organs and our general food likes and dislikes
  • How cooking methods affect the eventual flavor and texture of food ingredients
  • How new cooking methods might produce improved results of texture and flavor
  • How our brains interpret the signals from all our senses to tell us the “flavor” of food
  • How our enjoyment of food is affected by other influences, our environment, our mood, how it is presented, who prepares it, etc.

Within the transformation, there also lies the element of expectation and surprise. What most connoisseurs will expect from the visual aspect, combined with any aromas around the dish certainly is unfathomable at first. Then when it is finally tasted, the alchemy of  flavors, and textures complete the heightened dining experience, pleasantly surprising all expectations.

It is a complicated and creative process that requires a credible knowledge of science. On a simpler note, the ability to transform your simplest food into a phenomenal experience for the senses is literally at your fingertips.  Using all of our senses in the experience requires us to be fully aware, present and in the moment. We can all do this automatically!

When my husband Jeff works with clients who have food phobias, he does just this. Along with having them taste individual foods, noticing the different textures, aromas, visual appeal; to take a moment and ask themselves if they a) like it and b) if they’re not yet sure, what it would be like to pair it with something else—something they’ve already discovered that they like or perhaps something new.  The results each individual experiences opens up a whole world for each of them, extending all the way to social breakthroughs. (*Getting them beyond the fear of tasting is of course a whole other skill set and cure.)

After all what is the essence of molecular gastronomy? An infusion of this, a concentration of that, along with a whole array of scientific knowledge and experimentation, and you end up with a bite-sized cheese burger bon bon, pizza in a frothy foam or a single-shot jellied vichyssoise, all packed with every component that would go into the actual meal—a futuristic meal you might say.  In comparison, doing this on your own minus the scientific process, as I wrote about in A Layered Dish Is More Than It Is, internalizing and understanding the blending of every morsel that touches your palate and enjoying them with all your senses creates our own artist’s easel and will undoubtedly give you a phenomenal epicurean experience every time.