Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Writing Dream

My dream of becoming a writer, began when I was six years old. Inspired by Enid Blyton's books, I would use a heavy, clunky brailler to create short stories. In later years, I conducted my writing on a computer, assisted by screen-reading technology. During school, writing helped to distract me from negative thinking. As I sat alone in the playground, my imagination would run wild! I was very shy and found it much easier to express myself through writing. Gradually, I attempted to write a novel. For a while, however, I lacked the confidence, the discaplin, the drive to succeed. At the first couple of hurdles, I would falter and eventually abandon the story. Finally, I completed my first novel. I then sent it away for a manuscript assessment. I'm now almost finished the final copy. I believe that writing involves passion, perseverance, skill and imagination. Most of all, however, we need to dream. Without that, it's very hard for us to be motivated. I'm going to try my best to make my dream of becoming a published author, into a reality! In my next post, I'll discuss some of the challenges I've faced throughout my writing journey, and how I dealt with them. Until next time! Bird's Eye

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Life is great! I have a new boyfriend now! I am so happy.

I had a couple of minor setbacks earlier this week, but that's life. I'm not going to let little things worry me. As Bob Marley says in his song "don't worry, be happy". My boyfriend and I were talking about this song last night, and I've had it in my head all day!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Blind Sense

Many people believe that the blind have a heightened sense of touch, hearing, taste and smell. Research reveals, however, that any enhancements in these areas are due to practice, rather than overcompensation by the brain.

Studies indicate that those with vision loss, usually have an increased ability to detect and interpret tactile information. They constantly rely on feeling the world around them. Over time, their sense of touch usually improves. When first encountering Braille, I found it difficult to distinguish the dots. Over time however, this task became second nature.

According to a recent study conducted at McMaster University, proficient Braille readers performed significantly better on tactile tasks, than their sighted peers. Study author Mike Wong asserts that these findings may assist in further developing the sense of touch.

Research conducted at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, may, yielded different results. In this study, reading Braille did not seem to impact on a person’s ability to detect tactile information. In addition, those who were born blind, scored similarly to those who lost their sight later in life.

Blind people usually have remarkable hearing. They rely on auditory information to function in society. This usually involves training their hearing, so that they can gain maximum information about their surroundings. The age at which vision loss occurs, often affects a person's ability to improve their auditory system. According to studies conducted at the Montreal Neurological Institute of Canada's McGill University, those who were born blind scored significantly higher than those who lost their sight later in life.
"What this tells us is that there is plasticity in the brain," says Dr. Zatorre. "That is, when we're young we can actually change around the way neurons work, and reorganize brain function to suit our survival needs. But as we get older, the brain becomes more or less fixed in terms of sensory perception."
Even when tested with one ear plugged in, blind people scored well. This study evidences that one sense can compensate for another.

According to a study conducted at the University of Montreal, blindness does not enhance a person’s sense of smell. Rather, those with vision loss will usually pay more attention to their perception of fragrances. The smell of freshly brewed coffee for example, will cause a sighted person to locate the source with their eyes. A blind person however, will use this smell to gain information about their surroundings.

A person with vision loss, does not have a superior ability to taste food. Rather, unsighted individuals are usually more alert to the different flavours in their mouth. Consequently, dining out experiences often produces feelings of fear, surprise, disgust or delight. A blind person, only has the smell and a few descriptive words to indicate what their meal will taste like.

Blindness does not augment the other senses. Such a phenomenon, would result in sensory overload! As those with vision loss depend on touching, hearing, smelling and tasting the world around them, these senses usually improve over time.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The boy who cried Wolf

When people continuously lie to you, it's hard to believe them, even when they may be telling the truth. An ex-boyfriend, Mr X I'll call him, rang me last night. He wanted to catch up this Saturday morning. He promised that he would be honest to me from now on. Trouble is, how can you trust someone when they've lied to you so many times before? It's like the boy who cried wolf. I'm refusing to catch up with Mr X again, until he can prove he is telling the truth.

When I researched the psychology of lying, I found some disturbing news. DePaulo and her colleagues (1996), discovered that most people lie once or twice a day. According to this study, we lie in approximately a fifth of our social interactions that last ten or more minutes. Research shows that dating couples lie in about a third of their interactions.

So it seems lying is pretty common in our society. That doesn't make it right though. I admit I've lied before, but only when I felt I had no other option or I wanted to protect a loved one. I know it was still wrong of me. I try my best to be honest, because straying from the truth ruins relationships and betrays trust.
Guess what? A friend just rang me and asked if I wanted to catch up for brunch tomorrow morning. I'm so glad I have other plans now!
Bird's Eye

Hi there

Wow, it’s been such a long time since I last wrote here. So much has happened. The last few months have been full of drama.

I’m feeling a bit out of sorts at the moment. Oh well, I guess we all have ups and downs in life. I'm going to focus on thinking positively. I'll be proactive in raising my spirits.

Research shows that keeping our mind active, is critical to our health and well-being. Idleness often leads to boredom and depression. It’s often hard for us to be proactive and motivated when we are feeling gloomy. In my experience however, pushing ourselves to achieve goals, improves our self-esteem and elevates our mood.

Mental stimulation improves brain functioning. In fact, research shows that mental activity, helps to protect against cognitive decline. This is also true for physical exercise. I often find that riding on my exercise bike while listening to an audio book, significantly improves my state of mind.

Connecting with others, is another important factor in helping to overcome our blues. It’s easy to shut everyone out and allow misery to overwhelm us. While we may need a bit of space for a while, isolating ourselves for too long, often accentuates our problems. Interacting with others, helps us to keep things in perspective, and realize that we are not alone. If we make an effort to be friendly and social, it will help to distract our brain from negative thoughts. Others will also tend to like us more.

A friend once told me a story about a man who was very selfish and unfriendly. His primary ambition was to own his own home and have a swimming pool. He achieved his dream by the age of thirty. One day, he dived in to his pool at the shallow end. He hit his head and was paralysed. He subsequently became a very angry, bitter and lonely man. This story highlights how being self-obsessed, often leads to unhappiness.

 Setting achievable goals, is a crucial step in improving self-esteem and well-being. Earlier this year, I broke up with my boyfriend and was feeling a bit lonely. I wanted to make more friends. I therefore decided to set up a social group. Achieving this goal, has helped me enormously. I’m meeting new people and broadening my social circle. I’m also growing in confidence.

Today, I’ve been identifying goals I want to achieve in the near future. I’ve decided that if I don’t get the job I’ve recently applied for, I’m going to study massage or something like that. I love writing, but it’s hard to make a career out of it.

 I also want to keep Eye Think up to date. I’ve been very slack with it. I need to advertise this blog, because it would be great to get some discussion going.

I feel better already! And guess what? I’ve finished all my washing today! It feels good to have an empty basket. Ok, that’s sad. I’m getting excited about house work! I really need to get out more.

Ok, well I’m going to go now. I’ll be back soon!

Friday, 18 March 2011

An Inspirational quote

"It is not intelligence alone that brings success, but also the drive to succeed, the commitment to work hard, and the courage to believe in yourself. Know that your dreams must come from your heart's deepest desires. Only then will the barriers come down before you. To know your heart, you must know yourself. You are who you decide to be, not who other people decide for you to be. Be noble. Stand on the higher ground. Create your life and then go out and live it."
Believing in ourselves, is not always easy. Events, other people and even our own inhibitions, can obstruct our path to inner peace and happiness. We need to hold on to that strength within us, and be the best person we can be. We are all amazing creations of God. We have the right to be happy; to be loved; to be successful in life. We just need to believe in ourselves and our dreams. With hard work and commitment, we'll get there in the end!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

When searching the net for info on how Valentine’s Day began, I discovered that there’s no straightforward answer! There seems to be several legends concerning the roots of Valentine’s Day.

According to one legend, a priest called Valentine, served in Rome during the third century. Emperor Claudius II discovered that single men made better soldiers than those who were married. He consequently outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine saw the injustice of this decree, and refused to abide by it. He thus continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Claudius discovered Valentine’s defiance, he ordered the priest to be put to death.

One bizarre story I read on the net, was about a man called Valentine, who was betrayed by his beloved. To show how much she meant to him, he cut out his heart and sent it to her in the post – still beating!

Another legend suggests that Valentine fell in love with his jailor’s daughter. She visited him throughout his confinement. Prior to his death, Valentine sent the girl a letter and signed it “from your Valentine”. He was the first to use this greeting.

Oh how sweet! I don’t know how much truth lies in these legends, if any at all. But I found it interesting to look up about the origins of Valentine’s Day.

Have you heard any other legends regarding how Valentine’s Day began?
Happy Valentine's Day!!
Bird’s Eye