According to neuroscience, our experiences can slowly change our brains. So how do we increase our positive qualities? Apparently, if we repeat activities that involve desirable characteristics–like kindness, gratitude and compassion–these inner strengths can become woven into the fabric of our brains.
One of many ways to achieve this is through reunions. And that’s what a group of us just did, reconnected in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada after 50 years! Most of us had met as young girls in elementary school, remaining close friends through college. And being together last week was magical.
Comparing notes about how our lives have played out, we realized our parents had transmitted similar messages about maintaining the family values. Some never left Winnipeg, others moved across Canada or to the United States. All were happy to share stories about work, travel and family, especially grandchildren.
We laughed our way through old photos of kindergarten, the 1956 Girl Guide troop and summer camp. We talked about personal changes as well as world-shaping events. Busy reinventing retirement, we’re taking on new challenges or causes, not ready to admit we’re getting older.
All hovering around 70, we reflected on the time we’ve been apart and how our world views have changed. Yet we still had more in common than we ever thought possible:
- We can readily rekindle the spark of our formative years
- We make changes but, in some ways, don’t really change at all
- We all face challenges, suffer pain and loss, experience great joy
- We each develop unique strengths that help us bounce back
The women born in 1944 hope to get together again, but not wait so long next time! And in between we can all create a variety of wholesome experiences. By being mindful of the good in our lives, the feelings we savor will naturally enhance our wellbeing. They’ll also grow the pathways in our brains, and what could be better than that?