A Walk in the Park
As I walk through Meridian Park in Northwest DC the sense of happiness fills my soul. The walk through the park is the highlight of my day. The sunny is shining just right and the temperature is in the mid 70’s; it’s a lovely Spring day. I hear the melody of the birds and listen to their distinct sounds. Despite my inability to recognize their messages they continue on with their soliloquies. I catch myself keeping in tempo to the drum beat I hear from afar. I glance around my environment and notice several couples walk holding while other pairs are encroaching upon one another’s personal space with a hug. They don’t seem to mind. There’s a group organizing themselves for a game of Frisbee. A little girl takes her Nana’s hand and they skip together while laughing.. A man lays sprawled out on the bench with a book laying on his chest, he couldn’t resist a siesta. A dog owner throws a tennis ball so that his Golden Retriever can retrieve. The dog returns with the ball. The owner pats the dogs head. The dog wags his tail in delight.
I stop to become part of the park experience. I sit on a bench that is being partly occupied by a man speaking Aramaic into his telephone. I hear people pass by speaking Spanish. The group playing Frisbee appear to be about the same age; yet, the group is comprised of individuals from various ethnic cultures. They laugh, fall down, and talk together. The mother and daughter pass by speaking, what I believe is Czech.
We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion. Max de Pree
A Happy Brain A Happy Self
We, as human beings have a Limbic and Cortex system. The cortex system is associated with the higher brain functions, as voluntary movement, coordination of sensory information, learning and memory, and the expression of individuality. The Limbic system informs our bodies to what is good or bad. When our Limbic system senses danger and or fear they system activates the survival instinct and are response will either be fight, flight or freeze; their by producing Cortisol. If experience is good then the feel good chemicals such as Endorphins , Oxycontin, Serotonin, and dopamine are produced..
The front of our brains has a special neurons called “mirror neurons” that exist to help us understand and empathize with one another. Dopamine is the reward-driven behavior and pleasure seeking chemical . Endorphin is the pain killer chemical released through exercise and laughter. Oxycontin is the building block in bonding, trust, and strong healthy bonds. Serotonin, the happy chemical, is released when you feel accomplished and or satisfied. Just a note: Vitim D produced by the sun is an easy way to get your body to produce Serotonin. The Park experience helped my brain produce happy brain chemicals.
People I observed at the park were existing together at the park without fear or threat. Happy Chemicals, unbeknownst to the majority of the individuals, were being produced and began to ooze and pour from their inner beings. How do I know, I heard their laughter, I saw it in their body language and the aliveness in their eyes.; I experienced and benefited from the process.
We are social beings, we need each other to thrive and survive.