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“She sits beneath the canopy of an enormous oak tree. The sun beams through the leaves creating an intricate pattern of light that dances with the gentle ebb and flow of the wind. In her hands, the stiff stalks of yucca transform into pure strands of cordage. The songbirds, long accustomed to her presence, carry on with the lively exchanges of the morning. Without warning, there is silence.

Because of this, the nerve endings in her skin come to alertness. Her ears and eyes scan the surrounding landscape. Others are nearby and have become aware of the birds’ powerful message of quiet. They, too, listen and watch. A predator, what we now call a Sharp-shinned hawk, drops out of the sky and lands on the high branch of a nearby tree. Once perched, it surveys the area in its quest for food, songbirds.

The sight of the hawk explains the sudden absence of birdsong and she returns to the relaxed, quiet work of transforming the plant’s fibers into a valuable tool.”

The Roots of Connection

Our capacity for connection is rooted in evolutionary biology. Our earliest ancestors were immersed in the natural world. Imagine having no sense of separation from the earth below us, the tree beside us, and the birds flying overhead. They were our seamless partners in understanding how to survive and thrive.

As a result, we developed neurological abilities that maximized our information receptivity and decision-making skills. The systems in our bodies are instantaneous, and when appropriately developed, extraordinarily powerful.

We’re naturally communal beings. Unlike today, where we live somewhat solitary lives in a crowded world, 40,000 years ago, humans lived very communal lives in an otherwise unpopulated world. Our brains developed specialized functions and senses in the directions that deepened our connections to one another.

The fabric of our earliest, and longest, periods of surviving and thriving as humans are woven by the threads of connection. When those threads become frayed or broken, we see negative impacts. Recovering an awareness of and fluency in the art of connecting to each other and to our natural world opens up the door to a more successful future.

It’s Brain Science

Theory of mind is your ability to understand the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of another person. It’s played a significant role in human and cultural development. This ability to communicate your thoughts, feelings, and intentions–in other words, to make an impact–was and still is, key to your success.

Consider human neurobiology and neurochemistry. Your brain has the ability to link up with and even predict what another person is communicating to you. As a result, this ability optimizes the shared understanding between a speaker and a listener.

There are structures in your body that mirror what you’re observing. This creates a direct experience and understanding of what’s being presented to you. Therefore, speakers have the ability to orchestrate a symphony of neurochemicals in listeners that create an emotional bond, and even elicit an investment of energy or resources. These chemicals tell us who or what to trust. These same chemicals also alert us to insincerity, emotional manipulation, or outright deception.

Understanding how our brains operate is the first step in making an impact. There are three major brain phenomena that play a significant role in this process.

  • Brain Syncing
  • Mirror Neurons
  • Oxytocin Effect

Read More

Making an Impact (Part One)

Brain Syncing & Mirror Neurons (Part Three)

Oxytocin Effect (Part Four)

About Zette

Zette Harbour is an iPEC certified life and leadership coach, and an award-winning professional storyteller, who helps women get free from what’s not working in order to live the life their hearts desire.

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Then read more of her column, Successful Awakenings and explore the limitless power of awakening to the brilliant and beautiful story of who you truly are.

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