Radical Relationship I: The Science of Covenant

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Radical Relationship I: The Science of Covenant. Rev. Renee Ruchotzke Rev. Jeanelyse Adams Doug Zelinski. What is Covenant. Worship statement Behavioral guidelines within congregation Personal Commitment to the Mission Call to live into being UU - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Radical Relationship I:The Science of CovenantRev. Renee RuchotzkeRev. Jeanelyse AdamsDoug Zelinski

1What is CovenantWorship statementBehavioral guidelines within congregationPersonal Commitment to the MissionCall to live into being UUCall to enact UU values beyond the congregationMore?

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Part 1 of Radical Relationship -

Is Primarily about WHEN is covenant3The GoalsWe want you to leave willing to declare:We can know the precise moments when covenant is presentScience tells us the choices we make in these moments changes our brain structureThese are the most potent moments of living as a Unitarian UniversalistThose moments change the world

4The pinky swear moment

5 The rules matter moment

6The I Do moment

7The sign on the dotted line moment

8The Im going to be a parent moment

9The this is for keeps moment

10Congregational MomentsWhen I sense the pivot point of keeping or breaking my promise11Welcoming, showing-up, spiritual practice,

12gossiping, pledging, faith deepening, sharing the good news

13Talk about your moment 2 mins each

14Moment by MomentWe become Unitarian Universalists

15Moment by MomentWe become Unitarian Universalistthrough the miracle of science.

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The Miracle of Self-directed Neuroplasticity

We are not scientists much less neurologist.This is new and still controversial.We are providing a modest introduction only.Though the verdict is still out on aspects of the science,SDN gives us a great way to think about, talk about and experience covenant.17www.whatisneuroplasticity.com

Including Brain Science Podcast almost 100 episodes on many aspects of Brain Science including Neur0plasticity.18The brains ability to re-organize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.

January 29, 2013 blog by Eileen Marable19

Adults immutable, mechanistic brainsUntil mid-20th century, scientists thought that when a person reached adult-hood, their brain stopped growing.Immutable, Mechanistic - Meaning the physical structure and operation of the brain created the mind.Howeveraround the 1940, scientist began to take notice and study individuals recovering from brain injuries, stroke, obsessive compulsive disorder and learning disabilities.20

When neurologists began using MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans, their interpretation was that the firing of certain parts of the brain explained the resulting feelings, thoughts or actions.What they eventually tested and verified through brainscans was the reprogramming of (usually adjacent) parts of the brain to take on the tasks of the nonfunctioning or missing parts.This marked the advent of ADULT NEUROPLASTICITY.21Self-directed Neuroplasticity & Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a condition marked by intrusive thoughts that provoke anxiety or fear often paired with a repeated action intended to mitigate the intrusive thoughts, Examples include repeated handwashing, door locking, and checking to see if the stove was turned off, nervous rituals, avoidance of certain numbers, relationship suspicions, etc. The condition can become very disruptive. What is important for our discussion is that many folks with OCD are aware of their irrational and unwanted behaviors but struggle mightily to stop those behaviors. The standard treatment is ERP Exposure and Response Prevention exposing the person to the stimulus that triggers their obsession but then preventing the compulsive compensatory ritual.22Self-directed Neuroplasticity & Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

A treatment strategy that developed in the 1990 was to shift the primary focus from the OC behaviors to the persons self-awareness that they were engaging in OC behaviors. Their OBSERVER SELF. -- NOT to improve the observer selfs capacity to be aware of the OC behaviors, but to improve its capacity to be aware of itself. Once that was accomplished, the observer self is encouraged to imagine alternative, much more preferred activities (working in the garden). As the observer-self grows in stature and the alternative is imagined more attracting, the person will eventually chose the preferred activity and the reshaping of the brain begins.23Self-directed Neuroplasticity

This is a stylized picture of neurons in the brain. Each blob with its tentacles is a neuron that can be in contact with as many as 10,000 other neurons. The glowing contact points in this image mark where information is being transferred across the gap between neurons. The kind of information that flows into the neuron determines which other neurons will receive the information by jumping the gap between them. Strengthening the Observer Self allows it to provide a new kind of information to neurons its been using for a long time.causing those neurons to pause.leaving their usual gaps opened and building up the energy to jump a new gap to a different neuron than usual. Thus beginning to physically rewire the brain!24Covenant operates in the synaptic gap at the moment of firing

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CovenantMomentCovenantMomentCovenantMomentThese are the most potent moments of living as a Unitarian UniversalistThose moments change the world

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27Step one.7 CHANNELS of28ImaginalSensationEmotionEnergeticMovementAuditoryVisual7 Channels of ExperienceBased on the work of David Mars, Ph.D.Witness29How might you invite this practice into your life in the congregation?30Radical Relationship II:The Theology of CovenantRev. Renee RuchotzkeRev. Jeanelyse AdamsDoug Zelinski

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