Julia Roy at SuperheroYou

so I am definitely a hacker and I feel not worthy of this stage after everyone that's been up here but I'll go through my best and I'm about to get real with you I am going to reveal a few things to that most of the people even closest to me don't know as the introduction to something I find really important in the promotion of the understanding of neuroplasticity and what that really means for all of us you know kind of struggling with who we are and in finding our way so I was bulimic for 10 years all the way up until I was caught by my RA in college and for throughout my 20s I spent most of my time obsessing over something that was you know very bad for me and then when I would get caught doing that thing I would switch to a new thing I had this you know desire to control my environment and that was the one thing I control and had like a secret that I can that I can hold dear and kind of keep me afloat and I would try all that kind of self-help books and in ways to kind of get me over the the the destructive behavior but nothing ever seemed to really stick I'd always feel as though that you know well this is them you know they can make these changes but I'm just wired differently I just I can't overcome this you know it's I am my mother's you know daughter I am you know my father's daughter and and this is just kind of what's been passed down to me and there's not much I can do about it and so I've really felt hopeless for you know all the way and I'm 30 now so I say through my 20s so I'm kind of still coming out of like this transition period and really trying to keep everything together and so despite my social media success you know I I was in Vanity Fair I have a ton of followers online I've built social media campaigns before at CNN BMW coach Hearst a mean I've I've really made a name for myself so on the outside everything's wonderful but on the inside there's this internal struggle which I think we all deal with you know to a certain extent and so this I do have hopelessness I started listening to a lot of brain kind of science stuff and I came across this story this is paul bach-y-rita he's one of the you know founding fathers in neuroplasticity he created a chair that allowed blind people to see he's you know one of the founders of the cochlear implant and he's really made huge strides in and you know our understanding of the brain and and how one section can you know take over for another and his father Pedro suffered a stroke when he was 65 that was totally devastating and totally debilitating he couldn't speak he couldn't walk after six months of standard therapy the you know the the physical therapist and you know those that are are you know in charge of you know kind of bringing them back up to speed basically said you know there's just no hope put him in out put him in an institution and so they asked um you know Paul and his son George to come get in and George Paul's brother took him down to Mexico and he had the standard therapy but he started doing this kind of you know innovative therapy because he didn't really know what to do so he said dad you started out crawling we're gonna get you to crawl and so he would have his father you know tried to stay on you know his hands and on his knees and then finally started to support him up against a wall and they do that for a little while that's you know months and months he'd have him in the garden playing games with him like tossing a ball to him and his father would try to toss it back he would put his hands over the computer and his some would pick up one of his hands you just slam it down on the keyboard just trying very gross movies just trying to get you know that function back and after a year Pedro went back to teach he got all of his you know he had all everything was restored and he was back to living a normal life now what's interesting about this is that he five years or seven years later he was climbing a mountain in Colombia and he suffered a stroke and and you know passed away and so when they brought him back to the lab they at that time in order to figure out how they you know you know what happened they dissected his brain and put him out onto slides and brought Pedro in and you could they could see the the excitement on on the scientists face when he was showing them these slides and what they noticed was he had a major you know hemorrhage and complete loss of a big part of the back of you know his brainstem and it was still damaged and this was the first time they'd seen in humans definitively so that the brain must have reorganized itself other parts of his brain took over the functions that at that part of his brain was you know previously doing and so neuroplasticity and and the reason I'm really excited about this is because neuroplasticity is essentially a you know the fact that the brain can reorganize and restructure itself based on what it does so what you think what actions that you that you commit yourself to and even what you you know imagine and and everything that goes through your mind is just electricity connecting dots and so when we talk about habits and when we talk about kind of this is Who I am and you know I'm just hopelessly like this it really is it's so connected to a system that really has nothing to do with you it's all based on conditioning and so I feel like myself and a lot of my friends and the people that I know also suffer and we can be really successful at work but we have like these things that just keep us down we just can't get over it so neuroplasticity what's interesting about it is is when you understand the science when you really start to understand what's happening at the neuron neuronal level what's happening with this the synapse you can really start to make changes based on the understanding that we all have the same brain we might have some deficiencies here or you know some hereditary stuff that we're dealing with but it's the connections that matter and we can change those connections and there's a lot of ways to promote plasticity in your brain and I want to go over three different ways that have helped me the most in which I hope that we can go to our friends and our family and those that are struggling and instead of tossing them a book that's you know seven Habits of Highly Effective People and saying just get over it giving them real tactical ways and tools that they can use to understand how their brain works so that when they're trying to make changes they can sense that they're that they feel progress and kind of know what's happening in their brain there's something that clicks I feel like once you really understand what's going on upstairs the challenge is is that there's still this dogma like I still think that even though we know all this stuff about science and everyone's telling us you know that our diet makes a big difference and then we go out there and knives me a beer and pasta and cheese and and then we feel like crap and we do it all over again and so we really have to change from the inside out and it's really hard because I think that a lot of society and parts of society really kind of still put us in these boxes and say you know this is who you are and you know to step outside of that box you know makes you feel uncomfortable and so just like your body you mean your brains the same way your brain isn't a muscle and Jim talked about this earlier but it functions like that and so going from that to that is hard and it takes a lot of persistence and not giving in and it's exhausting because the brain is only 2% of our body mass that takes up 20% of our energies resources so the reason that you have habits is so that you can conserve energy that's the brains you know main goal along with you know recognizing patterns and keeping you alive and what's the save energy so it can store it for later in case a tiger runs at you and so these habits are really hard to break but if you keep with it it you know it slowly changes over time and I find this with myself is that you know you get to a certain point and it just becomes so hard you become so exhausted because willpower is taxable what's interesting about willpower is that if you're not using your willpower it's hard to use it for for really big things because you have to kind of build up so willpower is also like a muscle so you start with you know the easy things and as you work up then it gets easier and easier because your willpower gets stronger and stronger and so I really like the I really like to really promote the idea because I think that we all to the point where we try so hard but we fail and it really is a matter of you know the willpower that you have and to kind of keep at it because your real power will get stronger attention is the most important thing and I think that we know so there's three things to promote plasticity that's really you know helped with me and attention is the most important thing and I think that we kind of kid ourselves when we're paying attention you know we're reading a book or you know oh I read lots of books and you know I engage in I go to seminars or whatever but we're kind of half there it really requires novelty and like really putting attention at your focal point and checking in and asking yourself am I really paying attention and then applying it so we learn a lot but then we don't share it or you know we go you know we take one yoga class we're like oh I don't like it so you just kind of you know move on and so to really pay attention to to get past that that barrier and unlearn is so important so cortical real estate plasticity is competitive in cortical real estate is you know is limited to a certain extent and so if you have certain neurons that are connected to each other you kind of have to undo them in order to create a better more healthy pattern in your mind that's more beneficial or more creative it just allows you to only share potential and so unlearning is so important and I think you know that's habits so there's the cue your action and then the reward that follows so look in your day and kind of see what trigger like what is triggering it for me when I'm sitting on the couch and I'm trying to do my work I've noticed lately because that's just big kind of thing I get up and I go to the couch and I start doing my work and if I'm at the couch versus sitting at my desk there's a huge difference in kind of my outlook on the day and how much I get done and those simple kind of things which I think work but I like sitting on the couch like what's the big deal like I don't have to sit at the desk to do my work to really look at those things and figure out what do I need to unlearn what habits and what processes do I need to unlearn in order to open up some space for new connections to be made and mindfulness now I was never not very spiritual and I was no never meditator and always hear people talking about meditation I'm like that's awesome I don't know how you do it and I think that we have some misconceptions about what medics and you know it's not and for those of you that you know practice it I'm sure that you'll agree you know it's not sitting and thinking of nothing it's just not possible the idea is then we're talking about the subconscious is to focus on something else so your mind isn't constantly going gives you that internal dialogue unless you focus on something else is just going to keep going for your mind so like everyone to put one hand on each leg we're gonna do like a little practice so take a deep breath as we learn from the belly of the balloon and then out slowly and I want you to focus all your attention and consciousness on feeling from the inside out your left hand that's it so you're focusing and feeling your left hand the sensations tingle the energy that's there maybe you have a little cramp maybe about threat is so it's a little painful you're focusing on that pain and then what will happen is you're like this is stupid I don't know what oh crap I got to go get that thing tomorrow and okay so I can't forget to do that get and then when you realize that you're doing that you just bring yourself back to your hand and then now switch your consciousness to feel your right hand the subtleties there the way that your hand feels on your leg perhaps the warmth the tingle the energy and that's really what mindfulness is and how it's interesting because scientists say that the best way to promote Plus dis feet in your brain is to engage in some sort of mindfulness practice every day and it's really about for one taking time to kind of undo and unwind the stress because we are inundated with so much and just take a moment and feel your body and we're so disconnected and a lot of what happens in our body you know triggers what happens in our mind and to take some time just to feel your body and then you can do a motion kind of meditation where you sit and you kind of watch the emotions come and go but you don't make that connection with them so with mindfulness what I really like about it the most is that you can practice it in your everyday life I don't really sit and met a lot but what I do do is in my everyday life you use some of these key principles so one of them is mental noting which I really like so you know you're sitting there and something pops in your head and you get really angry at yourself about something oh my god I totally forgot to start the dishwasher so when we get home they know the pots are gonna be ready and then our family's coming over you know five minutes after that and so I'm gonna have to hand wash everything and and that's gonna take me 20 minutes and oh like why am I so stupid instead of going there instead of continuing that conversation and continuing that dialogue notice and say I'm judging myself judging judging judging and soon your mind will move on to something else so the mental noting thing is really interesting especially when you're dealing with other people not to keep that internal dialogue going because it makes those connections in your brain and it's running the electricity round and round around and the deeper that you make those grooves the harder it is to come out of them so the closer that you can get to that point where you see and you notice what you're doing and you just put one word on it it doesn't it be perfect it doesn't have to be right when you put one word on something your ego kind of takes a step back and says like okay so I'm just being judging right now first is taking it personally like it's something you know that you're really doing wrong and then it you know creates all this you know different kind of chaos in your mind and then the other thing I really like doing and it's about kind of again the noise so we're we're inundated all the time with you know so many different you know - duze and messages and and things that we have to get done that we just go around running around our day and in this kind of space of what I got to get done what I got to do and so when you have simple activities like loading the dishwasher for example I taking one glass putting it in the dishwasher taking another glass putting it in the dishwasher taking news rinsing and putting it in the dishwasher and I'll sing it to myself do whatever so being present where you are what I like to say and the reason I have this cat up here is there was a really insightful quote that um but I listened to in a podcast the other day which is there is no past the past happened in the now there is no future the future will happen in the now but now is all we have and so so often our brain is thinking to the future is it going to be better or worse than right now and then thinking in the past what did what do I need to learn you know that mistakes that I made that I can't do again and it was very rarely here and so you really have to focus your attention to kind of keep it at this place and what I like to say is living the me out because then it kind of like gives me like this little giggle that lightens the mood so when I'm stressed or frustrated or beating myself up over something I just say now ya know and it really kind of brings you back and then what we learned earlier which is the breathing which is really important because it's interesting about the breathing is our heart rate isn't supposed to you know be consistent like this it's supposed to vary and so what happens is we're taking very very shallow breaths throughout the day and what happens when you take deep breaths in and out it turns off that that fight-or-flight and that that limbic response because if Tigers chasing you you're not gonna take a minute to take deep breaths so your body's basically informing your mind that everything's okay so I really encourage everyone when you know either you're writing and you're a writer's block or you know whatever you're doing to to take that time to just take those deep breaths and focus on the read what it feels like in you know for your chest to expand what it feels like for the air to come in and out of your nose and really focus on that and if you can do it for more than 15 or 20 seconds like that's pretty amazing what I love is even the best meditators well you know say I was they come my neighbor the other day and so our life really you know is is chaotic and so to never to stop shooting the second arrow which is you know the first arrows of things that happen and the second arrow is our judgment upon you know what that is and how it keeps the same process and system happening in our mind we have to relax those those things in order to create new connections so some resources the things that have helped me the most the brain science podcast is amazing basically this woman interviews there's I think 200 episodes that you can go back and look at neuro scientists psychologists you know all kinds of different of people in this field and she does a really good job at letting them talk about the science but then articulating it to a non science audience a lot of my you know inspiration and and and and content in my daily life and kind of how I think about the brain has come from this podcast digit panel is really it's kind of creepy I guess you would say like if you ever done hypnosis or anything like that but it has all these different kind of pills that you take which are basically 30-minute sessions for like creativity and relaxation and in different you know kind of areas around that and so I find them kind of fun because they they did a really good job from a science perspective of creating these nice little pieces of content that really allow you to immerse yourself in a new way of thinking Zen cast is the best mindfulness it's secular and they again like the brain science podcast when you download it there'll be 200 you know once you can kind of pick and say oh I need to get better at listening the mindfulness of listening and they have a ton of different speakers so you can you know kind of pick your favorite speakers and go through and and watch those I like doing that sometimes in lieu of what sometimes I feel like I just really can't meditate but it's nice to sit back and like listen to someone you know talk about you know what meditation does and how to how to think about it and then transform is an also an app for the iPhone and Android that it basically gives you like a daily not an affirmation but but just inspiring quotes that I really like because they're you know based on not just mindfulness and and Zen but also you know just influences are of the past and of our time these are my three favorite books regarding the brain the brain that changes itself is really good for for talking about really inspirational stories where I mean you hear what these people overcome using neuroplasticity and the plastic you know nature of our brain and so when you read those stories you're like I can do anything if this person can can go from here to here I can you know basically do anything with my life your brain at work is a really good one for working with teams and understanding how other people's brains work and how to position yourself and navigate that space so what I really like about it is is we automatically respond certain ways to to when someone else's reacting and it's kind of taking the flip and saying what how you should approach something to get people to adopt your ideas to you know to work better with you and to you know innovate which is really cool and then the power of habit is a really good one that just to understand how habits are formed how they can be broken and in the limitations he talks about willpower and so I really encourage you know in your life and especially with the people that are struggling to introduce neuroplasticity and and ask how do they understand how their brain works and like why this obsessive compulsive thing is happening like what actually in your brain is occurring to create this feeling because then it really kind of changes a conversation from oh well this guy you know seven Habits of Highly Effective People if you just follow these seven steps then you know everything is going to be hunky-dory in your life and for a week like you're into it but then you just kind of let it go because you get what you feel a little hopeless and you know that's then this is me so I really encourage everyone to look at neuroplasticity as a way to you know both for yourselves and the people that you love to help change yourself and the way that your brain works thank you you