Mental patterns

So for those of you who remember that my food allergy test came back saying I’ve got a moderate intolerance for almonds, you’re probably not surprised to learn that I don’t drink almond milk anymore.  Big bummer!  I feel like milk has been a struggle ever since college.  When I thought I was potentially lactose intolerant, I gave up cow’s milk and switched to soy.  I grew to like soy.  When I found out too much soy milk increases your risk of breast cancer, I switched to almond milk.  I grew to like almond milk.  When I found out I was intolerant to almonds, I switched to… wait what else was there left to switch to?  Well, there was always cow’s milk.  I decided to try that again.  That’s been ok, but I’ve continued to be on the lookout for something better.  So… this week at Whole Foods when I saw coconut milk on sale, I had to give it a try!

I brought it home, poured out some gluten-free cereal, and poured the coconut milk over it.  It looked pure white… whiter than cow’s milk, almond milk, or soy milk.  It looked very promising!

And then I tried my first spoonful.

Unfortunately, the only good thing I can say about the coconut milk is that I’ll finish the quarter gallon I bought.

And, bizarrely enough, you know what the real problem with the coconut milk was?

It tasted like coconut.  Yes, you heard me right.  It tasted like coconut.

Before you jump to all kinds of basic conclusions (Exactly what else would you expect coconut milk to taste like besides coconut???), stop and think about my mental processes.

I wanted a new, good kind of milk that I wasn’t intolerant to.  This was a new kind of milk.  It could be what I was looking for.  I didn’t have any negative past experiences to compare it with.  In the absence of negative experience, I optimistically (and admittedly unrealistically) thought coconut milk might taste great and completely different from coconuts.

I feel like that mental process doesn’t only happen with coconut milk or only happen to me.  Sometimes we want something badly enough that we project it onto things around us, and in the process ignore what reality is telling us (in this case, that coconut milk probably tastes very much like coconuts).  For some reason this struck me as really interesting.  I don’t know why.

In other completely (but not totally) unrelated news, Mike is almost finished mixing his first track!  That’s very exciting!  Then he’ll have a completely finished production-ready track!  I’m not sure what he’ll do with it yet, but the important thing is that he’ll have it.  We ordered out pizza and salad tonight from the pizza place downstairs and then talked for a couple hours while/after we ate before Mike started up work on his track again.

The first thing we talked about was a Chinese magic show that Mike’s dad forwarded him a video of.  When I watched it the first time, I was really impressed with the magician.  But Mike had watched the video multiple times, noticing details, and he figured out how the magician did every one of his tricks.  I feel like there’s an important takeaway from this:

*  When you watch a magician, you’re expecting to be impressed, and therefore you’re setting yourself up mentally to be impressed.  You’re not expecting yourself to understand how the trick works… so you probably won’t.  Mental patterns are important!  If you approach it as magic, it will probably stay magic to you forever.  If you approach it as something bounded by physical and natural laws, you’ll probably begin to understand how it works.  This concept doesn’t only apply to magic just like the last story doesn’t only apply to coconut milk.  There might be common themes in this post.

We also talked about a guy we know who seems pretty out of touch with reality.  He seems to have practiced making up his own ideas of how things happened so many times that he now believes them himself.  For instance, he might say he doesn’t remember even having a conversation if it was a conversation in which his idea was disproven.  Or he might claim to have never touched an item if that item is missing.  It’s almost as though he uses these alternate realities as a defense mechanism to escape the real reality (which might be that he was in an awkward conversation in which his idea was disproven or it might be that he misplaced an item).  The scary thing is that he probably didn’t initially realize that by starting to make small twists to the real reality in his mind, he would lose touch with what actually is reality.  Mind patterns are important!  If you constantly train your mind to reinvent reality, it will.

This has not been a particularly newsy post.  That’s mostly because Mike has been working on music, and I was recovering from my cold for most of the week so we haven’t done very much.  Hopefully there will be newsworth events for the next post.  🙂  Have a good night everyone!

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