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N: It's an absolute pleasure to have you here. Shonte and I met probably a month ago, a couple of times we had the chance to connect, and we have the most amazing conversations. Today is not going to be an exception to that, but let's just start first of all, Shonte, with the, with your background story and how you got into what it is that you do?
S: Yes, as you said I'm a neuro-scientist and I definitely did not start of that way. My journey actually begins, most prominent for me when I was 15 and I had my first child and there was a time when I was just looking at my life like, what am I even doing here on the planet with this young being that I was gifted to take care of. I questioned why I was even there on the planet and I was really just in a dark place, and my mother, she came to me during that time that I was in that dark place and she told me that you were meant to do something on this planet, because she was actually ready not to have anymore children but they ran out of surgery rooms at the military base, so she had to reschedule but she did not reschedule and lo and behold, I was born. So when I was in the dark place and she told me the story, I said okay let me figure out what I was meant to do in this planet, but as you can imagine being young and having that type of responsibility, I wasn't fully mentally developed, you know, teenagers we're going through our mental development and figuring out who we are, our hormones are crazy, you know, we develop how to fight it. We are not adults yet, so I kind of carried those mental gaps and those emotional gaps through my journey as a neuro-science student, my journey as a parent ' I had more children, and as a wife, and because I had those gaps, I just crashed one day. Literally, I crashed into a pole in an empty parking lot because I was just stressed out. And I was awaken by the screams of my 3 and 5-year old, and I had to re-assess my life like what is going on, how did you crash into a pole in an empty parking lot? I realized that I carried those gaps with me as a teenager and I wasn't managing my brain right. I wasn't using what I knew about neuro-science and applying it on my own life. It's one thing to study science, but it's another to take that science and apply it to enhance your own brain and mind. So, I promised myself that I would never be in that situation again. So I started applying the principles of neuro-science to manage my emotions, to redirect my thoughts, to establish better mental habits and thought patterns to improve my memory, my decision making and my connection, my emotional connection to myself and to my situation, connect with my husband, our children and overall this make higher level decisions, operate from that higher place of awareness. Tap into that spiritual place, to be able to live about it mentally-balanced life. We can weather any storm that comes our way.
N: Absolutely. You know, we've had this conversation before about how a lot of people in our community, you know, because I've talked about limiting beliefs and how they fold between the edges, could only be between the edges of 2 and 6 because of the theta brain activity. Can you touch on this developmental stage for teenagers as well, can you talk a little more about that and what that stage is?
S: Absolutely, and that's the beauty of neuro-science, we now know what the brain can do. For a long time we knew that between the ages of 0 and 3, our brain just have an explosion of growth, connections and all of that. Parents were told to make sure that you stimulate your children between these ages. 0 to 3, but now without imaging on the scene, you know, FMRI and CAT scan we're able to see in real time what the brain is doing when we're learning, when we're thinking, when we're doing things. What they're able to see is that there's another explosion of brain world during the pre-teen years. This is a crucial time for parents and teachers to really make sure the pre-teens are doing something that's going to set patterns in their future lives. What they've seen is that, students, pre-teens during this time, if they were playing an instrument or sport? They are developing patterns of discipline and they tend to carry on that way in their later years, but if they are not really stimulated, if they are watching TV all day or video games, then those students tend to carry on those behavioural patterns. So it is very important especially during those crucial years of mental growth that we are exposing children and pre-teens to what we want them to be and make sure they are not hitting those limiting beliefs that will eventually get carried on. That's some kind of, it's breaking up the myth that our brain stopped growing. Now we know that there's an explosion of growth and our brain grows even more, well, not even more, it is still growing and developing even in our later teen years and our young adult years. So that's also a crucial time for growth, we're still under developed, you know, I call it the quarter life crisis because we're still batty until the age of 25. Parents have to be forgiving. We should be more forgiving of ourselves, Natalie, during that time. I remember those days, we were still trying to figure things out. You were testing, experimenting because your brain was still developing and trying to make, putting it all together, make connections. We are designed to grow and to learn, keep building ourselves mentally and spiritually. That's just basic human nature.
N: I know we've also spoken before about the brain and there are different parts of the brain. A lot of people say that you only use 10% of your brain, but that's actually not true, is it?
S: Not at all. When people use that term 10%, that was when we were not able to look at the brain in real time and that was just something that they pulled out of the hat because they didn't know, so a lot of science was established back in the day and they discovered stuff. (laughing) But we're breaking up the myths now, we can see that just reading a book is widening your visual cortex and interpreting symbols, and then you have to interpret what the word means and turn it into something verbal and understandable. The brain is on fire when you are engaging it and that we can see in real time, that we are using more than 10% of our brains and we have the ability to use even more of our brain if we deliberately, constantly understand how our brain works and learn to activate it. You were telling me earlier that you were going to learn the tango (8:57), that is one of the best forms of learning because you are integrating so many parts of your brain. You're listening to the music, you're moving to the music, you're activating your morta cortex. When you incorporate and integrate many brain regions that enhances your intellect overall, it enhances your memory, you're getting oxygen because you're moving, which is growing new memory cells. Back in the day, we thought we could never grow new brain cells, but that's been defunked. That's actually the best form of saving our brain cell loss and saving us from Alzheimer's disease. When I used to assess people with Dementia and brain injuries, that was one of the things that we would tell them to do. Get social because our brains need to be social, and do something that incorporates as many brain regions as possible, such as dancing or playing an instrument.
N: You know, one of your titles is that you're a potentialist. Just explain to us about that because I absolutely love that title of yours.
S: Thank you, thank you. It came about when I realized that I wasn't living my potential. I was in graduate school, I was assessing people's brain deficits 8 to 12 hours a day, and it was draining but it wasn't a good draining where you feel you've accomplished something, that's important to do but my soul wasn't being fulfilled and it was draining my whole spirit because now I was training my brain to look for what was wrong just like an athlete training their bodies, they push and do their craft, I was training my brain and mental map to look for what was wrong with people who work 8 to 10 hours a day. Your memory is highly connected to your emotional brain. So when I tell people what was wrong with their brain, I'm getting emotional. I'm having to tell their caretakers what's wrong with their mother, their father and that's very emotional. So I'm sealing in how to look for abnormalities, what's wrong with life, so I'm taking that home with me. I'm looking at what's wrong with me, what's wrong with my children, what's wrong with my life. Thank goodness I listen to my higher awareness that says, you know what, the more I understand the brain, it's fascinating. It feels you want to talk about it but you're not using it in alignment with yourself. So thank goodness, I listened, you know what, I'm going to use my knowledge of neural science and empower people and tell them what's right with their brain, how they can optimize their brain just like I tell to exercise, to dance or to play an instrument, I can tell people at a healthy level to do the same to enhance their cognitive resources and cognitive wealth. People can benefit in understand how to manage their emotional brain to empower them. Emotions are powerful if we use them to empower us. I started to call myself the potentialist because I see the potential in every person, in every situation and some people call it polyanish. What's the alternative? My alternative is assessing deficits for 8 to 12 hours a day, I've totally flipped it and all I want to do is what's for the good of people and things and situations. So I re-trained my brain.
N: I have one more thing I want to talk to you about, we've been talking about the different parts of the brain, the part of the brain that we want to access the most is the higher part of the brain that actually connects us to that intuitive that's outside of us. So what's the easiest way to do that?
S: We have to know that we have 3 main parts of the brain that exists, that we need to focus on and redirect. We have the lower part of the brain which is the brain stem, the instinctive brain and it does what it needs to do, it helps us to breathe without thinking about it, it also causes us to instinctively react to stuff. In modern times, we shouldn't be acting the same way that we did in our primitive days, running from a bear or lion, but the brain doesn't know the difference between running from a bear and reacting to a boss saying to you that he wants to talk to you first thing in the morning. So we have to figure out which part of the brain is dominating, is it the brain stem, our instinctive brain or is it our emotional brain, which is located deep within our brain or is it our entire intellectual brain and we need to be operating from our higher intellectual brain. That higher intellectual brain needs to be coordinating the whole brain and making sure that they are operating harmoniously. So, once we are able to pause and recognize and bring to our awareness where we are operating from or where we might be operating from, in that instant we start changing the direction of our thoughts and our brains will make physiological changes to start making new mental maps towards our higher intellectual brain so we can reinterpret things, change our perceptions and interpreting our emotions and empower us, instead of our emotional brain being directed to the instinct. We want to route our emotions to our higher intellectual brain because once we are operating from that place, that's where we get our ideas, our creativity, I mean how we respond to others, we can pick up on them better and respond better and be better leaders within.
N: Yeah, awesome. Shonte our 15 minutes as I predicted flew fast, obviously, there's so much more wealth of knowledge that you would want to share. So if people want to find out more about you and connect with you, how can they do that?
S: Yeah. So people can go to www.shontejtaylor.com, I don't know if you're going to provide (15:50) to them, they can opt in and I will, I always give free tips and strategies on how to operate the greatest technology on the planet better, to live your best life now, to enhance your emotion and be better connected and just help create ideas which are off the charts. That's what I want to give. That's part of my potential, is to give that to people.
N: Awesome. Thank you again so much for joining me today. It's been an absolute pleasure having you here and having you share this amazing knowledge with everybody. Thank you so much.
S: Thank you. My pleasure. Thank you so much.
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