You have an RAS.
I have an RAS.
Everyone has an RAS.
Do you know what an RAS is?
It stands for Reticular Activating System, and it's a neural network in our brain located in our brain stem.
It's job is focused on motivation, behavioral awareness, and overall consciousness. It sorts information to determine what's important and what's not.
When you buy a new car, and then see that same car all over, that's your RAS at work. The quantity of cars hasn't changed since you bought yours, but your awareness of those cars has changed.
Whenever, I read a book with an organization, my RAS is on high alert for any relevant information that I can share with the group.
Here's and example.
On Wednesday, I was talking about trauma-informed care and systems. I learned about these 3 responses to traume:
Since I had just lead 2 book circles on The Culture Map by Erin Meyer in Monday, my RAS was activated toward culture.
As such, I decided to play with the above framework, but apply it to culture.
It looked like this:
I shared these musings with the 2 groups on Wednesday, and asked them what they thought of this idea, and if anything was missing.
"What about 'Culture Unaware?' " someone asked.
She went on to say that it's not that she is avoiding culture, but that in her day-to-day workings, it's not top of mind. Now, in reading the book, she leans more toward culture informed or culture focused. (Thanks to her RAS.)
One of the joys of my work is the ability to layer in the learning above and beyond the books we read.
Everyone that comes to a book circle has their own unique experience, and their own unique perspective, and my job as the facilitator isn't to train them in the work, but to hold space for them wherever they are, and to give them multiple opportunities to expand from there.
Through our live sessions, our group chats, the learning partnership, the reflection questions, and the actions for integration, we are creating multiple layers of learning, and keeping our RAS primed on the subject over the course of months.
What's your RAS focused on today?
Originally posted on LinkedIn with comments.
Read Deeper Not Faster
I am Theresa Destrebecq.