"To have a second language is to have a second soul."
It is a truth universally acknowledged that, now and then, life is also what happens to you while you are busy creating it. Luckily enough, we know that we always have a choice. So when my plans for embarking on a cross-country European road trip to go home face sign-of-the-times-based obstacles that put them on hold, I embraced the "oh well"-attitude with grace and ease and turned them into stepping stones on the way. After all, it's been some time since I had been following the yellow brick road home within myself and, as far as landscapes and loved ones are concerned, I only have to close my eyes take a deep breath and any time, anywhere, I am there.
No matter how tempting it is to do the opposite my darling friends, I will keep these memories to myself for now, and will wait until I can transport you firsthand to my Atlantic country of Spain vividly and soothingly, and show you what it is like seen through the fresh eyes of my rewired-for-nature brain.
In the meantime, I will share my personal story of how the use of a new language can impact brain retraining. For several reasons, I had envisioned paying tribute to the English language as a rewiring force of its own towards the end of my blog series. Now I will bring this to nearly the beginning and talk about its emotional component. Because its impact on my recovery path felt like that, like a new beginning: a Renaissance.
There came a time in my hero journey of brain retraining where, deep into transformation already, unexpected new challenges arose. In the midst of the unknown, I stood tall, strong and resourceful. I have always had the unshakeable belief and confidence that DNRS is the answer and it works in mysterious ways. But how to go on?
I decided to go for the next best thing I could think of and even had a brief experience of at the DNRS seminar: Buddy Rounds. Since I had always been in love with the English language, first and foremost through music, I was eager to understand, and full of hope and desire of being understood. And more than that: After years of growing disconnection from people, I was willing to be vulnerable. The result of this bold step forward was nothing less than a new dawn of rewiring.
Beyond mere understanding, I connected with amazing human beings who took me to places I had always wanted to go and described to me beautiful lives and details I saw myself reflected in: Mirror neurons firing and wiring like pink and green auroras dancing tangos in the northern skies. It was out of this world.
When accessing my own magic kingdoms through the doors of English as a foreign language, the words did not feel foreign at all. Maybe because I had the key: And it was not perfection, it was emotion. I tasted and rejoiced in every word as if it were a piece of wondrous candy bathing every cell of my body in sweet loving energy. An emotional match.
A DNRS rewiring practice enhancement was born, that moved me forward to where I was going: health and wellness. Buddy rounds in English were here to stay.
Hearing the testimonies of other retainers on how they thrived when they were put to the test on the road to recovery, made me reflect on my own success story. They linked their victories to doing something they loved as a child. For me, I loved English since I first began to study it in school at the age of eleven. I also loved music in English, rock, pop. I learned a lot of English through the lyrics of what became more than songs: the soundtracks of my life. And I really think that the power of music elevated my relationship with the English language to the category of an affair to remember.
Martin Luther King Jr. said: "Ocassionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart." In my case, English words in my buddy rounds are heart thoughts. The soulful introduction of our truths: worlds of love. How magical is this?
Equally magical to the immense gratitude I feel for all my practice buddies, who were not expecting perfection but connection, letting me open the doors of their supernatural kingdoms with my own key. They have changed my life, and I love them all.
We know that the more grateful we are, the more we get to be grateful for. Now, I am also doing rounds with buddies in Spanish, my native language, and this, again, has elevated my retraining to a new level. This makes me think of your retraining journeys as a curved stairway to becoming our highest self, as we go step by step.
I am convinced that there are more ways languages can propel neuroplasticity than the emotional attachment to words and sounds, namely through the way they shape realities, but this is a story for another post.