It starts before we are born. In the wet environment of a mother’s womb. We are fed by her blood and grow on what is provided by the placenta, a temporary organ attached to the lining of the uterus and connected to the developing baby by the umbilical cord.
In addition to providing oxygen and nutrients to the fetus, the placenta removes waste and produces chemicals needed for growth and delivery. Although the maternal blood is filtered, unwanted hormones and toxins can still bypass the placenta barrier and affect the development of the growing baby.
Experience in disguise is knocking on the door.
The environment the mother lives in, her perceptions, thoughts and emotions are converted to biochemistry and to some extent transferred to the developing new life. A stressed mother produces a stressed baby, a calm mother, a calm baby.
The first imprint from experience comes before our sensory organs and nervous system are even in place.
According to Bruce Lipton, a pioneering cellular biologist and author, newborns are not blank slates, as previously thought. Instead, they have perceptions influenced by their genes and the environment of the mother. These perceptions, in turn, shape how babies interact with the world and how their brains develop.
Experience forms us from the start.
After birth, a big and strange world awaits to be explored. Cold and warm, wet and dry, salty and sour, bitter and sweet, light and dark, loud and silent. A lot to try-out and take in. All senses are engaged, and little by little brain and body are programmed to survive and thrive in a human society.
Instant and constant feedback from smiling, scared, angry or ignorant faces teaches the child how to behave and what to be open or quiet about. It feels good to be in the group and awful to be outside.
Experience guides our way to family and friends, success and failure.
Scientifically, inner growth means learning and maturing in a biopsychosocial reality where neuroplasticity meets social variation. Not only in childhood, but throughout life. The brain changes with the environment, and learning happens continuously. Experience, it seems, is not something happening to us that…