Pedal Power

“As daft as it may seem, when riding a pushbike, make sure you lift up the leg that isn’t performing the down stroke.”

When pushing down with your right leg for example, and only resting your left leg on the opposite pedal, the leg performing the downward stroke will be working harder. This will only be working one particular muscle group. We must use the muscles in each leg equally. It’s about being conscious of the technique you’re using.

On reading the above paragraph it may seem obvious that if you don’t lift and push your legs equally, muscles aren’t being worked equally. It’s a bit like pushing all the time when seeking achievement.

If all we do is focus our attention on one thing, and work unceasingly on this, it’s stands to reason we’re going to tire. We must rest the creative part of our minds or we’ll become over-tired and unproductive. We may even get stuck all together.

This reminds me of a story I noticed yesterday about the increasing use of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) in America for children with Autism. The story related to a particular child who, when not receiving ECT on a weekly basis, would self harm almost continually.


“When we think of what powers the thought processes in the human brain (approximately 20 watts of electrochemical energy) it’s easy to see the thinking behind the use of ECT.”

When someone is confused, and their thoughts are scrambled and conflicting, electrodes are placed on their temples, so to pass a current of electricity through their brain. It’s believed this effectively reboots and changes the chemicals within the mind: to unscramble the confused, conflicting electrical storm within. This is the thinking behind the treatment.

The issue, over the use of this treatment, is very close to my heart, as a sibling of mine once received it. She was very ill through being mentally confused at the time, and the doctors had no clue as to what was to be done, the solution they came up with was sessions of ECT. I’m unsure of the number, yet do remember the controversy and upset, over its use at the time.

“Suffice to say, the treatment had some effect. My sister seemed to snap out of her delusions and frightening instability. However, it still remains controversial; some describe the treatment as barbaric.”

When we think about the beauty, elegance and delicacy of the neural pathways of the brain, we can understand those who consider the treatment barbaric. You really wouldn’t want to witness the convulsion part of this treatment on a person you loved. You’d potentially think they were experiencing extreme distress.


Greater distress perhaps, than the type felt when banging their head on the floor or wall, as was the habit of the Autistic child mentioned above. Perhaps ECT is simply a surreptitious form of punishment for being a bad girl and frightening everyone. Keep self harming, frightening us, taking our power, time, attention, and we’ll do this to you again kid. That kind of thing. Who knows.

When pushing the electric current in one direction, and one direction only, do we potentially reset the programming? Do we change the chemistry within the brain? Do we damage the neurons and their pathways? Do we destroy the pathways that are causing the confusion? Why is there confusion? Are we not simply adding to the fear these unfortunate children must already be experiencing?

“Are we looking to cure the dis-ease with a pain that’s greater. Is this not similar to executing the child killers, instead of understanding why they murdered?”

I can share with you some facts of cause and effect: My sister wasn’t held as a baby. My mother was told to not respond to her crying. My mother only realised later she probably had colic and was in great distress. How does the baby-mind deal with this painful distress and lack of attention? How do children gain the love and attention they long for?

My mother once told me she wasn’t the maternal type and didn’t really know how to love her children. Later in my sisters life, her instability only grew as she witnessed the fear and confusion all around her: the adult-children – her parents – struggling to raise four children with their poor understanding of how to love. Her mind collapsed as a way to change the dynamic and stop the fear. The frightened and confused doctors then placed the electrodes on her temples to fry her mind.

When will we understand how to love?

When will we understand who’s pedalling the power here?

When will we stop pushing so hard, not conscious, of what we’re doing?

Sometimes all a child needs is love.