What are Brain Embryos?

The important part about this picture is the proliferating ‘tree’ taking on lots of possibilities… Give yourself permission to ignore the ‘science’ if it seems overwhelming. Focus on the tree ; p

A subtly experiential blog… Thought and emotional processes in demonstration. Emotional intelligence in action. Thinking and ideas in development. Less advice, more modelling. 

Brain embryos aren’t a real thing. They don’t exist. The term is something that occurred to me one day when I was sorting through the junk of the all half finished projects I’d begun and feeling some disappointment with the potential for each idea I’d never followed through with. They were like embryos from my brain that had never been born. Which made me think about all the other thoughts and ideas that we all must have that sometimes grow into more substantial thoughts and actions and grow and thrive in the world, while most of them don’t. And, really, do I need all my brain embryos to enter the world fully formed and functioning brain babies? Or can I sometimes let the potential fade or even bring it into the world before it has a distinctive form? So I guess the term brain embryo began as a brain embryo from my own brain, as did this blog which is a project I’m letting evolve without a definitive purpose or clear vision.

Real embryos are pretty cool though. They’re the very beginnings of potential, complex, multicellular organisms. They start with the fertilisation of a female egg with a male sperm, the information from those two cells merge and from there split into ever more cells. The first few cells are ‘totipotent’- they have the potential to form absolutely any cell of the the organism and the helpful cells that support the embryo in development. The next few divisions have a bit less potential, they’re ‘pluripotent’- they can form any cell of the organism’s body. Following from that, ‘multipotent cells’ can form a few different cell types in the body, but not all, and from there each cell type becomes more and more distinct as the foetus takes shape into an ever-more distinct form and function of the organism, that will possibly be born into the world as a baby and continue to grow and take shape. Sometimes, the potential of the embryos don’t reach that stage either and never become fully formed or are born into the world.

So in the spirit of a brain embryo that could develop in any direction, I’ll be adding to this list of motivations for my blog as they form:


  • It seems as though a lot of what I’m writing (currently I have 80 drafts on various topics, in various stages of completion) focuses on thought processes and, implicitly, the consequent development of ideas, understanding, concepts, habits emotions and behaviour, ways of being…
  • The above is interesting to me, as I didn’t set out with this very conscious purpose. However, the product very, very much reflects my intuitive, motivating understanding that a few explanatory or directive words are inadequate for developing a complex understanding of any skill, process or idea
  • The aphorisms coming to mind right now are simple words attempting to box-in complex ‘virtues’ such as ‘acceptance’, ‘non-judgement’, ‘mindfulness’ etc, i.e. all the trendy terms everyone gets excited about, but we don’t seem to really have a very complex understanding of…
  • Instead, modelling and demonstration of these processes and developments in action seems more effective, despite being more difficult to encapsulate the functional results with a few words.
  • An understanding I’ve developed from observing my own learning, observation of others and years of implicitly developing this- without intention- in the way I relate to and interact with others.


  • To incorporate self-reflection of my own experiences in an attempt to normalise some human experiences that for many remain hidden, confronting, confusing or frustrating.
  • To utilise self-reflection for this purpose in recognition that it is one of the most influential forms of communication.
  • To utilise self-reflection for its gentleness in communicating due to the sharing of our own processes, for the purpose of self-expression, allows others to process their own self-recognition and interpret their own meaning as it relates to themselves, without pressure or agenda.
  • To utilise the subtlety of self-reflection, as self-reflection being the trigger for any new or expanded ideas aroused in another is often imperceptible. Imperceptibility of the source is naturally more self-motivating because resonant ideas become intuitively assimilated, and the ideas feel more like they’ve come from our own minds and smarts (and we’re naturally possessive of our own minds and smarts).
  •  To engage in self-reflection just because it has become an intuitive form of communication for me which I’ve come to enjoy and I know others can gain from as well (win-win).
  • From the growing realisation that my self-expression of my values and worldview has often come in the form of ‘helping’ and ‘caring’ of which the primary focus has been other people’s lives and concerns.
  • To see whether I can become more comfortable gaining a balance of expressing myself with a focus on myself because maybe this is okay? Maybe I’ve always happily indulged and encouraged others’ unique self-expression, however they come, and I still always want to do that. My interest in what other people want to share won’t ever change, it’s still one of my highest values.


  • To start different conversations if anyone else is interested too
  • To explore possibilities, innovations, enquire bout and challenge some conventions
  • To explore my fascination with how our minds, brains, emotion and behaviour all work together
  • To be okay with occasional typos, poor punctuation and grammar


  • To challenge my need for things to be fully planned and with a specific purpose before I pursue them.
  • To share my endless curiosity about the world with others in case some of my ideas fertilise theirs and create brain embryos of their own.
  • To explore ideas without a need for certainty, right, wrong, agreement or truth because that’s one of my favourite things ever.
  • I know I have 100 more motivations that have driven me over the time I’ve been preparing this, but in aid of not needing to have everything comprehensively listed and explained all at once, I’ll leave it here and come back as I remember them.