Katy Forrester | Amygdala And Morality
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Katy Forrester

Amygdala And Morality

There is something about the changing of the clocks in spring that gives me hope that time isn’t running away as quickly as I thought it was. While my routine is scheduled, a table of organised time, I yearn for some truancy and freedom. The irresistible urge for irresponsible fun is nagging at my thoughts. And while I do not have the chance to escape the routine just yet, it’s fairly comforting to know I haven’t changed so much as to become unrecognisable.  I spend many hours being selfless and negotiating data and progression of others I worry that I may miss noticing my own.


Hanging up my ice axes was both depressing and exciting. While my winter season is over, the summer season has begun and it means a fresh set of adventures to be had, new ticks to be made in a different set of guidebooks.
The change of activity allows me to review all I have done and learnt. Learning is on my mind, constantly reviewed, targeted, reflected upon. I feel as if I have changed a lot, that they had been more than the natural development. And that’s good, exceeding targets it’s always positive.
As a scruffy youth I searched for situations that suited me, struggling to find anything that quite fit until I found climbing. While searching for tips on behaviour I stumbled upon some really interesting TED talks. The first discussed how the Amygdala, part of the limbic system in your brain and a major player in empathy, can have new growth when the owner is placed in a situation which develops their skill. This is not just interacting with your peers but being in a pleasant and stimulating environment.
It made me think about how I have developed as a person since I have been climbing. Climbing is big places and big views. I loved travelling to India and Thailand but it was the poverty and locals that made me develop as a person as much as the climbs. There are secrets that shouldn’t be told. Not as it reflects badly on myself but for frightening others. Why did I chose to be a teacher? The truth isn’t always pleasant.

Katy Forrester

Morality can be about the choice between right and wrong.  But who chooses the right and the wrong? What becomes a case of ‘it’s the way we always do things around here’ and what is really true?  A bright clean blank wall in a beautiful setting makes me really question what I believe to be right.  I want to treat those around me fairly and with dignity. All from a beautiful day out climbing.


Being part of the environment allows you empathy. Connection, pride for your surroundings, love for the world you are a part of, gives you a price that can’t be set.  I spend time in the hills in Scotland or the Valleys of the lakes and play spot the Ptarmagon or hear the bird song.  Life is so rich and full of glorious uplifting detail.

Amygdala of the brain, artwork

Amygdala of the brain, artwork