In our science area, we will be sharing information on my favorite topic, neuroscience.
Did you know that we have 60 thousand thoughts a day? When I shared this information with some friends, they stated they had way more than that! Bless their hearts! I know for sure mine is less. 😉
Did you know you are not your thoughts?
Yes, it’s true. You are the observer of these thoughts. Let’s take it one more step and looking at our thoughts as the Observer of the Observer! By coming into the present moment observe the thoughts. This is a practice that will yield you freedom from being a victim of your mind to being free and enslaved to addictive racing thoughts, anxieties, worries, pictures of events forming in your mind of what if’s to … whatever you may be thinking about.
We can take control of our thoughts and thus calm the chatter and ego to move into the background into silence. By doing this you are creating what neuroscience calls neuroplasticity!
What is neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity is our natural ability to change how the brain’s neurons are connected and organized into circuits, which we call its synaptic wiring. Every time we learn something new or have a novel experience, the brain makes new synaptic connections to form new neural patterns of networks – and this happens at any age. This is why meditation is so powerful. But even more powerful is to instead of sitting meditating for a certain amount of time, to come back from your thoughts threw out your day, per hour let’s say, to the present moment and become present in whatever you are doing. This is powerful. Every time you pivot your thoughts and chose thoughts that serve you, you are connecting with neuro pathways that build upon themselves.
When we utilize new circuits in new ways, we rewire the brain to fire in new sequences. From a neurological level, then, we are changed moment to moment by the thoughts we think, the information we learn, the events we experience, the reactions we have, the feelings we create, the memories we process, and even the dreams we embrace. All of these alter the way the brain works, producing new states of mind that are recorded in our brain.
Neuroplasticity is an innate, universal genetic feature in humans. It affords us the privilege to learn from experiences in our environment, so that we may change our actions and modify our behavior, our thought processes, and our personality to produce outcomes that are more desirable. Merely to learn intellectual information is not enough; we must apply what we learn to create a different experience. If we could not synaptically rewire our brain, we could not change in response to our experiences.
Without the ability to change, we could not evolve, and we would be at the mercy of our genetic predispositions. Thus becoming more mindful affords us the ability to change our perception of the world around us, to change our mind, to change our self. Freeing ourselves from our ego, from being enslaved to the freight train of 60-80 thoughts a day into creating the life we choose.
How is it possible to end this cycle of negativity?
The answer, of course, lies in you – and in this case, in a very specific part of you. Your willingness to apply becoming more present in your life, you can heal yourself emotionally by altering the neural networks in your brain.
We all have certain habits and propensities that we’ve either inherited genetically, or that we’ve been conditioned to by our environment. Personal evolution requires us to break the habit of being ourselves and to become greater than our environment. We break out of our routines and habitual emotional reactions and behaviors by learning new knowledge and having novel experiences. In the early stages of learning, we are faced with novelty. Next follow moments during which we review and internalize the new stimuli, as we begin to make it familiar or known.
By the end of every learning process, the newly acquired information is known and familiar; if we have learned a behavior or a task, it may now be routine, even automatic. Our ability to process unknown to known, unfamiliar to familiar, novel to routine is the route to our individual evolution.
So in the case of repeating a past experience over and over again is reliving and thus telling the brain it is real again. Since the brain doesn’t know from your thoughts what is present or past in your thoughts you are reinforcing this experience and condition over again.
What if you could say to your self this is in the past and let it go?
Will that change your present life? Yes, it will.
What if, before you got out of bed and began your day, you took the time to ask yourself one simple question? “What is the greatest ideal of myself that I can be today? How can I be the best I can be? How can I serve Life and contribute today?”
If you were patient enough to wait for an answer, you would begin to think differently than if you just woke up and remembered yourself as the same person from the day before. In other words, if you waken in the morning, get out of bed on the same side, turn off your alarm clock the same way, use the toilet as always, look in the mirror to remember who you are, wash yourself in the shower the same way as the day before, groom yourself and dress yourself to look like everyone expects to see you, eat the same food for breakfast, drive to work as usual, see the same people at work that push the same emotional buttons and do the same memorized things that you know how to do so well, we could say that your mind and your brain would remain virtually unchanged.
Remember the saying … “You can not change anything from the same mind that created?” So change your thoughts, then change the outcome!
A common principle in neuroscience says that “nerve cells that fire together, wire together.” Therefore, if you repeatedly think and act in identical ways on a daily basis, your brain will become molded into a specific hardwired pattern that will support the same level of mind. It’s ironic. Most people routinely think the same thoughts, perform the same actions, and secretly expect something different to show up in their lives.
If however, you were to sincerely think about a greater ideal of yourself before you started your day, you would begin to make your brain fire in new sequences, patterns, and combinations. And whenever you make your brain work differently, you just changed your mind. The working definition of mind, according to neuroscience, is the brain in action or the brain at work. You created a new mind than if you just continued on business as usual.
Because of the size of the human frontal lobe, you have the privilege of making thought more real than anything else. Thus, when you close your eyes and eliminate the barrage of stimuli from your external world, you can formulate a new image of yourself without distraction just by going within. And when you are truly focused and pay attention, there comes a moment when your brain does not know the difference between what is real in the external world and what you imagine in your mind. In fact, the thoughts you are embracing will become just like a real life experience in your mind. The moment this occurs, your brain up-scales its hardware to reflect what you’re imaging and intentionally thinking about. Consequently when you change your mind, you change your brain, and when you change your brain, you change your mind.
The quantum physics model of reality tells us that mind and matter are not separate elements. In fact, subjective mind has a true effect on the external objective world. Your mindful observation of reality matters. An intentional mind literally conditions and organizes matter into the blue prints of personal destiny. Hence, if reality is an extension of mind and your reality is your life then you might reason that by changing your mind, you should produce some identifiable changes in your life.
As you sharpen your abilities to observe some desired destiny from a new ideal of yourself instead of from the same old self, your life should reorganize itself in new and unusual ways. Why? Because the former personality, which is made up of how you typically think, act, and feel, created the reality you presently are living. But the new ideal has the ability to create a new life.
And lastly, if you committed to not arising to face the day until you actually felt like that new ideal, you would also be conditioning the body to finally work together with your new mind. Actually, your thoughts condition your mind and your feelings condition your body. And when you have mind and body working together, you have the power of the universe behind you. When you walk through your life that day, maintaining this modified state, something should be different in your world as a result of your effort. No one is excluded from this phenomenon.
I truly believe that every person is a divine creator. Independent of your race, gender, culture, social status, education, religious beliefs, or even past mistakes, there is a power within each of us that is common to every human being—and we are all connected to it. This invisible consciousness is the quantum field expressing itself in all things. It is both personal and, at the same time, universal. It is the giver of life. This refined mindful energy is conscious enough to support, maintain, protect, and heal us every moment. It keeps our heart beating hundreds of thousands of times per day; creates more than 60 million cells every minute; and organizes hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions in one cell every second, just to name a few. It is also the same intelligence that creates supernovas in distant galaxies, that keeps the planets rotating around the sun, and that loves the lily into bloom.
When we take the time to develop a relationship with this mind, when we make contact with it, when we use it to produce desired events in our future, when we ask it to intervene in our lives and finally, when we emulate by being a creator, when we express its power, love, and intelligence through us, we become more like it—we become divine.
A good first step on this path is to do something that breaks your routine. I have found over the years that when you retreat from the world and eliminate the typical environmental stimuli that cause you to think in routine ways, you can begin the process of true change. In order to change, you have to think greater than your present reality, you have to dream beyond the familiar feelings you’ve memorized that contribute to your identity-self, and you must create a life that exists in a future time.
Because we share the same brain, we all have the ability to accomplish this feat. It only takes learning and reorganizing your thinking in order to prepare the mind for a better future. Just do it by one thought at a time of becoming more present in your life.
Remember the past is gone. Stop repeating the stories because that is what they truly are, just stories. Regurgitated experiences repeated over and over again in our minds. Stop them. Be free from them. Any thought, memory that comes to mind roll them up into your hand and throw them into a black hole. Let them go and free yourself from your self. Be in the present moment. You are safe and here now.
I have had countless patients say to me ie “I had this car accident 20 years ago…” I say… let it go and allow your body to be here now and create a new healthier body with healthy thoughts.
By working on your self and doing the work I offer, together we can create a healthier collective consciousness on our planet.