Bridging the Gap
Thoughts become things, feelings buried alive never die and it is high time we shift from survival to coherence, the place where we become whole. The only question is how?
Your brain is organized to reflect everything you know in your life. From birth to age 6 you are a recording device, and this becomes the foundation on which all of your beliefs and behaviors are built. Who you are is a series of habits and programs based on past experiences that have become quite comfortable by the time you are age 35. Thoughts are the language of the brain and feelings are the language of the body. They are the end products of these past experiences. How you think and how you feel creates a state of being. When this state of being lasts a few hours or even a few days, that’s called a mood. When it goes on for weeks or months, a temperament. For years? That’s defined a personality trait.
Today we are going to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be by being present. Cliché as that sounds, most of us never truly reach our goals, our dreams, much less our full potential.
Your familiar past creates your predictable future and your entire life is built on your own self-image. And you cannot out-perform your self image.
Current science tells us we are truly only conscious - meaning present - about 5% of any day. That means we are spending 95% of our day in the subconscious – or unconscious - brain, the part of the brain that has every ounce of our lives recorded. So if the brain is a record of the past..and our experiences are linked to people, feelings and emotions…as soon as we recall these, we are living in the past and our brain is firing and wiring those circuits together. This means we can say all day long with our conscious mind that we want to be healthy, wealthy, happier or fill-in-the-blank, but our unconscious mind is wired to the past and to events and experiences that likely give us a different perspective. That’s the part of the brain that says ‘you’re crazy!’, ‘no way!’ ‘start tomorrow.’ ‘ you’ll never be good enough.’ ‘don’t you remember what happened last time?’
In order to change this, you have to get past the subconscious mind. What separates the conscious and the subconscious mind is the analytical mind. As Dr. Joe Dispenza says, the analytical mind is the crowning achievement of the human being. It’s the area of the brain, that once it turns on it’s like a symphony leader looking out at the landscape of the entire brain and it begins to randomly select different networks of neurons that are connected to the things you’ve learned in your life or the experiences you had and it begins to seamlessly paste them together to create a vision, an ideal or an internal representation. This can be positive or negative, but more importantly this is a potential experience that is awaiting you.
Sounds easy enough, right? We can create a vision in our minds of who we want to be and what we want to achieve easily enough. From affirmations, vision boards, motivational books and seminars to mentors and coaches, we’ve got the tools in our grasp. So why don’t we succeed? You can affirm your health or your wealth consciously, but when your subconscious neural networks are reminding you from past experience that ‘you’re not worth it’ and ‘there’s a damn good reason you can’t’, your brain is firing and wiring on old programs and you are not in coherence to what you want to achieve and you literally become the only thing standing in your way.
How do we bridge that gap between the conscious and the subconscious so everything is on the same page? We have to jump start the analytical brain. In order to do this, we have to be willing to ask a creative question and challenge our own beliefs. The moment you ask yourself a question like “what would it be like to be healthy, wealthy, successful, happy?” you kick in that frontal lobe.
Whatever this THING is you’re after, what’s stopping you from achieving it? More specifically, why are you hanging back? Why do you believe you can’t? It’s important to dig in and wrestle with this. Most of us wait for a crisis, a loss, possibly a diagnosis or a tragedy to make these changes but why wait? Do the work. Write it down and write it out. Is there any rational reason for this belief? Could you be mistaken in this belief? And would you continue to feel and act this way if there were no good reason?
Here's the thing: not only do you sit around in the unconscious most of the day, going through rote behavior, following your routines, most of us also spend about 70% of our waking states living in the hormones of stress. There are deadlines, phone calls, emails, and a constant urgency to any given day. When you’re living in survival mode, these are the very chemicals that cause you to live as a materialist, defining your reality externally, with your senses. When you live this way, your brain kicks off the same chemicals and your body responds with the same feelings. You feel anxious, rushed, pushed and constantly on-the-go. In other words, your body responds to your brain and when you do this long enough and often enough, your body learns the routine and runs off it subconsciously and now firing and wiring everything we’ve set forth. In order to shift this, you have to become greater than your environment. You have to practice metacognition – the place where you become acutely aware of your thoughts and feelings. Because your body doesn’t know the difference between the actual experience and the memory of the experience.
This is where creative visualization and meditation come in. This is the tool of the analytical mind that bridges the gap. But beware: the moment that you’re decide to make this change, you’re going to be uncomfortable. The body is going to try to take charge and remind you that at 10am, it’s time to feel anxious about finishing the days tasks and at 4pm that you’re really tired and so forth. These are hard-wired thoughts you’re changing and some of these have been around a long time.
I’ve chosen 4 tools I like to use to improve self-image, to cultivate the power of awareness and consciously manifest the life you dream of and I’ll share them here:
1) Form the habit of consciously responding to the present moment only. The moment you realize you’re worried about getting off work on time, getting the kids on time, getting to bed on time much less all the little things in between, you’re no longer present. It isn’t that those things aren’t important, but worrying about them doesn’t change anything other than how your brain is wired. Take a deep breath and concentrate on what’s in front of you.
2) Build complete visualizations of what you want to accomplish and run that movie in your mind for 15 minutes a day. I like to do this as I fall asleep since that’s when the subconscious likes to take over. I see this as brain food to fall asleep on. You might have different movies for different areas of your life: home, career, health, finances. Don’t leave out details and pay attention to them. It takes practice, but saying YES to the life you truly want is worth it, don’t you think?
3) Focus on one thing at a time. Go back and re-read number 1. It’s a present moment thing. Make a list if you need to. Check it off as you go, but focus on one thing for right now and THEN go to the next thing.
4) Ask “why” every time you find yourself stepping back. Make note, explore and let go of what no longer serves you.
*author’s note: trust your first instincts. The first time I asked myself why I didn’t go big with public speaking and motivating my little inside voice said, “because you’re a fake.” As an adult, I can truly say that the last thing I believe I am is fake. But exploration took me to piano lessons as a kid. I loved playing but I despised the theory required for the lessons. It didn’t take long to figure out that the answers to the theory questions were in the back of the book. I cheated. For a LOT of years. Even though my teachers told my parents I was a fabulous pianist, I felt like a fraud because I really didn’t do the theory portion and didn’t really care. In hindsight, whether I did the theory or not didn’t take away from my talent as a pianist, especially since it was as a hobby and not a profession, but I built my self-image on the idea that I was fake and never questioned it throughout my adult life. THIS is why this matters. I let go of the belief and changed how I see myself, giving myself permission to go big. Finally.
The significance of all of this, is that with clarity, vision and a willingness to be greater than your environment, you can tap into the subconscious and become the absolute powerhouse you were meant to be.