My life seems to be moving ever so fast in many directions at once all at the same time. There is expansion in all areas and I am amazed at simply how wonderful everything is unfolding. I hope your life as well is unfolding and expanding in ways that you desire.
I have been reading a book called, Buddha’s Brain the practical neuroscience of happiness, love & wisdom written by Rick Hansen PH.D. & Richard Mendius, MD. This book talks about how the latest research in neuroscience combined with the wisdom gained from thousands of years of contemplative practices (primarily Buddhist) shows how our flow of thoughts actually sculpt our brains. Simply stated how we think shapes our brain and we can think in ways that simply and clearly give us a life filled with greater love, happiness and wisdom.
Through evolution we as a species have evolved neural patterns and pathways in our physical brain that giver greater weight to things we perceive as negative over positive. Our human brain was designed to help us survive and anything perceived as a threat or danger is given immediate and higher priority than what we might term positive things in our daily experience. Even something that seems similar to something that once may have negatively influenced us gets immediately placed in a category of danger or threat and causes a series of chemical and physiological changes within our bodies to deal with the “perceived” danger or threat. This can result in a person being in a state of stress and chemical imbalance much more often than is healthy.
In relationships it generally takes 5 positive interactions to overcome the effects of one negative interaction. We are much more likely to remember the negative over the positive even if there is an overwhelming quantity of positive events or interactions (like 4 times as many). We are constructed in such a way that things we term negative are “hard wired” in our brains while things that are not are “soft wired” and much more easily forgotten and overlooked in favor of the negative.
This goes on in a very unconscious way and through evolution we as a race evolved this process and way of storing and reacting to events in our lives to help us survive. This process is less helpful and often results in unnecessary suffering for us and those around us in our more civilized world and relationships.
When you think of something or imagine something with your mind it causes changes in your physical brain. When you have physiological changes in your brain it triggers many chemical events in your body and this influences and changes your mind. The mind and brain are a complementary and integrated system. What you think causes physiological changes in your body that can be either advantageous to you or detrimental.
The way to overcome our hard wired structures of storing and perceiving events that we have determined as negative over events that we determine as positive is through being conscious. We become more conscious when we take time to meditate every day. As we learn to simply allow what is happening and work with the focus of our mind and without reacting further to negative events (like continually remembering them and thinking about them) we allow ourselves much more grace and ease in our lives. We can consciously train ourselves to look for positive things and make sure we are noticing at a minimum 5 times as many positive things as negative ones, especially in our relationships with others.
The more we focus on something, the more we think about something, the stronger the neural pathways in our brain become regarding that particular thing. We simply have to make sure we do this with positive things at the very least 5 times as much as with negative things. If you actively become aware of and focus on 10 times as many positive things in your life as negative so much the better! In this way we can help ourselves to be more balanced, healthy, happy and loving.
Through our conscious focus and attention we can rise above our instinctual programming and wiring for survival and move away from that which no longer serves us. We can choose to live a more conscious life, a more loving, kind and compassionate life through our focus and attention.
Wishing you graceful consciousness and clear focus of attention!
In Love, Light and Service,