Many of us have gotten through some hard times and/or are in the process.
What tools help support the shifts?
In our brains, we have the capacity for neuroplasticity, meaning we can reorganize our neural connections throughout life. We can also build new neural-pathways because the “neurons that fire together wire together” (Donald Hebb, 1949).
So, the question is: Am I stuck in the hamster wheel with my thoughts or can I begin to open up to new thoughts and ideas?
Personally, as I shifted from old pattern thinking what helped most were these tools:
TOOL #1 – Community
A community can be very healing. Although some communities were the very ones that abused us. So I offer this with caution. With the right group, the healing is profound and many indigenous people have used community healing for years. In the right setting, it helps bring one into homeostasis.
“With the amygdala inhibited, intrusive thoughts are banished homeostasis is restored, and healing is promoted page 143.” Robert Scaer in “8 Keys to Brain-Body Balance”
I found a community of people through a multi-level marketing product that I chose to use for healing my psoriasis. I thought if it cost the same as a chiropractic adjustment why not try. I said YES to something new.
I decided what I had been thinking and doing was not working so I put down my judgments of the very positive people, the multi-level marketing “gimmicks” and started to hang out with a new crowd—a new crowd of people and a new crowd of thoughts. So, as I was learning new ways of networking and connecting my neurons were learning to hang with new thoughts.
I slowly opened up to these new ways and people. I began to accept their help. They shared many inspiring tools with me. For example, one person said to write an affirmation in script 100 times. I normally print because my script is so bad but once again my thoughts were; why not. It was good for my attitude and good for my brain.
“Putting pen to paper stimulates the brain like nothing else, even in this age of e-mails, texts and tweets. In fact, learning to write in cursive is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory. Cursive handwriting stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between the left and right hemispheres, something absent from printing and typing.” NY Times Article – The Benefits of Cursive Go Beyond Writing
TOOL # 2 – Visualization into a state of being
I was taught a process of imaging myself in the state of being I would like to grow into.
Imagine yourself now and speak or write about what you would like to feel, think and be in the next 6 months. You can journal, do a collage; tune in, whatever feels right. I was fortunate to work with a coach, speak about it and she wrote keywords that became a mantra I said 100 times a day for 40 days.
Another way is to imagine your future self in front of you as if that is you now. See a golden light connecting your belly button to that future self and let yourself feel the connection. Much like an umbilical cord nurturing and feeding you as you grow into yourself. Spend time with that connection each day.
TOOL #3 – Meditating
One day I was in the middle of helping with my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah and had a choice. I could go to the health food store to buy a cookie, which I did when needing a treat from stress, or go and learn TM meditation. I was driving to the store and my thoughts said: “I would pay for my daughter to do this, my husband would pay to do this for himself, why can’t I do this for me?” No reason why not was the answer, and off I went.
I got a mantra. It was a huge gift to myself and honestly to others in my life. I learned to regulate my tension and to value myself enough to sit once to twice a day for 20 minutes. I did not do it perfectly at first as I would say my mantra while doing something else until I got calmer and could sit for a while and say it. I could almost feel the blood rushing through my body. I began a new practice.
Prior to this, I could do walking meditations or contemplation like in this video but this was different. This was a way to deeply be.
Not everyone can pay for TM but they can get other mantras and learn the value of using a mantra. Your Brain on Om: The Science of Mantra
A short meditation can even include:
#4 Clearing Yourself
During this time of shifting ,I did a number of things to work with my energy, to develop boundaries and to follow a better body self-care program. It ranged from joining Alan-on to working with a nutritionist, getting Brainspotting therapy, getting massages, chiropractic care, and energy work.
I also learned about chakras and started to do a self-cleanse, which I developed into The Ball of Light.
It is a fun self-awareness meditation even if you are unsure about the existence of chakras it can help.
With any process, you use to clear yourself the key is to start to put yourself in the equation and get to know what is your authentic self, your need and your desire to continue to grow.