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Do you ever find that your body is enmeshed in a state of duality? For example: does your mind think positively, but you feel negative? Author, researcher, and connoisseur of neuroscience Dr. Joe Dispenza has studied the mind extensively. In fact, he believes that you can evolve your brain, even undoing years of deeply entrenched bad habits. Last week, we dove into Dispenza’s novel Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One.
This week, I want to discuss another critical work of his entitled Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind. In 2004’s docudrama What the Bleep Do We Know!?, Dispenza explores how the brain evolves by learning new patterns and establishing better habits. Additionally, it’s possible to change your mind even amid the chaos. Your brain is a powerful tool. Here’s a brief synopsis of Evolve Your Brain:
“If we modify our thoughts, does our reality change? By evolving our brain and mind, we exert a greater influence on the objective world. Author, Joe Dispenza, explores training the brain and getting the mind to work better so we become more mindful participants in observing reality.
Buddhist monks, through the use of the frontal lobe, produce a more coordinated mind by practicing inner focus. We know that learning knowledge alone will wire the brain to see things in new and unusual ways. We also now understand that experience further shapes the brain. Think of the wine connoisseur who, with repeated moments of being present with taste and aroma, perceives what others never know exists.
Maybe the same applies on a larger scale to how we perceive our life. When we truly change our mind, we change our life.”
Below, I’ve amassed some vital info regarding Evolve Your Brain and how Dispenza’s life-altering teachings can profoundly impact your life.
“Body is the mind” which culminates in “habits”
In FightMediocrity‘s YouTube video, Dispenza explains how to “reprogram your mind.” He starts off by discussing how habits are formed. We’re creatures of habit. We tend to find repetition to be soothing. We wake up at the same time every day, do what we need in terms of hygiene in the exact same order as the previous day, and drink out of the same coffee mug. Then, we go to work and perform the same tasks like clockwork.
Have you ever heard someone admit that they weren’t sure how they drove to work because the they “blacked out”? Well, they didn’t literally “black out” per se. More like that route to the office is so ingrained in their body that they don’t have to think about how to get there. They just do it. Like Nike’s slogan.
At some point, we become so driven by habit and repetition that stepping out of our comfort zone is like storming the battlefield while armed with a spork. Utterly terrifying and downright panic-inducing. Dispenza talks about how we do and think the same things day in and day out while expecting positive results. What’s that Albert Einstein quote? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Well, that may be a misattributed quote, but we’ll pretend he said it.
There’s truth to that. If you want change, you have to change. Habits occur when the body and mind are one. Fun fact: 95 percent of who we are is established at 35 years old. What comprises that large percentage? Habits. We let our habits rule the roost because it feels comfortable. But it’s only comfortable or “right” because it’s familiar. You need to break old habits and eradicate patterns that no longer serve you if you want to evolve your brain.
Make your brain fire in new sequences
You’ve probably heard the (not misattributed) quote from President Jimmy Carter. “Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” In the PathwaysConnect YouTube video, Dispenza dispenses wisdom regarding Evolve Your Brain. Even if it’s uncomfortable, you must “break the habit of the old self to sprout new connections.” It takes the will to let go coupled with the desire to go out on that limb — to seize the fruit therein. You have to be willing, inherently, to wade into uncharted waters.
Dispenza refers to emotion as “energy.” In addition, emotion can be constituted as the end product of an experience. That emotion is a bodily reaction, whereas thoughts are tethered to the mind. So, in order to move forward, you must “snap” energy or sever those emotional patterns that aren’t helping you progress. Dispenza notes that “energy will conform to that new mind.”
When you evolve your brain, you must memorize new feelings until they become familiar. Until they become so habitual that you don’t need to think about them. Discard old, toxic connections and make way for new ones.
“Nerve cells that wire together, fire together”
Dispenza reveals that there’s a phrase in the neuroscience world: “Nerve cells that wire together, fire together.” It makes sense in this respect. Every time you forge a new connection or a new chemical via knowledge acquisition, those nerve cells are now the foundation of that thought. Now, whenever you have said thought again, those nerve cells “fire together” to cultivate it. Learning helps us create those new sequences. It stands to reason that if we seek out knowledge that empowers us to move in a more positive and life-changing direction that those synapses will conjure a new process.
Of course, you must put said new process into practice. You need to memorize it, commit it to memory not just on an intellectual level, but on a bodily level as well. As Dispenza says, “It drops from head to heart.” Your body must be emotionally ready to embrace the new you.
You can evolve your brain by aligning your thoughts and feelings
Your body and mind must never be in opposition. Yet most folks live in a state of duality. Whether you think positively and feel negative or mentally wish to change but feel encumbered by your negative emotions, the two need to be in agreement. Once both are aligned with one another, you can truly become what you were always meant to be.
Meditation is a perfect way of working toward that alignment. The Tibetan translation of “meditation” is “to become familiar with.” When you meditate you eliminate all environmental stimuli, shut off the noise in your head, and simply observe yourself. You’re diving into the operating system of the subconscious. By meditating, you can forge together an unbreakable bond between the mind and body. Focus solely on creating new, healthier habits that’ll propel you forward on the path to success.
“Change your mind, your life changes”
Dispenza also notes that your environment is “an extension of your mind.” If you change your mind, your life changes. We create our own reality. While yes, sometimes we’re thrust into unsavory circumstances that can thwart our overall direction in life, we can always take the wheel and lead ourselves out of the woods. Think of people who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve something truly magnificent.
You need to think it and feel it. We usually tend to focus on one over the other, but everything is connected. Your thoughts need to align with your feelings, and that starts with changing your mind. Evolve your brain. You are the arbiter of your destiny. You decide where you’ll go in life. The only way forward is to shatter the old self and begin anew. Remember, our minds are capable of having 60,000 thoughts a day. We’re remarkable beings housing exponentially more remarkable centers of thought. As Oscar Wilde aptly put it:
“But strange that I was not told
That the brain can hold
In a tiny ivory cell
God’s heaven or hell.“
It’s hard to truly comprehend the depths, nooks, and crannies of the human brain. But if we can neurochemically condition our bodies to memorize healthy patterns along with our conscious minds, anything is possible. That comes through practice.
If you’re reticent that this actually works, try this quick exercise courtesy of Dr. Dispenza on for size:
“Now, let’s change your brain a little further. I want to teach you a new skill. Here are the instructions: Look at your right hand. Touch your thumb to your pinky finger, and then touch your thumb to your index finger. Next, touch your thumb to your ring finger, and then touch your thumb to your middle finger. Repeat the process until you can do it automatically. Now do it faster and make your fingers move more rapidly without mistake. Within a few minutes of paying attention, you should be able to master the action.
To learn the finger movements well, you had to rise out of your resting state, from relaxing and reading to a heightened state of conscious awareness. Voluntarily, you perked up your brain a little; you increased your level of awareness by your intentional free will. To succeed in memorizing this skill, you also had to increase your brain’s level of energy. You turned up the dimmer switch to the light bulb in your brain that is constantly on, and it got brighter. You became motivated, and your choice to do this made your brain turn on.”
So, become motivated. It all starts with a desire to change. A spark that has the potential to ignite a full-fledged fire. You are the fire. Be it.