Have you ever noticed that when something is very close to you it actually becomes harder to see? This is usually true of how we interact with our own brains. We utilize our brains to feel and perceive everything, and as a result, we have a difficult time noticing the condition of our brains, until there is some sort of serious problem.
How can we learn to manage something that is so deeply connected with our perception?
First, we need space to observe. Some people describe that space as 'presence' or 'centeredness'. Basically, it means noticing our thoughts and feelings without reacting to them. Eckhart Tolle famously talks about this type of presence in his teachings. You can see an example of his teachings on presence here.
Why is it so hard to not react to thoughts and emotions?
Many Eastern spiritual traditions talk about attachment as the root of all suffering. When we care about something or someone, we often become emotionally attached - hoping for a particular outcome, but ultimately suffering from the fear of what might go wrong. Our thoughts and emotions naturally move in the direction of whatever drives us deeply. And we all naturally have conflicting drives, arising both out of love, and fear. For instance, with children, it is normal to love them unconditionally and also to fear for their safety. In the long run, however, there is a difference in the expression of care that arises from love and care that is rooted in fear.
So how do we let go of attachment and fear? And does doing so mean that we care less?
The answer is found in our relationship with the brain.
Most of us live in a world created by our own brains. That world seems complete and obvious, and in many respects it is. But in some important ways, we know that there is more to the world than what we can consciously observe. And, we know that our perceptions can change.
Body & Brain Centers utilize a holistic training method known as "Brain Management" to help people free themselves from habitual reactions and focus on more positive information. By changing what and how our brains perceive, we can change the world that we live in. And this change affects every aspect of our lives- from the unconscious thoughts in our heads to the life-changing decisions we make about family, health, career and the environment.
So how do we change our perceptions? Through the cultivation of space to observe, or presence.
When you are calm and your body is feeling good, it's typically easier to feel this presence. And this can make it easier to choose love over fear.
But there is one more step in truly learning to manage your brain. This one practice can make the difference between seeing progress versus getting stuck with the same struggles year after year. In order to practice Brain Management, you should adjust your identity.
Who am I? What am I here for? and What do I want in life?
The answers to these questions form the fundamental framework for how our brains work. Our brains respond to these answers by creating a whole world of thoughts, feelings, and preconceptions. When we really want to change the way our brains are working, we must ultimately transform, or strengthen, our answers to these questions.
Breathwork and meditation are powerful not only because they help us observe ourselves from a peaceful place. They also allow us entry into layers of consciousness where we can implant positive messages and beliefs, and face unproductive ones. Through breathwork and meditation, we have the opportunity to recreate our identity in healthy and empowering ways. We can allow positive information to take root and grow in our minds, trusting that this reflects our true selves, which are good and bright. And when we change the root information upon which our brains function, we end up changing our entire world.