Sunday, December 29, 2013

Vanilla Essence’ing

“What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world-and defines himself afterward.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

There is no ‘essence’

When we first built our house, we came to our empty block of land and there was a pile of lumber, cladding, roofing iron and stumps sitting on the ground. Over the next couple of weeks this pile of material turned into a house. The same material was now sitting on the block, in the same location, but now it’s ‘essence’ had been transformed from a pile to a house. When we look at a pile of timber, it is the same timber molecules that exist in a tree, and it can be the same timber molecules in a house. The material is the same but the arrangement is different. And the affordance and experience of that material varies profoundly and markedly. A pile of timber on the ground won’t keep you dry, warm and protected on a winter’s night. A tree won’t do that particularly well either, especially on a wild and stormy night. But arrange that timber into a house and you are kept warm, dry and safe. The ‘essence’ of house is not imbued in the timber molecules. You could take the same piece of timber and turn it into a house, a rocking chair, a kitchen spatula or even, if you were skilled enough, into a rose.

Let’s take the example of a rose. What is a rose? It’s a flower of the Rosaceae family. But this includes strawberries, pears, almonds and cherries. So what is a rose? We now have genetically engineered roses that are black! There’s even a rose that is rainbow colored.

With a bit of genetic tinkering magic we could create a black rose that smells of lavender. Would it still be a rose? If I took a nano-fabricator, a device that builds objects one atom at a time, and I took the atoms from a piece of lumber… atoms of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen etc. and built a rose one atom at a time, so that before you was a manufactured rose. But it was identical atom by atom to a ‘real’ rose, it looked identical, smelled identical and felt identical. I’d argue that if you didn’t know I’d ‘manufactured’ it, that you’d think it was a ‘real’ rose. That it had the ‘essence’ of a rose. And isn’t this just what the rose bush does, it manufactures (so to speak) the rose, atom by atom, molecule by molecule in the growth process, so that it can seed and propagate itself. In essence, it is ‘rose-ing’.

Looking deeper – arrangements of energy

So let’s look a little deeper into this idea of ‘essence’. We spoke above of atoms and molecules. So let’s use those to explore this notion. Elements like carbon, oxygen, copper and zinc etc. are made of atoms. Atoms themselves are made of arrangements of protons, neutrons and electrons. These in turn are made of sub-particles, all the way down to what physicists suspect are tiny multi-dimensional wiggling string like energy quanta. Indeed, the field of quantum physics has shown that at the smallest levels, particles are really just probability distributions of energy. And this is backed up by Einstein’s discovery that energy and matter are one and the same,

E is energy and M is mass. You can convert matter to energy and vice versa. So atoms are arrangements of energy!

Now with this insight under your belt, let’s take a look at ‘essence’. If you took a piece of carbon, a black lump of soot or graphite for example. It is relatively hard (indeed, diamond, which is a form of carbon is one of the hardest elements known to man), it tastes like carbon, it is black etc. And it is made up of 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons. These components arranged together create a substance that appears to have a particular ‘essence’. But if we add another proton, neutron and electron to this arrangement, we get a very different result. We now have Nitrogen, the clear, odourless, invisible gas that makes up 80% of the Earth’s atmosphere and consists of 7 protons, 7 neutrons and 7 electrons. And underlying all this it’s just energy. So with the same component processes, rearranged in different amounts, we end up with a completely different apparent ‘essence’. It’s as if I was building a house and I added some extra timber and ended up with a very different result. The material is the same, it’s just arranged in a very different way and produces a very different result. And this is what we mistakenly call ‘essence’.

So I hope I’m convincing you that there is no ‘essence’. There is just arrangings of energy and process. And these arrangings, lead to propensities for action, interaction and the production of phenomena and affordance. And this is an incredibly powerful and profound insight that opens up new possibilities that you don’t get if you think things have fixed ‘essences’.

Ancient Wisdom

Now these insights have been known about for thousands of years. This knowledge actually predates the erroneous Greek philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. Buddhism for example is closest to the scientific understanding of the nature of reality, in that it makes a strong and accurate assertion that all phenomena are empty of any essence,

“What is the reality of things just as it is? It is the absence of essence. Unskilled persons whose eye of intelligence is obscured by the darkness of delusion conceive of an essence of things and then generate attachment and hostility with regard to them.”
But along the way, we got derailed in the West by the assertions of what Edward de Bono calls the ‘gang of three’ (Socrates, Plato and Aristotle). Plato in his Dialogues propounded that the universe is made up of fixed ‘Forms’ which are eternal, unchanging and complete and that real concrete bodies are the imperfect copies or instantiations of these underlying essence forms. Aristotle moved the Forms of Plato to the nucleus of the individual thing and said that they made up its essence. But as we have seen, at the quantum level and above, there is no fixed essence, no platonic ideal Forms. There is just arrangings of energy and process and the arrangings lead to the behaviours and propensities. And this we naively and mistakenly generalize as the form of the physical entities. But the Buddhists had it right. Science has unequivocally shown that there is no fixed essence or substance, it’s all inherently empty of essence.

There is no ‘essence’ of You!

So there is no inherent essence. There’s no vanilla essence of ‘you’ deep within you, hiding like a platonic ideal. You do not have an ‘essence’. What you do ‘have’, (and this is powerful), is a current arranging of a huge myriad of complex processing that leads to certain propensities for action and responding. ‘You’ are an emergence from the processes that currently constitute your ‘being’. You are a human becoming. There is no ‘essence’ for you to find or discover. And this is the point of my book mBraining and the associated ‘mBraining Evolve your World‘ personal evolution workshop! It’s not about doing a re-birth to find your ‘true’ self. There is no fixed platonic essence you need to connect with and discover. It’s ‘Evolve your World’. It’s about evolving. About changing and creating.

As we teach in mBraining and Evolve, you are inherently creative! You are the author of your self’ing. The self is not fixed but is an emergent phenomena that comes out of your multiple braining. The intelligencing of your body/mind, of your distributed neural intelligences and other underlying processes, gives rise to your ‘self’. And this self-ing and the very neurons that generate it are adaptive, plastic and able to evolve and change. You can do conscious evolution. You can direct your ongoing creation, your evolving and your becoming.

So it’s not about essence. There’s no vanilla essence of you. In reality, there’s just the arranging of you’ing. And the insight of mBraining Evolve is that you are able to evolve yourself wisely to create a more generative way of doing you’ing!

Nothing is fixed, all is flowing

As the great somatic therapist Moshe Feldenkrais pointed out many years ago, “There is nothing permanent or compulsive in your system except what you believe to be so”. So throw away any notions of fixed essences. There is no vanilla essence of the human soul. That road leads to a dead end. You as a human are amazingly adaptive, creative and flexible.

"Every brain evolves in its ability to operate as a processor, as a receiver, as a user of information."
Dr. Michael Merzenich

We have yet to find the limits to what humans can aspire to. We can evolve new neural structurings. We can evolve our minds and bodies. With greater scientific understandings we are learning about the power of epigenetics and how it is influenced by thought and belief. We are learning to tap into the intelligence that exists throughout our bodies. We are gaining a power to become the highest expressing of the human spirit. Evolving your world opens up totally new possibilities in your life and your world. This is its gift and its power.

life enhancing thoughts

Friday, December 13, 2013

Evolving Consciousness

“Control of consciousness determines the quality of life.”

The Evolution of Consciousness

In 1976, the American Psychologist Julian Jaynes published an amazing and intriguing book with an equally amazing title. It was a book that rocked both my world and mind at so many levels, and its implications and applications still echo and reverberate to this very day in my life and work.
The title of Jaynes book was, ‘The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind’. A hell of a mouthful!

The book covers a lot of ground, but at its heart it says that somewhere around 2500 to 3000 years ago, the meme (self-replicating idea) of self-consciousness (of reflective meta-consciousness) was bootstrapped in the human brain and that meme, over a number of generations lead to the breakdown of bicamerality (of split brained-ness – our left and right hemispheres of our head brain operating separately as ‘bicameral’ [two lobed]). Along the way, Jaynes explored the nature and structure of metaphor and how humans use it to organize their reality and make meaning. He examined what the evolutionary purpose of consciousness was. And he looked at extant literature as an archeological record, finding that the expression of self-consciousness only arose around 2500 years ago, and before that humans had no language or symbolic references for self-consciousness and allied conceptualizations.

Neural Plasticity

“It is now well known that behavior, and therefore brain activity, naturally changes the structure of the brain.”
John L. Locke
Harvard Medical School

Before talking more about what Jaynes’ ideas mean to us today, I need to make a quick detour into the processes of neural plasticity. Modern neuroscience, over the last several years, has discovered that our brains are incredibly plastic. It was once thought that you were born with all the neurons you’d ever have and that slowly over time brain cells would atrophy and die off and the number of neurons in your head would inevitably dwindle. This meant that if you suffered from some debilitating brain disease or damage such as a stroke, then you were forever broken and your brain would not and could not repair itself. This has now been overturned, literally turned on its head (so to speak). Science has uncovered that our brains (and not just the ones in our head, but also the ones in our heart and gut regions i.e. the cardiac and enteric brains) grow new neurons, new dendrites and new synapses all the time. This is called structural plasticity. Our existing neural connections also undergo ongoing change and adaptation, modifying hour by hour the synaptic strength and response of our neural connections. This is known as functional plasticity.

As neuroscientists like to point out, “Our brain is a verb”, it’s not a fixed object but an ongoing changing and evolving process. I like to think of it as a garden, an ecology, and the thoughts, feelings and experiences that you generate in your life, change the physical structure of your neural networks – of your brains. As Dr. Norman Doidge points out in his excellent book on neural plasticity, “The brain that thinks changes itself”. And in keeping with this garden or ecology metaphor, it turns out that cells called micro-glia in our brains, monitor this garden and tend it, helping to build new dendrites and synapses for those neurons that are being used and eating up and dissolving dendrites and synapses that are no longer being used. As a result of this ‘gardening’, as the neuroscientists like to say, “Neurons that fire together, wire together; and neurons that are out of synch, unlink”. Another way of saying this is use it, or lose it. And that the brain builds itself based on focus, attention and action. We’ll come back to this later.

Neural Darwinism
“There is no singular mapping to create the mind;
there is, rather, an unforetold plurality of possibilities.”
Dr. Gerald Edelman

Now while we are on this detour into neural plasticity, I’d like to pay a quick visit to another fascinating and incredibly important set of understandings. To do this I need to tell you about another pivotal thinker and scientific genius. Back in 1992, Dr. Gerald Edelman was awarded the Nobel Prize for his foundational work in immunology. Edelman had shown that the immune system operated as a Darwinian selection system. Another way to say this is that the immune system functions in such a way that it evolves itself to cope with the pathogenic environment it’s living within. Now, having won the Nobel for this work, Edelman decided to challenge himself by stepping beyond immunology and applying his considerable intellect to the human brain.

He reasoned that if the human genome (and thereby the human organism) operates as a Darwinian selection system, and the immune system, the part of the body tasked with tracking and maintaining bodily self/not self (and good self/bad self) operates as a Darwinian selection system, then given that evolution works by building on and extending existing processes, it’s likely that the human brain may also operate as a Darwinian selection system. So he created the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego USA, attracted funding and some of the top scientists from across the globe, and set out to explore this notion. What he and his colleagues ultimately uncovered is what is now called, ‘The Theory of Neuronal Group Selection’. [If you are interested in reading more about this, then check out one of his most accessible books entitled ‘Bright air, Brilliant fire’.]
“Competition for advantage in the environment enhances the spread and strength of certain synapses, or neural connections, according to the ‘value’ previously decided by evolutionary survival. The amount of variance in this neural circuitry is very large. Certain circuits get selected over others because they fit better with whatever is being presented by the environment. In response to an enormously complex constellation of signals, the system is self-organizing according to Darwin’s population principle. It is the activity of this vast web of networks that entails consciousness by means of what we call ‘reentrant interactions’ that help to organize ‘reality’ into patterns.”

What Edelman has shown, and it’s supported by the work and ideas of a growing number of independent neuroscientists, is that the human brain (and of course this ultimately means, head brain, heart brain and gut brains) function as evolutionary systems. Our brains evolve and change based on their informational (and physical) environment. The way they evolve is that groups of neurons fire and wire together and build ensembles of allied neurons working in synchrony together. And these neuronal groups compete with each other and get selected based on their success in their environment. Again, we’ll come back to this later. The take home message however is that the brain is a verb, it’s an evolutionary based system that evolves over hours, days, weeks and months. The neural groups evolve, grow, morph, connect and reconnect based on the thoughts, feelings and actions you are generating in your life. This is an incredible insight and its implications are profound.

Combining the insights on a journey to Consciousness

Now when we combine the insights of Julian Jaynes, with the understandings of neural plasticity and those of Gerald Edelman, an incredible thing happens… But let me share with you how I first came to the insights I’m about to uncover… It was 2004 and I was driving across the great Australian outback.

The roads in Central Australia are long and straight. You can drive for hours across the vast sweeping planes of red sand and low harsh scrub without coming to a curve or bend in the road. It’s an ancient vista and lends itself to deep and philosophical thoughts. I’d decided to bring Jaynes book on this outback chataqua, re-read it at night and then cogitate upon it during those long mesmerizing drives each day. I’d already read it and absorbed it a couple of times, but it’s a book that deserves and rewards many readings. And I well remember the epiphany I had on that long hot day when it finally hit me!

Jaynes was saying that at some time long ago, the meme of self-consciousness started. He suggests that it got started with the metaphorization of time –  that we started to see ourselves and our lives as external agents operating through time. And that when we did this, new ways of thinking, doing and being opened up for us. (In NLP we would talk about this as our time coding and how it relates to ‘time-lines’.) Over a number of generations, this ability to do self-consciousness’ing grew to dominate the societies it was bootstrapped into, probably in large measure because it provided greater levels of success. And remember, children learn by unconscious modeling of their parents’ behaviors, amplifying and refining what they see the parents do, and thereby building new neural structures that perform these operations, largely outside of conscious awareness. So here’s the epiphany that hit me…

Jaynes combined with Edelman and neural plasticity are saying that around 2500 years ago, through a new and pivotal way of using our brain, we evolved new neural structures that had not existed on the planet before. These were actual physical structures. While it came about through what the evolutionist Richard Dawkins calls ‘memic evolution’, because of the Darwinian selection processes of neural plasticity, this means that it actually created and evolved new neural structures. These neural structures and processes aren’t coded by DNA, and are not passed down through the genome. But they are passed down from brain to brain and generation to generation through a process that the great General Semanticist, Count Alfred Korzybski termed ‘time-binding’. Korzybski noted that humans as a species uniquely do a process via language, abstraction and symbol use that binds information in time and allows it to be passed down through generations. Each generation learns and stands on the semantic shoulders of the generation before it, not having to reinvent and recreate knowledge and insights. Instead, we have time-bound societal practices and human modeling processes that allow us to learn from all that has gone before us. In part, we call this education.

Evolving our neural networks

But this learning isn’t just ideas stored in abstract memories. Learning changes the structure of the brain that learns! We evolve our neural networks. When we systematically and with emotional salience, learn something new, we create new neural structures. A great example of this was described in a talk I heard recently from one of the fathers of the field of neural plasticity, Dr. Michael Merzenich. Merzenich, using the example of reading, stated that when we learn to read, we create the neural machinery for reading. In the case of non-readers or those who haven’t learned to read properly, it’s because they haven’t developed (through neural plasticity) the correct neural circuitry for reading in their brain. Wow! This is incredible. This is profound!

In a TED talk, Dr. Merzenich summarized this evolution of the self in an even more succinct way:

“What it's all about is the selective representations of things that are important to the brain. Because in most of the life of the brain this is under control of behavioral context. It's what you pay attention to. It's what's rewarding to you. It's what the brain regards, itself, as positive and important to you. It's all about cortical processing and forebrain specialization. And that underlies your specialization. That is why you, in your many skills and abilities, are a unique specialist: a specialist that's vastly different in your physical brain in detail than the brain of an individual 100 years ago; enormously different in the details from the brain of the average individual 1,000 years ago.
Now, one of the characteristics of this change process is that information is always related to other inputs or information that is occurring in immediate time, in context. And that's because the brain is constructing representations of things that are correlated in little moments of time and that relate to one another in little moments of successive time. The brain is recording all information and driving all change in temporal context. Now overwhelmingly the most powerful context that's occurred in your brain is you. Billions of events have occurred in your history that are related in time to yourself as the receiver, or yourself as the actor, yourself as the thinker, yourself as the mover. Billions of times little pieces of sensation have come in from the surface of your body that are always associated with you as the receiver, and that result in the embodiment of you.
You are constructed, your self is constructed from these billions of events. It's constructed. It's created in your brain. And it's created in the brain via physical change. This is a marvelously constructed thing that results in individual form because each one of us has vastly different histories, and vastly different experiences, that drive in us this marvelous differentiation of self, of personhood. “
Dr Michael Merzenich

A profound insight

Driving across the desert I was so blown away by this insight. I had to pull over our Campervan, stop and walk around in the hot and drying desert wind, exclaiming over and over to my beloved Fiona who was travelling with me, “Oh my god! This is amazing, this is profound!” When I finally calmed down, and hopped back in the air-conditioned driver’s seat and resumed our journey, I then explained to her my insight and what it means to us all…

The structure of our brains (head, heart, gut) isn’t fixed. It isn’t determined by our genetics. Instead, it is evolved within the social and informational fabric of our personal world. And it changes on an hourly, daily and monthly basis. When we think (and feel) specific thoughts and take specific actions in a repeated way, with focus and emotional value and salience, we can and do build/evolve/grow/garden new neural structures. This means that if we think, act and feel in ways that have not explicitly been done before on this planet, if we use new metaphors, new abstractions and engender new ontological (ways of being) and phenomenological (subjective experience) experiences, then we can evolve brain structures that have not been seen before on this planet. And if we time-bind this through educational processes and societal mechanisms (such as a new personal evolution field like mBIT – multiple Brain Integration Techniques) then we can lead a change that can bring new evolutionary wisdom to what it means to be human.

Evolving your World!

And that is both exciting and incredibly profound! It changed my world. I could no longer live the same. And ultimately, this epiphany and insight lead to me co-creating mBIT and a number of other technologies for generative human change. And this is just the beginning…

As neuroscience uncovers greater knowledge and distinctions on how neurons and brains work, about how to target and strategically change specific neural structures, about what produces the quickest and most enduring neural plasticity, we’ll be enabled to empower even greater engineering of our brains. But this power comes with a great risk. Thoughts change the thinker and the neural structures that embody the thinker. If we use this great power to pursue selfish goals and myopic greed based outcomes, then we’ll create monsters in our brains. Instead we need to evolve our brains and our worlds through greater wisdom, through that which is the highest expression of ourselves and through ways that bring the innate human spirit alive.

To do this we need to time-bind ways of tapping into the most transformative and adaptive ways of human-being and human-becoming. We need to bring Compassion, Creativity and Courage, aligned through our multiple brains (head, heart, gut, reproductive, ANS etc.) and facilitated via ANS balance, to the evolution of our neural structures and to the fabric of our society. We need to create and promulgate throughout society, throughout our businesses, our education systems and our daily lives, rituals, metaphors and behavioural mechanisms/practices that embody new ways of wisdom’ing. And when we do, we’ll have evolved new neural patterns, never perhaps seen before on the planet. A race of neurally wise bodhisattvas. A connected and aligned way of mBraining our world, so that we evolve it generatively and for wiser ecological complexity.

What’s the most Compassionate, Creative and Courageous you?

And this is what inspires me, and drives me every day when I awake, and ask myself the life enhancing question: “What’s the most compassionate, creative and courageous way of being and doing that I could do today?”

What inspires you to be the highest expressing of yourself? What are you evolving in your brains, life and world?

You can make a wise and generative difference! Make sure you do. It’s life enhancing.

“Experience coupled with attention leads to physical changes in the structure and future functioning of the nervous system. This leaves us with a clear physiological fact…moment by moment we choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on our material selves…”
Dr. Michael  Merzenich

Smiles and great thoughts and wishes

Thursday, December 5, 2013

mBIT - The Power of Dreams

"Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you."

Dreams have an incredible power to connect you with the deeper aspects of your innate wisdom. I’ve written before about how dreams are often messages from the ‘other than conscious mind’ and can be ways our heart and gut brains communicate with us.

Many Wisdom Traditions say that dreams are portals to the spiritual and esoteric planes, and that in dreams we can unlock the gateways to para-normal consciousness. As a scientist by training, I’m usually sceptical of such claims, however many years ago, after completing my first Physics Degree, I spent a substantial period of time doing a Masters Prelim. for a degree in Parapsychology, and during that research process I discovered evidence that to this day I still can’t explain with current scientific paradigms.

A fascinating experience from our mBIT workshops

So it came as a delightful surprise when a participant at one of our mBIT Coach Certification workshops reported an incredible and powerful dream experience with the ‘homeplay’ we had set for the evening of the first day of the workshop.

In the training, we ask participants to get in touch with their dreams as messages of wisdom from their heart and gut brains. You see, every night as you sleep, your head brain goes through periods of what is known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. REM sleep is a normal stage of sleep, occurs approximately every 90 minutes on average, and is associated with the act of dreaming.

Fascinatingly, the gut brain also goes through a process akin to REM sleep, only in the gut this is known as RGM (Rapid Gut Movement) sleep. Approximately every 90 minutes, while you sleep, the gut goes through periods of RGM. It is suggested by some researchers that this is a time when the gut and head are communicating and integrating the knowledge and experiences of the day. It has also been noted by researchers that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other inflammatory bowel disorders suffer from poor sleep patterns, experience abnormal amounts of REM and RGM sleep periods and report more intense and prolific dreaming compared to control subjects.

So we instruct participants that “as you lay in bed, just before drifting off to sleep, do mBIT Balanced Breathing and fill you heart with peace, love and compassion. Then breathe these up into your head and down to your gut. Fill all your brains with calm, peaceful love. Talk kindly and lovingly to your brains and ask them to give you a message in your dreams about what you need to know to make a transformational shift in your life.”

And this is what one participant, Diane, reported next day in the class:

“I was somewhat dubious about this exercise because I rarely remember my dreams. I went to bed, thinking that I would take notes first thing in the morning about either a dream or whatever came to mind.

Just before I woke, I had a vivid dream. I was in the kitchen of a beach house, I recognised the fridge as the one I currently have, but the building, the furniture, the view & everything else was not familiar to me. There was the sound of people discussing things. I was feeling an immense sense of peace, looking at a hand drawn picture on the fridge in 3 colours – green, red, blue - on a square of white paper, boat, beach, trees, and lighthouse. I knew it was special to me because I was immersed in a profound sense of peace, as I looked at it.

A woman came into the room, she was very upset. I put my arms around her as she sobbed. Neither of us said anything. I had no idea what was wrong. At the same time, I knew that I just needed to be there for her. Her daughter came in, also crying & her son was behind, poking the daughter in the back, teasing her, ridiculing her, finding it really funny & looking very proud of himself. The daughter joined the mum & I in a hug & the son walked off.

As I awoke, I was aware of the head-brain message – write down the facts.

On reflection I now feel how the gut-brain kicked in simultaneously – performance anxiety of not having anything to offer back to the class, of sharing something that I sensed is really deep. My heart brain response was go back to bed & meditate, aligning my 3 brains – which I did, & after feeling my way through the experience received a message – draw the fridge drawing on paper. However, my head brain said: ‘I can’t draw’. I had a sense of something coming from outside of me, an energetic strong urge. Draw the picture!

But I thought, I don’t have any markers. Then I remembered. One of my clients had given me 3 whiteboard markers last month, they had told me that they didn’t need them back, but I am seeing them next week & had them in my bag. I thought of how I would draw the image & went into fear. Since I believe I really can’t draw.

I moved into my heart & waited, picked up a pencil, sketched, tried to fix it, to get it perfect. Started again, moved into the beautiful sense of peace I could easily recall from my dream & was in flow. As I finished, I looked at the drawing – it wasn’t perfect, things were out of proportion, the lighthouse was higher on the fridge drawing. I put it in a plastic folder to take to class. I felt at ease. I had a story to relate to the class.”

And here is the picture that Diane drew, which she showed the class at this juncture in her story:

Diane then continued:

“With a couple of minutes before I needed to leave, I checked my email. There was one from my first ever paying coaching client. I worked with him over a decade ago in the USA. He is now living in Canada. One of the things we worked on then was him getting back in touch with his creativity. He started to paint again. We stayed in contact, maybe an email every 2 to 3 years after the coaching, he had not painted. He contacted me last year & we did 4 more sessions. He started a pen & ink art class & I asked if he could send me some of his work – I thoroughly enjoy sharing in client’s engagements in ‘being themselves more with skill’ (Goffee & Jones).

I opened the email from him.  I was stunned. He had sent me his first ever color drawing which he had only recently completed and wanted to share with me. It was so similar to the drawing in my dream! How do we explain this?”

And here is the drawing from Diane’s client, (shown with his permission):

An incredible experience

Isn’t this an incredible experience! The images are so very similar, especially when you consider that Diane was drawing an image from her dream. You can see that both images share common elements, a lake, boats with cord dangling from the front (in one there is 2 narrow boats laying against each other, in the second image there is one wide boat), trees on the shore, etc. Diane’s drawing is like a dream distorted version of the client’s artwork, mirror imaged and with identical image elements. Where hers has a lighthouse, this is similar to the trees on the edge of the lake in the client’s picture. The rope at the prow of the boat is the real kicker!

There are fascinating elements in the dream that relate strongly to the gut brain and heart brain prime functions. The upset woman and daughter hugging Diane are clear heart messages about connection and relational affect. The boy pushing the young girl (the younger Diane perhaps) in the back is about courage that pushes from the back to the front in the gut. Diane is standing in front of the fridge (where we store food to protect it, food is a core focus of the gut brain and perhaps symbolic of that which is life affirming) on which the picture is placed on the fridge door. The picture ends up being an image of a real picture that Diane’s first ever paying coaching client had sent her while she was sleeping in real life.

I spoke with Diane sometime after the training about what the dream meant to her and what messages she got from it. She said that the whole experience of the dream and the subsequent email had spooked her quite a bit, but that as a message of transformational shift it had opened her up to thinking about the deeper spiritual import of life. As she described herself, she had up until the mBIT training been “a head on two legs”, that she had denied her heart and gut and their intuitive competencies most of her life and been largely living from head-based cognitive and rational functioning. But mBIT changed all that, and the dream was an important part of the shift. It proved to her that she could connect with something that rational logic and science could not explain. How could she have dreamt and drawn such a similar image sent to her in email while she was asleep? It defied logic. Yet it happened. So intuitive and para-normal experiences were opening to her and she was learning to trust the messages and intelligence of her heart and gut brains. To connect with the whole of herself and her deeper spiritual aspects.

Indeed, in follow up with Diane six months later, she related to me that she had now had a number of strange and bizarre intuitive communications and experiences. The workshop and her subsequent use of the mBIT techniques has opened the doors of intuitive perception for her. She is now tapping into something beyond the normal 9 to 5 experience of life. And this has helped her to truly bring her spirit alive and connect with a deeper and more generative wisdom.

It’s amazing, but when you learn to align and connect with your heart and gut brains, something larger than the ego self really does emerge. And mBIT facilitates this type of connection. We’ve now had quite a few people report that they’ve tapped into amazing transcendent experiences through mBIT. And isn’t that what Wisdom Traditions have been saying for thousands of years? According to the majority of spiritual traditions, we have 3 souls (head, heart and gut) and the heart and gut souls are the portals to the spirit and to a wisdom that can’t be gained by focusing on the head brain alone.

It’s a truly fascinating and life enhancing experience. If you haven’t already, you may want to read mBraining or go on an mBIT workshop. With mBraining and mBIT you truly can evolve your world!

Life enhancing wishes and dreams

Monday, November 11, 2013

Time, money and meaning

Our economic system incentivizes the exploitation of earth’s finite resources. Money doesn’t stand for anything and must continue to grow (consume more resources) in order for the economy to function.  ”Conventional economics is a form of brain damage.” ~David Suzuki - See more at:
"Our economic system incentivizes the exploitation of earth’s finite resources. Money doesn’t stand for anything and must continue to grow (consume more resources) in order for the economy to function. "

"Conventional economics is a form of brain damage."
David Suzuki

Here's a life enhancing question that I'd like to explore in today's post: What is more important to you: people, money, wisdom or time??

And here are my thoughts and some important and fascinating ideas/distinctions for you to explore and play with. Along with some more questions to help you dig deeper...

Question Everything

Ok, I believe to really analyze and question the importance of money and time and associated ideas, you need to first determine and examine what the terms or concepts of time and money mean (in society generally and to you personally).

For most people, a complex equivalence exists of:

time = money

and therefore, conversely:

money = time

This is because most people in our 'modern' society are forced (in order to earn meal tickets [$'s] and all the objects/experiences that meal tickets can buy) to exchange their time for money. Each hour you work equals a certain number of meal tickets (dollars). So they form an equation in the unconscious mind (a complex equivalence) that time is money and money buys time.

Very few people are in control of their own neurology, their own motivation (motivating) and their pain/pleasure circuits (circuiting). So they have learnt (been brainwashed and hypnotised into a consensus trance) that they can get more time and pleasure in their lives by using money. Of course, this does not operate as a 'true to facts' map of the world. It generates unsane behaviour (behaving), decisions (decidings) and experiencing. Yes it can provide a useful distinction and way of thinking to recognize that at times the 'time = money' metaphor(ing) summarizes society's rules and reinforcements. However it provides only one way out of very, very many ways of experiencing the world. Unless you have choice in this, it will control you rather than the life enhancing preference of you controlling your own life and the complex equivalents you choose to use. [Write now: Grab a piece of paper and a pen and start to list some of your own complex equivalents].

Time can also equal life, can equal experience, can equal opportunity, can equal a limiting and restricting metaphor. In some ways, we never ever experience time, we only experience distance and velocity. And you may remember that in physics velocity equals distance divided by time. Therefore, we experience objects traveling around us (and us traveling around and within spaces) at certain velocities and covering certain distances at these velocities and we label this experience of moving through space as 'time'. It takes certain durations (time) to travel and move through space. Time can be seen as a deep metaphor for our experience of space and movement.

So yes, you should make it an important learning and understanding that you want to be living and life'ing very differently to those people who are not in control of how they are doing themselves with regard to time(ing) and money(ing).

So what is money? And how do people orient themselves to it? Also, how do people orient themselves to time? How do you orient and code time?

It can bring hours and hours of learning, choice, power and fun in answering these question(ings). Take a moment and write up what you think money and time 'are' for you, how do you 'do' money-ing and time-ing in your life? How do you orient your life towards and away from these abstractions? How do you control them, or how do you let them control you? What are more empowering, wise and useful ways to experience and utilize 'time' and 'money'? And how do you relate to or link time and money with people in your life? What is your relationship to people in terms of time and money?

At a heart level what does money and time mean to you? At a gut level, how do you deeply experience money and time? What head stories are you running about money, about time? And how are you orienting towards it from an Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) perspective? Do these abstractions and tools (money/time) create Sympathetic dominance (stress)? Do they create Parasympathetic dominance (depression)? Or is the economic meme (self-replicating idea) of Capitalism data-mining your Autonomic Mode, bouncing you between stress and mild-depression, and 'causing' you to use food, fornicating (and the semantic equivalents of this) and shopping to do parasympathetic rebound in an attempt to regain homeostasis in your ANS from the stress of daily living, working and trying to get ahead in the money/time game of modern life?

I look forward to enjoying exploring these distinctions and strategies with you. In upcoming blog posts I'll share with you all about timelines, lifelines, valuelines and time orientation. We will talk about what money "really is" or more appropriately, how money is used and abused in our society and useful ways to think and work with money.

Finally, it is useful to explore what is meant by 'importance' - this connects with values and identity. How do you think this connection works? What makes something important to you? What is 'importance' all about, and how does it connect with time and money and other key societal abstractions?

Some interesting and life enhancing food for thought :-)  And the more distinctions and choices you have in how you perceive these tools for thinking and living, the more choice and control you have in how you create your ongoing 'reality-tunnel'. Wisdom comes from balanced and aligned choice. So make the choice to transcend the story of conventional economics and make your own meaning from time and money.

life enhancing smilings, Grant

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beginner’s Mind - Doing 'Not Knowing'

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few.”
Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi

Have you ever noticed how kids assimilate new technologies and take on board changes so easily and with so much gusto? Kids love new things and have an appetite for novelty. In NLP we have an expression we use to describe a powerful way of looking at the world. It’s called ‘seeing the world through the wide eyed curiosity of a child’. It’s soooo true! Children are filled with an insatiable curiosity and passion for learning and trying new things. They have open hearts. They love to play and make a game out of change. And there's a powerful clue!

In the philosophy of Zen Buddhism, there is a technique called ‘Beginner’s Mind’. This is a technique that allows you to open your mind and see things anew – to return to that wide eyed curiosity state. The idea of beginner’s mind is to temporarily set aside all your opinions, ideas, cherished beliefs and mindsets and explore the world with a fresh awareness, with an open heart and an open mind.

Through a state of “I don’t know – that is, by actively doing ‘not- knowing’ – you are able to see and try things that you would otherwise have missed. You open yourself to new possibilities. You open yourself to change more easily.

The message from this Zen wisdom is to use beginner’s mind in times of change. Look at changes that are thrust upon you with a fresh mind, rather than through pre-conceived prejudices. This will support you in finding the opportunities hidden in the challenges of change. Come at the opportunity of change by holding curiosity and creativity in your head brain, joy and passion for the newness of it in your heart brain, and a calm and courageous acceptance of it in your gut brain. This will bring the wisdom of the child to the changes you are experiencing. When you approach change in a way that is 'young at heart', when you embrace it through gutsy courage, when you see it as a creative opportunity and when you experience it through ANS Balance, then you enable all of your intuitive wisdom and bring a fresh taste of life to how you deal with change.

How life enhancing will it have been when you embrace change through the eyes of a lifelong child now? What could you bring beginner's mind to in your life right now, today?

Thinking Tools – Beginner’s Mind
See the world through the wide eyed curiosity of a child.

And you can read more about how to powerfully embrace change and use the incredible power, intelligence and intuition of your heart and gut brains in my book mBraining:

life enhancing smiles

Monday, September 23, 2013

Controlling your Autonomic Mode

 "When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace."

Your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is a key controller of your life! The ANS innervates your head, heart and gut brains and determines what mode or state they operate in. The ANS has two separate arms that operate (typically) in counterbalance -- the Sympathetic (think stress, fight and flight) and the Parasympathetic (think rest and repose, feeding and fornicating). After a stressor has kicked the Sympathetic System into activation and you've escaped from the danger (it could be physical, mental or emotional), the Parasympathetic System activates to bring you back to homeostasis.

Now each of us has learned unconscious patterns and habits in ANS Activation i.e. in patterns of ANS mode that we typically operate in and from. Some people are much more prone to Sympathetic dominance and therefore more prone to experiencing stress, fight and flight responses. They are attuned to being stressed and to getting aroused and aggravated easily. Other people are more Parasympathetic dominant in their typical response to life, they are more chilled, or even somewhat depressed. Or they kick quickly into depression in response to the challenges of life.

Your ANS Response and ANS Mode are really key to how you cope with life, to how you respond and to the sorts of competencies you can bring to any situation. As we show in our book mBraining (, the competencies and functions your multiple brains (head, heart and gut) operate in are influenced and determined by what your ANS is doing. You can't feel relaxed and filled with joy if you are massively stressed and in Sympathetic fight or flight mode. Equally you can't be filled with love and joy for life if you are massively depressed and in Parasympathetic over-dominance.

So learning to track for and control your Autonomic Mode and your Response is vital for creating a life of success, happiness, wisdom and joy.

And here's a powerful and simple tip: You can quickly and easily control your ANS Mode/Response through your breathing. Yes, in a few simple breaths, you can shift from one mode to the other. I could describe in detail all the neuro-physiology involved in this, but I won't... instead if you are interested you can read about it in mBraining. What I'll do though is share a simple strategy for helping you to shift out of stressed mode, and depressed mode.

As NLP Trainer (and now an mBIT Coach and Trainer) Linda Kaye, one of the participants of our recent mBIT Coach and Trainers trainings in Toronto, Canada said to me last week, "This technique and information has been life changing for me, it's so simple, but makes such a huge difference. Who would have thought it could be this easy!" And it was her suggestion I write this blog post and share it with you.

To stop stressing - The mBIT StopStress Technique

If you find yourself getting stressed, angry, frightened or any other form of Sympathetic ANS response: Stop, take a breath for 2 seconds in, and 10 seconds out. Repeat 5 times. This will quickly calm you down. Then begin to breathe for 6 (approx.) seconds in, 6 seconds out. This is called Balanced Breathing, and requires the inbreath and outbreath to be of the same duration, and will bring the ANS into balance i.e. a balance between Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. It is calming and healthful. Add into the breathing process that you imagine with every breath your heart, mind and body is filling with a beautiful peaceful loving joy. Breathe this into your heart, up to your head and then down to your gut.

To stop depressing - The mBIT StopDepress Technique

If you find yourself getting depressed, emotionally down or any other form of Parasympathetic ANS response: Stop, take a breath for 10 seconds in, and 2 seconds out. Repeat 5 times. This will pump you up, fill you with energy. Then begin to breathe for 6 (approx.) seconds in, 6 seconds out. This is called Balanced Breathing, and requires the inbreath and outbreath to be of the same duration, and will bring the ANS into balance i.e. a balance between Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. It is calming and healthful. Add into the breathing process that you imagine with every breath your heart, mind and body is filling with a beautiful peaceful loving joy. Breathe this into your heart, up to your head and then down to your gut.

It really is that simple! Practice the two techniques now and see and feel how they powerfully shift your energy states and your mood. Then practice them in the appropriate situations. And before long you'll find that you can overcome stress and lift yourself out of slumps. You'll be in control of your powerful ANS, and bringing a new-found choice to every situation.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

life enhancing wishes and smiles

Thursday, August 29, 2013


"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude."

Friedrich Nietzsche  

Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director, and producer whose notable career spans more than three decades providing breathtaking imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials.

As a visual artist, Louie has created some of the most iconic and memorable film moments of our time. He is an innovator in the world of time-lapse, nature, aerial and "slice-of-life" photography - the only cinematographer in the world who has literally been shooting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week continuously for more than 30 years.

Take a look at this TEDx talk he did about the films he created and the images he has captured and fill your heart with Gratitude for the wonderful and beautiful world we live in! It truly is uplifting to your heart and incredibly life enhancing to be re-mind-ed about the beauty all around us. As Louie says, "It connects to something deep within your soul".

And if you'd like to see something even more inspiring and incredible, something that makes you realise just how much we have to be grateful for in being alive at this amazing time, on this amazing planet, as it spins through a space that is filled with beauty and mind-blowing complexity, then watch this relatively short video about what scientists saw when they pointed the Hubble Space Telescope at a miniscule patch of space that they thought contained 'nothing':

life enhancing wishes and smiles

Friday, August 23, 2013

Eating with joy in your heart

 "Eat each meal with joy in your heart!"

"The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life..."

Dr. Deepak Chopra

Many years ago I heard about some fascinating and intriguing research during a presentation by Dr Deepak Chopra, and after studying the original research it lead me to develop a life enhancing strategy I've called 'joyful eating' that I continue to use to this day and that I highly recommend...

Back around 1980, Dr. Robert M. Nerem and his colleagues at the University of Ohio set out to study the effects of diet on the development of coronary artery disease. To do this they fed rabbits a toxic diet of high-cholesterol, artery-clogging rabbit food. However when they analyzed the results, surprisingly they found that one group of rabbits did not have their arteries clogged with plaque, even though all the rabbits had been fed the same diet. Unable to explain why some rabbits showed less evidence of the beginning stages of heart disease, the researchers decided to retrace each step of the study and found that when the research assistant fed the rabbits, she would take out those rabbits in the lower cages so she could cuddle and pet them as she fed them, whereas for the rabbits in the higher cages she could only reach to place the food in their feeding trays and could not pet them.

Finding it difficult to believe that loving contact from the research assistant could make such a difference in the condition of the rabbits’ arteries, the researchers replicated the study in a formal and controlled fashion, making sure the only difference between the groups was loving touch. Again, the results were the same. In all, the research study was repeated three times with the same results and was eventually reported in the prestigious journal Science (Nerem et al, 1980, Science 208:1475). The findings indicated there was more than 60% less blockage and significantly less arterial damage in the rabbits that were touched and cuddled compared to those that were not. The researchers hypothesized that the effects of touch produced a change in immune function and hormone levels and therefore in how the toxic diet was metabolized.

We now know from a huge number of studies in the field of Psycho-Neuro-Immunology (PNI) that emotions and thoughts influence immune function (and are influenced in return by immune function), so it is not surprising that eating a toxic diet while experiencing loving kindness could influence how the gut and immune system processes what has been eaten. Realizing the power and importance of this, and knowing about the roles of the heart and gut brains, I created a process of joyful eating to ensure that I optimize how my body processes what I eat. Now, every time I sit down to eat a meal, I fill my heart with joy for the food I'm about to enjoy and send powerful messages from my heart down to my gut to really 'in-joy' my meal.

From the new field of mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Techniques), (described in my book mBraining) we know that the role of the gut brain is about identity, self preservation and mobilization of our resources and that up to approx. 80% of immune function is controlled and guided by the gut intelligence, so there are deep connections between how we eat, how we feel about ourselves and how our body handles what we've ingested and is attempting to digest. We also know that the heart brain is involved in the process of valuing and in guiding and leading the other brains (head and gut). So by holding love and joy in our heart as we eat, we are setting up strong signals and directions to our bodymind to really make the best response we can in how we are processing what we have just put into our system.

It's a simple strategy yet a powerful and delightful one. In a lot of ways it echoes the wisdom of spiritual traditions that for thousands of years have taught us to 'give thanks for our food' and to say grace and bless our food before eating. In a sense the joyful eating strategy is a secular version of this. It's also an easy form of guided meditation and mindfulness that sends clear signals and messages through our multiple brains to ensure we are eating from highest expression. 

And I can tell you it feels wonderful to really fill each meal with joy. Give it a go and make every meal a life enhancing experience. Start doing this today and your health and life will echo ongoingly from your new way of thinking, behaving and eating each meal with joy in your heart.

"Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live."

Jackie Windspear

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. – Jackie Windspear - See more at:
Life enhancing thoughts and wishesGrant

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Your body knows...

 "Human Cells Respond in Healthy and Unhealthy Ways to Different Kinds of Happiness"
 Prof. Barbara L. Fredrickson

I came across a fascinating piece of research recently on the effects of various positive emotions on the body. It's from studies done by Prof. Barbara L. Fredrickson and her colleagues. Her work shows that human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health. I figured this was sufficiently important and life enhancing that I needed to share it with you in this blog.

In essence, the reseachers found that the sense of well-being derived from "a noble purpose" may provide cellular health benefits, whereas "simple self-gratification" may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness. Now this is interesting, because in my work on mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Techniques), and as described in my book mBraining, our multiple brains (head, heart, gut) have what we call their 'Highest Expressions'.

For the Heart it is Compassion, for the Head it is Creativity and for the Gut it is Courage. What we found is that each brain has a set of core competencies and prime functions they are involved in expressing, controlling and representing and that these competencies are influenced by the state of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) that innervates all of the brains. The most adaptive and generative ANS mode is one in which the two arms of the ANS (the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic) are in coherence or balance. For the heart, this balanced mode is where competencies such as love, joy, compassion etc. are able to be expressed.

Now from our behavioral modeling work, and backed up by numerous avenues of scientific evidence, we found that Compassion is the most generative of all the competencies of the Heart intelligence. And fascinatingly, the research by Barbara Fredrickson supports this notion. In her studies, she compared heart-based emotions of hedonic happiness with eudaimonic states (striving toward meaning and a noble purpose beyond simple self-gratification) such as loving-kindness and compassion and looked at the biological influence of these in the pattern of gene expression within people's immune cells. While participants reported overall feelings of well-being when experiencing hedonic states such as joy and happiness, these states did not produce the same gene expression of decreased stress related cellular inflammatory response as that of eudaimonic states.

As Dr. Fredrickson indicates, people who experience more hedonic than eudaimonic well-being consume the emotional equivalent of empty calories. "Their daily activities provide short-term happiness yet result in negative physical consequences long-term," she suggested. And this is important. Highest Expressions such as Compassion in the heart are generative, integrative and adaptive. They produce greater and wiser benefits in your life than the 'empty calories' of just experiencing happy (but potentially selfish) feelings in your heart.

So fill your life and every day with life enhancing thoughts and feelings of noble purpose, of loving kindness, of compassion, connection and caring for those around you. Make a difference both in your own life and the lives of others by truly caring, deep in your heart. Your body really does know the difference!

life enhancing wishes

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

MOOC's are Life Enhancing!

MOOC's (Massive Open Online Courses) are incredible. As Wikipedia explains it:
"A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education."
Some of the best Universities in the world are putting courses onto MOOC's. I'm now positively addicted to doing MOOC's. My favorite MOOC Portal is Coursera. It has hundreds and hundreds of amazing courses, from incredible Universities and facilitated by some of the top Researchers and Professors in their respective fields. I've now done courses from places like Duke University, with lectures and lessons delivered by people such as Prof. Dan Arieley. I absolutely love it! It's so life enhancing. I get to sit in the comfort of my own home, and tune into and turn onto learnings that I could never have a few years ago. And they are all open and free. What's even better is that you get a Certificate (providing you complete the course and meet the required standards for the course) that you can use with your resume. How cool is that!

So if you haven't already discovered MOOC's, then now is the time! Jump on over to Coursera, and take a look at the feast of courses provided. Sign up for some. Then enjoy involving yourself in the learning tribe for that course. Take your knowledge to new levels.

As I've pointed out in earlier blog posts, learning is important and life enhancing. If you'd like to know the distinctions I made on this, take a look at:
Continue to enhance your life by involving yourself in ongoing learning. By learning you stimulate neural-plasticity, you grow new neurons and new connections in your brains. You make yourself more intelligent and bring greater knowledge and wisdom to your world. And that is truly life enhancing and generative!

life and learning enhancing wishes

Friday, July 12, 2013

Your thoughts leave traces...

"New research shows that spontaneous waves of neuronal activity in the brain bear the imprints of earlier events for at least 24 hours after the experience has taken place."

Prof. Rafi Malach

This is profound! The implications of this new research are quite life changing and life enhancing. Let me explain.

I just came across this amazing new research in an article in Science News entitled: 'Past Brain Activation Revealed in Scans: Brain Activity Patterns Preserve Traces of Previous Cognitive Activity' and knew I had to read about it and share it. In the experiment, Prof. Rafi Malach and colleagues at the Weizmann Institute Neurobiology Department had volunteers undertake a training exercise that would strongly activate a well-defined network of nerve cells in the frontal lobes. To test whether the connections created in the brain during this exercise would leave their traces in the patterns formed by the resting brain waves, the researchers performed fMRI scans on the subjects before the exercise, immediately afterward, and 24 hours later.

Their findings, which appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience, showed that the activation of the specific areas in the cortex did indeed remodel the resting brain wave patterns. Surprisingly, the new patterns not only remained the next day, they were significantly strengthened. These observations fit in with the classic learning principles proposed by Donald Hebb in the mid-20th century, in which the co-activation of two linked nerve cells leads to long term strengthening of their link, while activity that is not coordinated weakens this link. The fMRI images of the resting brain waves showed that brain areas that were activated together during the training sessions exhibited an increase in their functional link a day after the training, while those areas that were deactivated by the training showed a weakened functional connectivity.

Think about this, we know that the brain exhibits neural-plasticity, the ability to grow new connections, new neurons, new dendrites, new synapses, and to strengthen the functional plasticity of existing connections. We know that the process of thinking changes the structure of the brain. And now this new research shows in part how this is occurring. When you think thoughts, when  you activate neural circuits, the activation and the pattern of activation continues to fire and run even 24 hours after the initial activation. Your thoughts echo and linger in the physical structures and circuits of your brain long after you've stopped consciously attending to them. And these thoughts and thinking patterns change the structure of your brain.

The implications of this, are as I said above, profound. This means that thoughts aren't mere thoughts, not fleeting ideas or notions that once come and gone are actually gone. Thoughts leave traces that can be viewed with an fMRI up to 24 hours later. Thoughts are like stones that leave ripples on the pond of your mind. They create ongoing propensities and priming of the neural circuits. So you need to be the guardian of the thoughts and neural activation occurring in your brain. Make sure you think thoughts and hold ideas that serve you. Make sure you are throwing into your pond, the sorts of stones that will create ripples that add value to your life. The ripples eventually become new brain structures. And this causes your brain to evolve new structures and patterns that lead to propensities for thinking and feeling in certain ways.

You become what you focus on. Your thoughts and feelings leave traces. You are either enhancing your life with your thoughts or doing the opposite. So make certain to focus on positivity, on love, on the Highest Expressions of Compassion, Creativity and Courage. And you can be certain that this propensity of neural networks to continue to activate neural circuit patterns is NOT just happening in the head brain. It will also be happening in the heart and gut brains too! You are the gardener of your multiple brains, you are the one who plants the seeds of thinking, feeling and activation in your head, heart and gut brains. You can choose to focus on those ways of mBraining (of using your multiple brains to do cool stuff) that bring your human spirit alive, and as you do now, you'll have been finding that this way of being and doing continues to leave traces and echoes for way longer than just 24 hours.

You can evolve your brains and your world! And that is truly truly life enhancing.

with positive joy and smiles